Cape Maclear EcoLodge

Cape Maclear EcoLodge

Cape Maclear Rd across from Panda Garden, Cape Maclear, Lake Malawi National Park Malawi
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Room & Suite (9)
Pool & Beach (2)

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About

4.0
#4 of 11 lodges in Cape Maclear
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Location
3.7 of 5 bubbles
Cleanliness
4.3 of 5 bubbles
Service
4.8 of 5 bubbles
Value
Located on the beautiful shores of Lake Malawi National Park, Cape Maclear EcoLodge is the only fully Malawian run and operated lodge. Come visit us, to kayak, dive with our professional diving team, snorkel, have nice boatrides on the lake or stay in one of our lovely rooms. Our green and lush garden is a very relaxing place and our staff always welcomes you with a smile!
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Property amenities
Free parking
Wifi
Bar / lounge
Beach
Bicycle rental
Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly)
Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly )
BBQ facilities
Paid wifi
Restaurant
Breakfast available
Breakfast in the room
Kids' meals
Snack bar
Special diet menus
Wine / champagne
Canoeing
Diving
Hiking
Snorkelling
Darts
Baggage storage
Currency exchange
Mosquito net
Non-smoking hotel
Outdoor furniture
Picnic area
Sun loungers / beach chairs
Sun terrace
Laundry service
Self-serve laundry
Ironing service
Room features
Air conditioning
Private beach
Housekeeping
Room service
Bottled water
Room types
Non-smoking rooms
Suites
Family rooms
Good to know
HOTEL STYLE
Green
Charming
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish, German

Location

Cape Maclear Rd across from Panda Garden, Cape Maclear, Lake Malawi National Park Malawi
49Reviews2Q+A4Room tips
Traveller rating
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Detailed Reviews
Dominik S wrote a review Mar 2022
4.0 of 5 bubbles
optimal for a quiet vacation (except in the vacation season and on weekends there are sometimes more visitors). Best place for diving in the south of Malawi.

The lodge is an excellent place to experience more of Malawian life.
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Date of stay: October 2021
5.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
5.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
WorldIsMySandbox wrote a review Sept 2016
+1
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Right... So where to start... I'll summarize in bullet points, and put a detailed review underneath with some pointers as bonus:

+Absolutely gorgeus place
+Great staff
+Rooms are clean and there is plenty of types to choose from (mosquito nets included)
+Great diving experience
+Quiet compared to other lodges
+Hammock hedonism
+Really good volunteering option
+Profits go for NGO Heeed Malawi
-No wifi
-Activity amount limited

Right so I personally spent almost 3 weeks here doing volunteering at the NGO Heeed Malawi. The Ecolodge and Heeed are the same in a sense. Profits from Ecolodge go for Heeed.

In that time I got quite nice feel of the place and people.

So here we go:

The place is a paradise. There is nothing better than to start your morning early on the beach doing some basic yoga as the sun rises over Lake Malawi. The rest day might be spent gently swinging on a hammock in the gorgeus garden they have. The underwater world is beautifull as h***. Don't miss it!

The rooms are nice, and I really enjoyed even the more basic ones. Even more than the kingsized rooms cause I got so comfy there and I did not need a big bed!

Like stated, don't miss the diving experience! It is cheap and the cichlids have so many different colours it is mind blowing! The dive masters are also superb!

The place is also more quiet than other lodges as it lacks party side. Perfect thing for those who like their full night sleep and calm.

The people involved are great in every sense. They are helpfull and friendly. I had so much fun with employees, locals as well customers in the place!

The last major thing is the NGO. All profits go for the greater good of locals wich sounds really good for me. That is why the place is also great place to volunteer in at. You get in touch of the local life and culture, and you really get meaningfull ways of helping Malawians. There is something for everyone there.

The foods from the restaurant are also really good and from local sources like the NGO farm and lake.

Greatest lackings in this place are lack of wifi (but hey it's Malawi... Most locals don't see a computer during their lives) and lack of activities. Wifi isn't that big an issue especially if you want to decouple from the technology and other world. Activities are limited to mostly water activities and visiting the NGO farm and village. So expecting a super active holiday might end up in a disapointment.

EXTRA HELPFUL HINTS:
-Getting to the Ecolodge from Lilongwe as a backpacker is done with cramped minibus. You are asked about 4500 Kwachas to Dahaka, but with negotiation it might drop to 3000-3500 K.

At Dahaka you continue to Monkey bay with similar bus that should cost about 200-300 K.

From there you can take motorcycles or hitch a ride from a truck all the way to Ecolodge for about 1000-1500 K. BE WARNED THOUGH! The motorcycle guys will try to overcharge you and can ask even up to 5000 K for the ride. Mind that 1500 is the price for locals so don't fall on inflated prices.

The trip takes usually about 6 hours.

-Buy your bilharzia medication from the capital. Elsewhere prices might be double (2500 K compared to 1200 K from capital).

Hope this helps anyone interested! Might have forgotten something as I write this on airport of Doha after some lengthy airport stranding and after a few flights mid night.
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Date of stay: September 2016Trip type: Travelled solo
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
mvz3212 wrote a review Apr 2016
Rochester, Minnesota
5.0 of 5 bubbles
The scuba diving at Scuba Shack was amazing. Patrick and the other instructors know all of the good spots and always cater to requests. The pricing is also more than reasonable.
Staying at the ecolodge was also fantastic. Rooms are comfortable and competitively priced.
This was my first time here but will not be my last. Absolute paradise!
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Date of stay: April 2016Trip type: Travelled solo
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
MaggieStone wrote a review Jan 2020
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Find below a compilation of our last experience at Cape Mac Eco Lodge:

1) When a staff member points you to a "safe" water supply only to learn 3 days and 65 poops later that they were in fact incorrect.
2) When you go to bed under the holiest (you know what kind of holey) bed net you've ever seen but are not attacked by mosquitos but instead a swarm of hundreds of biting ants.
3) When you tell management about the biting ants so they dump ant poison everywhere that does nothing so you dont sleep the next night either.
4) When your stomach starts to feel queasy and you start to feel uneasy because you haven't seen soap at ANY sink or bathroom the entire time you've been there.
5) When the only thing you can stomach is plain rice because you think you're going to vomit and it comes 2.5 hours later and they charge you $6 for it.
6) When they wont move you from your ant infested bed on your third and final night so you move yourself to a previously slept in sandy bunkbed.
7) When management on said third night tries to move two new guests into your dirty ant bed at 9pm claiming they wont care because "they are drunk"
8) When you almost break your neck jumping from top of dirty bunkbed in the middle of the night to run to the bathroom to vomit repeatedly and you end up just sleeping outside
9) when 24 hours later you are admitted to a hospital for severe diarrhea and dehydration as a result of food and water contamination

In conclusion I would rather sleep on the beach or in the back of a minibus than to step foot in this establishment again.

Written by a Malawi volunteer who lives with no running water or electricity and has very low standards.
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Date of stay: December 2019Trip type: Travelled with friends
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
rarereviewer2015 wrote a review Sept 2017
Leeds, United Kingdom
2.0 of 5 bubbles
I like to support this lodge because it's linked to an environmental project that seems (based on a 5 minute tour) to be doing good work - volunteers/staff at the eco garden over the road were really enthusiastic. It's also quieter than some other Cape Maclear lodges (no music), the garden is nice and it's a cleaner area of the lake. But the rooms, service and food are very variable. Requests made when booking (for twin beds) weren't passed on, so rooms not ready when we arrived. Mattresses in the cheaper rooms are very thin, and sheets were stained in both the cheaper and more expensive rooms. Some staff were very friendly, but others (esp. in the restaurant) were pretty rude and certainly did not create a welcoming atmosphere. Food perhaps depends which chef is on duty - ok one night, but the next our salad was 90 percent old cabbage, going grey and so leathery you couldn't eat it. Such a shame when there are great fresh vegetables in their project garden. Probably a good option if you camp, or eat elsewhere.
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Date of stay: August 2017
2.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
1.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
1.0 of 5 bubblesService
Trip type: Travelled with family
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
toni j wrote a review Jan 2017
bern
5.0 of 5 bubbles
We spent three days in this beautiful place. Such a lovely garden, nice and friendly staff, excellent food and some impressive charity projects going on from the owners, supporting the local youth and environment (HEEED Project).
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Date of stay: January 2017
4.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
Trip type: Travelled with friends
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from Ecolodge_Team, Manager at Cape Maclear EcoLodge
Responded 25 Jan 2017
Dear Toni, Thank you very much for your fantastic review. We are glad that you had a good time with us.
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Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Marjolein B wrote a review Nov 2016
5.0 of 5 bubbles
This eco lodge is not specifically eco but it sure is as green as it could get. Best garden to chill after a swim/dive, the food is very nice (double trouble burger ftw) and the rooms are nice. Especially for the prices you pay! Diving pretty cheap and the instructor Dave is friendly, little pushy but hey.. diving is epic so he has to be! He is also very passionate about instructing in a safe and thorough way! Guys, just go for it. Garden, food, diving and about the cheapest around.
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Date of stay: November 2016Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Asplund5 wrote a review Nov 2016
Wausau
5.0 of 5 bubbles
My husband and I stayed here for 2 nights and 3 days. I absolutely can't say enough good about the staff and owners at this ecolodge. We stayed 2 nights at The Funky Cichlids. Fun and good food but when we looked around for a more peaceful relaxing hangout spot we truly found what we were searching for in Cape Maclear Ecolodge. Good food, cold beverages, kayaks, bikes, easy walk to Otter Point, attentive staff made us feel like family. Thanks Thoko, Felix, Dr McKay and everyone else!!
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Date of stay: September 2016Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from Ecolodge_Team, Manager at Cape Maclear EcoLodge
Responded 10 Nov 2016
Thank you for your nice review. We are happy that you had a good time with us and hope to see you again soon. Greetings from everyone
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Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
bob wrote a review Oct 2016
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Only went diving from the ecolodge, didn't sleep here. Planned on doing two dives but loved it so much that I ended up doing 5. Prices are good, 35 dollar for 1 dive with multiple dive packages available. Instructors were nice and knew a lot about the fish. Wreck dive and night dive were wonderfull!
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Date of stay: October 2016Trip type: Travelled solo
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from Ecolodge_Team, Manager at Cape Maclear EcoLodge
Responded 10 Nov 2016
Thank you very much for your review. We are very happy that you enjoyed diving with us and hope to see you again in Cape Maclear. Best regards
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Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
beawhite wrote a review Sept 2016
Brussels, Belgium
5.0 of 5 bubbles
We had a great time during our stay. Comfortable rooms, great food, plenty of activities on offer and very nice and helpful staff. Also very good value for money. Occasional power cuts and internet system not ideal but apart from that everything was perfect. Would love to come back.
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Date of stay: August 2016
4.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
Trip type: Travelled with friends
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Bill T wrote a tip Oct 2017
6 contributions1 helpful vote
4.0 of 5 bubbles
"Some rooms face the Lake, ground and first floor, others near restaurant in main block. Renovating one building at present (October 2017)"
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oester wrote a tip Aug 2016
Oyster Bay8 contributions2 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"First floor rooms have the best view"
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KatjaLOKAL wrote a tip Mar 2016
Helsinki, Finland1 contribution1 helpful vote
4.0 of 5 bubbles
"Some have better views than others. The new building that is under construction will probably have great views especially on the top floor."
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carolinaospinabotero wrote a tip Mar 2016
Rotterdam, The Netherlands1 contribution1 helpful vote
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"Get a room on the front. The views are really nice! And go dive at Baker's oven or the shipwreck. Adventure guaranteed!"
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Not the right property for you?
There are more places to choose from in the Cape Maclear area.
LOCATION
MalawiLake Malawi National ParkCape Maclear
NUMBER OF ROOMS
12
Prices are provided by our partners, and reflect average nightly room rates, including taxes and fees that are fixed, known to our partners, and due at time of booking. Please see our partners for more details.
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CAPE MACLEAR ECOLODGE - Lodge Reviews (Malawi)

Frequently Asked Questions about Cape Maclear EcoLodge
What are some of the property amenities at Cape Maclear EcoLodge?
Some of the more popular amenities offered include an on-site restaurant, a lounge, and free parking.
What food & drink options are available at Cape Maclear EcoLodge?
Guests can enjoy an on-site restaurant, a lounge, and breakfast during their stay.
Is parking available at Cape Maclear EcoLodge?
Yes, free parking is available to guests.
What are some restaurants close to Cape Maclear EcoLodge?
Conveniently located restaurants include Wb Restaurant Cape Maclear Malawi, Hiccups Pub, and ZATHU Cape Community Kitchen & Bar.
Are any cleaning services offered at Cape Maclear EcoLodge?
Yes, laundry service and self serve laundry are offered to guests.
Are pets allowed at Cape Maclear EcoLodge?
Yes, pets are typically allowed, but it's always best to call ahead to confirm.
Which languages are spoken by the staff at Cape Maclear EcoLodge?
The staff speaks multiple languages, including English, Spanish, and German.
Is Cape Maclear EcoLodge accessible?
Yes, it offers wheelchair access. For specific enquiries, we recommend calling ahead to confirm.
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