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“Snorkelling and sunsets at Lake Malawi”
Review of Chembe Eagles Nest

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Chembe Eagles Nest
Leicester
Level Contributor
61 reviews
50 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
“Snorkelling and sunsets at Lake Malawi”
Reviewed 27 December 2013

We camped here for three nights in September 2013. The road up to Cape MacLear is now almost fully tarmac'd so a more comfortable drive than others have had previously I understand! The location is sheer bliss and a weird and wonderful experience of real-life Malawi. You have to drive through Chembe village to find Eagles Nest but great fun. The camp site and lodges are right at the end of the bay in private, spotlessly clean and kept grounds. We were almost the only guests at the end of the season so chose a perfect camp spot facing the lake. The staff are excellent. Naumii was the manager while we were there, a lovely Finnish ex-pat who now lives in Chembe. Esau was our waiter and a friendlier bloke you will never meet. The lake and sunsets are stunning, and like other reviewers we took a sunset trip on the catamaran with Geoff - well worth it. We also went out on the two days with two of the local 'lads' (Ben and Sam) who took us snorkelling and cooked us fresh lake caught fish and tomatoes for lunch on the islands - fantastic. Very friendly and helpful even if Sam took the opportunity to try and sell us his craft wares! Take a hat, there is little shade out on the islands and it gets very hot. A beautiful place - make sure you snorkel to see the incredible cichlids. Also, take a beer or two up onto the rocks by the side of the camp site at sunset. Inspiring.

Room Tip: We camped and there are plenty of good spots high and low amongst the rocks and right by the beach...
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  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
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1 Thank SimonALeicester
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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60 reviews from our community

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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (11)
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English first
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Level Contributor
18 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 December 2013

Cape Maclear was a last second addition to our trip and after and INCREDIBLE 3 nights at Chembe's Eagles Nest we can't believe we nearly missed out. The second we pulled in we were greeted from a member of the staff and shown the campsite overlooking Lake Malawi just as the sun was setting. The campsite is on a privately secluded portion of the beach where only guests of the lodge have access to which was a real treat. As amazing as the camping was, it was the staff that made this experience so memorable for us. Owen was an absolutely dream. He catered to our every need, seemed to always be on the clock, was incredibly professional, and an absolute pleasure to be around with a huge smile that was so contagious. And not to forgot Exlee whose professionalism and upbeat attitude was unparalleled by anyone we've ever met. He taught us to play Bawo, an amazing Malawian game that an absolute must for travelling across Africa.

Malawi really is Africa's best kept secret because of people like Owen and Exlee and lodges like Chembe's Eagles Nest. We cannot wait to go back and experience everything over again.

Oh and be sure to rent the catamaran with the amazing captain Jeff. He'll take you to all the best snorkelling spots and cater to your every need.

And lastly, the kitchen staff were also incredibly pleasant to be around. Great food, fast service and a warm smile to be greeted to daily. Do yourself a favor, visit Malawi and Cape Maclear's Eagles Nest.

Room Tip: Campsite closest to the beach is an absolute dream.
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  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
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1 Thank TomHill44
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
13 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 November 2013

This is a lovely place on Lake Malawi. its quiet, serene and there are some stunning sunset. If you are planning for a short stay plan to get there before sunset. There is a sunset cruise you can do on the hotel's catamaran, pick the sunset cruise rather than the other trips, unless you do not mind the hot sun. The scenic route from Lilongwe is spectacular, worth the trip in itself, but Chembe is the icing on the cake. The rooms in the chalets are basic, clean and comfortable but on the warm side as there is no a/c but they have fans (which was not effective in our chalet. There are other places you can visit nearby if you want to explore the area. The owner and his staff are very friendly.

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Passwell C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto
Level Contributor
9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 November 2013

We stayed two nights and enjoyed perfect beach weather. The resort wasn't very full so it was an oasis of calm beside the busy village right next door. The sand is quite coarse so if you have water shoes it could help. We took in the sun from a nice setup with loungers, umbrellas and a low table.

There is a problem with garbage in the water. The resort grounds are very clean so the garbage in the water is probably getting washed in from the village. I base this on the fact that we noticed in our travels that Malawians are pretty careless with garbage and there bits of blue plastic in particular, on village roads. Resort staff did some clean up but it is a shame because the water would otherwise be nice.

We went for a catamaran ride which featured a stop to do some snorkeling. This was a first for me and I throughly enjoyed it. The fish were plentiful and colorful. We also saw the fish eagles.

The huts are dark and hot, as has been mentioned in previous reviews but we slept ok. We didn't spend any time inside during the day. The huts have nice porches where you can sit and enjoy the view of the water. A troupe of baboons came to feed and we enjoyed that show too.

Although I blamed the village for the garbage, it was still interesting to watch their activity. The shore was full of "dugout canoes" and small boats, the kids played in the water jumping from the boats, the men were in and out from fishing expeditions at times but otherwise standing around. The women were working of course, doing the laundry in lake often with a baby strapped to their back.

On the other side of the resort, there were big rocks as the lake shore curves so it is very quiet there.

The food was fine, some of it was quite good, other times it was just not what we were expecting. Service was good and personal.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank SesterGTA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Durban, South Africa
Level Contributor
103 reviews
53 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 October 2013

This was definitely one of the best campsites we have ever stayed in - right on the lake under several shady trees - so beautiful and relaxing! It is a small campsite and I recommend booking well in advance to avoid disappointment. The restaurant has a fantastic menu and certainly the best food we have had in Malawi! The bathrooms are also the nicest camping ablutions I have ever seen - spotlessly clean and big! We only planned to stay for 2 nights and ended up staying for 7 (and it would have been longer if our visas hadn't expired!) We took the catamaran out for a sundowners snorkel at the island - what a lovely trip - well worth it!

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank TR15784
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Maputo, Mozambique
Level Contributor
23 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 October 2013

I stayed for 2 nights at Chembe Eagles Nest. The manager was friendly and helpful and so were the rest of the staff. We really enjoyed the breakfast and dinner (especially the local fish). The huts were a stone throw away from the lake and lake facing, which makes it amazing. The rooms were very spacious with an en-suit shower, toilet and hand basin, which was also extremely clean.
They offer the catamaran for rentals, which we rented for a few hours and headed to Tumbi island for some snorkeling, which was so amazing. The guide was a local and worked for the lodge (Geoff). Geoff was so amazing and helpful. We spotted loads of fish eagles which were catching fish and they came really close.
Thank you so much for making my first ever trip to Malawi unbelievable and I will definitely be visiting soon again.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank TravellerRose
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Windhoek, Namibia
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 July 2013

At least it was for us - as we preferred a secluded spot away from the noisy centre of Chembe where we saw campsites densely packed with the tents of mostly younger travelers. Although Eagle's nest campsite is small, we had more space and privacy there. And, as it lies at the far end of the bay, the sundowns were spectacular. Facilities were clean and in order. A drawback was that there is a garbage incineration place just behind the campsite and despite our first complaint we were smothered with toxic fumes twice when the wind blew the smoke towards the lake and thus towards us. Both times, incineration was stopped immediately after our complaint.

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Babsi217
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Chembe Eagles Nest

Property: Chembe Eagles Nest
Address: Chembe, Lake Malawi National Park, Malawi
Region: Malawi > Lake Malawi National Park > Chembe
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Speciality Lodging in Chembe
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Number of rooms: 11
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