The Kayak Africa team was thrilled at the nomination of our Mumbo Island Camp as a finalist in three categories at the recent 2011 Imvelo Awards for Responsible Tourism.

The three categories were:

  • Best overall environmental management system
  • Best waste management system
  • Best social involvement programme.

Imvelo means ‘Nature’ in South Africa’s Nguni languages. The awards recognise tourism businesses that make a real, measurable and sustained contribution to preservation of the natural environment and of culture. Entries for 2011 included over 100 tourism operations of all descriptions and sizes from all over Southern Africa.

Kayak Africa takes this aspect of its operations very seriously. Our Mumbo Island and Domwe Island Camps are on pristine islands within the Lake Malawi National Park, and as concessionaires to the islands we are effectively their custodians.

Our basecamp and reception is an integral part of Chembe Village at Cape Maclear. This traditional, rural village is fortunate to have electricity, but lacks all other municipal services. Consequently businesses such as Kayak Africa must take responsibility for their own water supply and waste disposal.

This was our first year of entry, and Mumbo Island did not win any of the awards. In protection of environmental and culture the work is never done – we see our runner-up status as affirmation to continue with those programmes that are working well, and as a spur to improve in those areas where we fall short.

We would like to congratulate all members of the Kayak Africa team for their efforts; and to thank our friends in the Chembe Village community, and our partners in the Malawi Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Culture, and in the Department of National Parks and Wildlife. Without your assistance succeeding at these prestigious awards would not be possible.