Getaway Magazine, Evan Hausman, December 2009
…”A five-kilometre paddle northwards landed me on a bleached white beach on the rock-strewn shores of Domwe. Neat safari tents were concealed in the lush bush beyond the shore. Each had its own deck and hammock with views of Mumbo Island to the west – perfect for sundowners. There was no electricity, unless you count the solar panels powering the two-way radios.”
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From the 400-metre high summit on the island, you get wonderful views of Cape Maclear. The walk up is not for the fainthearted, but it’s a chance to see wildlife that doesn’t occur on any of the other islands in the lake. Evidently this is because Domwe’s southern tip is not more than 100 metres from the mainland at a point called the Ilala Gap. Over millennia, the lake’s level fluctuated enough to allow large mammals to cross over. Domwe is now home to bushpig, bushbaby, monkeys, civets, klipspringers and a yellow subspecies of chacma baboon. The only mammal occurring on Mumbo, just seven kilometres away, is the Cape clawless otter.
Mumbo may not boast many creatures, but it is a honeymooners’ utopia. Its safari tents are perched high over turquoise water, which is so clear you can see colourful cichlid fish swimming below. Monitor lizards cruise past snorkellers who sometimes, I’m told, are not quite as blase about the experience.
Bays and rocky outcrops around the island are accessible from a well-marked circular path, although heading off it to a lonely beach, I discovered, could embarrass some honeymooning skinny dippers. It’s that kind of place. It’s also difficult to leave.