Domwe Island Adventure Camp is basic yet exclusive. It lies behind a small beach on the island's west side. The camp is run on a self-catered basis, with guests making use of the kitchen facilities to prepare their own meals. The kitchen has two full-time staff members, and is fully stocked with fridges, pots and pans, crockery and cutlery.
Accommodation consists of three fully-furnished safari tents and two tent sites, complemented by a dining area with bar and a water sport gazebo. Domwe Island Camp is managed by Kayak Africa. On Domwe, our challenge was to make as little environmental impact as possible in order to maintain the pristine nature of the island. There is no electricity, so lighting is by solar, paraffin lamps and wind-up torches. Toilets are dry composter loos and all composted material is removed from the island, buried in pits for a year and then used as great compost on our gardens on the mainland.
All kitchen waste is separated and taken back to the mainland to either be used in the compost or to be burned or recycled. Cooking is done on gas or rocket stove; water is pumped from the lake and chlorinated on the island. The tents and thatched decks they stand on could be removed and within on cycle of seasons, not a trace would remain of their ever being there. The wood and thatch for the decks is sourced in Malawi from local and sustainable sources, not rare hard woods.
All our staff are from the local village - five of whom are now managers of the company. We use only locally made decor as far as possible, making a lot of the furniture in our carpentry workshop or sourcing it from local cane weavers. We cover all the cushions in chitenje fabric bought in the fabric markets of Lilongwe and the covers are sewn by our village tailor. The faded covers are then made into clothes for the vulnerable children of the village.
We support local community initiatives wherever we can and have our own staff micro-loan scheme.