Monkey Bay

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Monkey Bay
Beach at Cape Maclear near Monkey Bay
Beach at Cape Maclear near Monkey Bay
Monkey Bay is located in Malawi
Monkey Bay
Monkey Bay
Location in Malawi
Coordinates: 14°05′00″S 34°55′00″E / 14.08333°S 34.91667°E / -14.08333; 34.91667
Country  Malawi
Region Southern Region
District Mangochi District
Elevation 1,630 ft (500 m)
Population (2008)[1]
 • Total 14,591
Time zone +2
Climate Aw
Main north-south street of the town.

Monkey Bay or Lusumbwe is a town in Mangochi which is in the Mangochi District in the Southern Region of Malawi. The town is on the shore of Lake Malawi and is one of the main ports on Lake Malawi.[2] The population of Monkey Bay is estimated to be 14,591 as of 2008.[1] Monkey Bay is 206 kilometres (128 mi) from Lilongwe, Malawi's capital city, and 253 kilometres (157 mi) from Blantyre. With a population of about 500,000, Lilongwe is Malawi's largest city.[3] Monkey Bay is a tourist resort and is often travelled through on the road to Cape Maclear.[4]


Monkey Bay was ruled by the Muslim Yao chief and slave trader, Mponda, during the 1880s.[5] In the late 19th century, the first Bishop of Likoma, Chauncy Maples, drowned near Monkey Bay in Lake Malawi.[6] In the 1960s, there was a Fisheries Research Laboratory in Monkey Bay, funded by the then-Nyasaland colonial government.[7]


Monkey Bay is on the shore of Lake Malawi and is one of the main ports on Lake Malawi.[2] It is at an elevation of 1,630 feet (500 m).

Monkey Bay is situated 4 miles (6.4 km) away from Chimpamba, 2 miles (3.2 km) away from Zambo, 1 mile (1.6 km) away from Msumbi and 0.5 miles (0.80 km) away from Mbalamanja.[8]

Living standards[edit]

In March 2003, the then-Malawian President Bakili Muluzi held a rally in Monkey Bay, and promised to help reduce poverty.[9] The charity Save the Children are active in the Monkey Bay area.[10] According to a German development volunteer working with the Back to School Foundation, the residents of Monkey Bay are not living at the poverty line, but at the existence line. Houses are simple clay cottages, and few households can afford electricity, as the connection costs alone are three times the average monthly wage.[11]



There is a supermarket and a market in Monkey Bay, although there are bureaux de change or automatic teller machines. On 22 February 2010, a first bank opened its doors. Malawi Savings Bank Agency which was operating from the Post Office building moved into their own convenience, a refurblished and spacious building at the trading centre.

There is not a functioning internet café although there are signs for one. There are several guesthouses.[12] The nearest ATM is in the town of Mangochi.


Monkey Bay is connected to Lilongwe and Blantyre by bus services.[12] The nearest airport is at Ulongwe, 49 miles (79 km) away.[8] Two passenger ferries make weekly sailings along Lake Malawi between Monkey Bay and Chilumba; the MV Ilala and the Mtendere.[13] The Ilala is 350-passenger steamship that has served the route since 1951.[14] In March 2003, the European Union funded improvements to the road linking Monkey Bay with Masasa and Golomiti.[15] In February 2006, the Malawian government announced plans to build a road from Monkey Bay to Cape Maclear.[16] In March 2006, there was no road access to Monkey Bay, after the worst floods since 1978 had washed away several miles of road and a bridge.[17] The rainfall measured around 158 millimetres (6.2 in) and several thousand people in the Mangochi District were made homeless.[18]


The Nankhwala Catholic School is in Monkey Bay.[19]


Monkey Bay has a hospital, but medical services are not extensive; surgery and diagnostics are however available in Monkey Bay.[20]

Law and military[edit]

Monkey Bay has a police station. It is also the headquarters of the 220-strong marine force of the Army of Malawi.[21][22]


Monkey Bay has been described as "the country's best known resort" by Agence France-Presse,[17] and Factiva refers to Monkey Bay as the "best known resort-area" in Malawi.[23] The area has "sandy beaches and tropical fish",[18] and is popular with tourists.[21] There are diving schools in Monkey Bay, however, according to the Daily Telegraph, the schools are considered poor by tourists.[24] The town is also a transit point to Cape Maclear.


Year Population[1]
1987 5,649
1998 8,793
2008 (estimate) 14,591


  1. ^ a b c "World Gazetteer: Malawi: largest cities and towns and statistics of their population". World Gazetteer. Retrieved 20 June 2008. 
  2. ^ a b "Malawi: Transportation". Encyclopaedia Britannica. Retrieved 20 June 2008. 
  3. ^ "Malawi distance table". Retrieved 20 June 2008. 
  4. ^ Murphy, Alan; Armstrong, Kate; Firestone, Matthew D.; Fitzpatrick, Mary (2007). Lonely Planet Southern Africa: Join the Safari. Lonely Planet. p. 200. ISBN 1-74059-745-1. Retrieved 20 June 2008. 
  5. ^ Good, Charles M. (2004). The Steamer Parish: The Rise and Fall of Missionary Medicine on an African. University of Chicago Press. p. 88. ISBN 0-226-30281-4. Retrieved 22 June 2008. 
  6. ^ Murphy, Alan; Armstrong, Kate; Firestone, Matthew D.; Fitzpatrick, Mary (2007). Lonely Planet Southern Africa: Join the Safari. Lonely Planet. p. 193. ISBN 1-74059-745-1. Retrieved 20 June 2008. 
  7. ^ Bulletin – Malawi Geological Survey Department. Malawi Geographical Survey Department. 1963. Retrieved 20 June 2008. 
  8. ^ a b "Maps, Weather, and Airports for Monkey Bay, Malawi". FallingRain Genomics. Retrieved 21 June 2008. 
  9. ^ "Malawi: Muluzi Outlines Priority". AllAfrica. 8 March 2008. Retrieved 20 June 2008. 
  10. ^ Itano, Nicole (11 June 2002). "AIDS adds to African food crisis". CS Monitor. Retrieved 20 June 2008. 
  11. ^ Kleinebrahm, Tobias (23 August 2007). "Eine Zukunft für die Kinder von Malawi". Rheinische Post (in German). Retrieved 20 June 2008. 
  12. ^ a b Murphy, Alan; Armstrong, Kate; Firestone, Matthew D.; Fitzpatrick, Mary (2007). Lonely Planet Southern Africa: Join the Safari. Lonely Planet. p. 201. ISBN 1-74059-745-1. Retrieved 20 June 2008. 
  13. ^ Rogers, Douglas (5 February 2001). "Malawi: On a mission in Africa". The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 5 September 2008. Retrieved 20 June 2008. 
  14. ^ "Lake placid". The Guardian. 18 April 2001. Retrieved 20 June 2008. 
  15. ^ Chimwala, Marcel (28 March 2003). "EU approves funding for Malawian road projects". Retrieved 20 June 2008. 
  16. ^ "Malawi: Investors, Tourists Wear Smile in Cape Maclear". AllAfrica. 28 February 2006. Retrieved 20 June 2008. 
  17. ^ a b "Flash floods in Malawi tourist haven leave 6,000 homeless". Agence France Presse. 8 March 2006. Retrieved 20 June 2008. 
  18. ^ a b "Heavy flooding causes havoc in Malawi". AngolaPress. 22 March 2008. Retrieved 20 June 2008. 
  19. ^ "School cash for Malawi youngsters". BBC News. 12 June 2006. Retrieved 20 June 2008. 
  20. ^ Collins, Dr. Martina (10 June 2008). "Life as a GP in Malawi —the warm heart of Africa". Irish Medical Times. Archived from the original on 2 June 2009. Retrieved 20 June 2008. 
  21. ^ a b "Divers search for bodies in Lake Malawi". Independent Online. 10 April 2008. Retrieved 20 June 2008. 
  22. ^ Wertheim, Eric (2007). The Naval Institute Guide to Combat Fleets of the World: Their Ships, Aircraft and Systems. Naval Institute Press. p. 452. ISBN 1-59114-955-X. Retrieved 20 June 2008. 
  23. ^ "Floods cause chaos in Malawi, Mozambique". Factiva. 10 March 2006. Retrieved 20 June 2008. 
  24. ^ Isaacson, Rupert (5 February 2001). "Malawi: Flying under water". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 20 June 2008. [dead link]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 14°05′S 34°55′E / 14.083°S 34.917°E / -14.083; 34.917