Pumulani is an excellent option for travellers seeking something smart, contemporary, reliable, and offering good food and service. It’s built on a hillside overlooking Lake Malawi, and boasts spectacular views!
Owned by Robin Pope Safaris, Pumulani is very well liked at YZ. As it’s situated within Lake Malawi National Park, the lodge offers land as well as lake activities. Unfortunately, due to all the steps down to the beach, it isn’t suitable for travellers with mobility issues; please contact a member of our team to discuss alternatives. The accommodation is booked on a full-board basis, including all meals, a selection of alcoholic and soft drinks, and a selection of activities (please see the activities section below). The lodge is open from 1st April to the first week of January.
ACCESS & LOCATION:
The lodge is best accessed via 20 minutes’ road transfer from the nearest airstrip, which is in turn a 45-minute flight from Lilongwe. Though it is also possible to drive from Lilongwe which takes three and a half hours. It’s situated on a hillside within the western region of the Nankumba peninsula, on the south shore of Lake Malawi.
ACCOMMODATION & FACILITIES AT PUMULANI:
Guest accommodation consists of ten villas, all well spaced over various levels of the hillside. Individually designed by Dutch architect G. Hooft Graafland, each blends beautifully with its setting, not least because of their carefully constructed turf roofs Four villas have a double bedroom, four have twin beds, one is for honeymooners, and the remaining one is for family use. Entering a double or twin villa, you’ll find the the bedroom – this is spacious and includes mosquito netting around the bed/s, air conditioning, an overhead fan, reading lights, plenty of storage space, and a vanity table with mirror over as well as a hairdryer and plug points. There’s a separate lounge area too, with a comfy cane sofa and chairs, a coffee table strewn with reading material, a tea-and-coffee station, and a mini-bar. The en-suite washroom contains flush toilet, twin washbasins, double showers, and a freestanding bathtub. Dressing gowns and a few toiletries are supplied. From the bedroom, sliding doors open out onto a private deck, which offers a couple of safari chairs, a parasol, and lovely lake views! The honeymoon villa benefits from all of these features in addition to an outside shower, while the family villa is big enough to sleep a maximum of two adults and three children.
The communal lounge and dining areas at Pumulani are housed in a large central structure, at one of the highest points of the site. In here, guests can relax in a number of pleasant seating areas, which typically feature contemporary furnishings and an emphasis on textures inspired by the lodge’s natural surroundings, such as shell and wood. There’s a great restaurant as well, where you can enjoy self-service breakfast buffets, delicious light lunches, and lavish three-course dinners. Beach barbecues are offered too! Pumulani’s bar is conveniently positioned next to the dining area, and all internal spaces flow out onto an immense deck – it’s perfect for lounging, dining, and watching the sun set over Lake Malawi. A few steps down from the deck, there’s an al fresco fireplace, ringed by classic safari chairs. Descend more steps still, and you’ll find one of the property’s infinity pools, which is flanked by sunloungers under parasols. Keep heading down the steps – there really are a lot here! – and you’ll arrive at the second infinity pool and the beach, complete with beach bar. Snacks and drinks are available here throughout the day.
ACTIVITIES AT PUMULANI:
Pumulani offers avariety of activities:
Laidback beach time– The on-site beach is a lovely little spot for sunbathing, reading, paddling, a few non-motorised watersports, and taking a dip in Lake Malawi’s inviting clear waters.
Diving– Let us know if you’re interested in scuba diving during your stay, and we’ll book this for you in advance. A range of PADI courses is available, and the underwater world here is fascinating, not least for the colourful cichlid fish that stand out amidst the sometimes eerie underwater scenery.
Snorkelling– It’s possible to snorkel from Pumulani’s beach, but for the best experiences we recommend taking a boat trip to some of Lake Malawi’s most secluded areas. The lodge owns two speedboats for this purpose! And you might even be joined by friendly local otters, while you’re looking at life under water.
Kayaking– This activity is also possible from the beach at Pumulani. Please note, guests are asked to stay within sight of the lodge, as there are some strong currents farther out. Alternatively, you can be accompanied by an expert guide.
Waterskiing– The speedboats are used for this sport too. You can have a go at wake-boarding and tubing as well.
Dhow sailing– Pumulani owns a 40ft-long traditional dhow, which is ideal for travellers wishing to take a relaxing cruise on Lake Malawi. You can head out on an early morning breakfast or sunset voyage.
Guided walks– Starting from the central area, you can ascend into the hills for breathtaking lake views and opportunities to spot the local birdlife. On your descent to the lake shore, a guide will take you back to Pumulani aboard a kayak.
Biking– Hire a bike from the lodge, and explore the local area. Again, a guide will return you to Pumulani, where you can reward yourself with something refreshing from the beach bar!
Village tours– Guides are also on hand to show you around the nearby village. Here you’ll meet local people and find out all about their life by the lake.
Stargazing– At the end of each day by Lake Malawi, why not sit back and enjoy some astronomy? Pumulani has a very impressive stargazer, enabling you to scrutinise the skies in incredible detail.