Pumulani

Reviews of Pumulani

Excellent(92%) From 24 travellers
Excellent
15
Good
8
Average
1
Poor
0
Terrible
0
Below are independent comments from 24 of our travellers who have visited Pumulani, and have kindly agreed to share their thoughts.

They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
N & J Lancs from UK
Arrived on: 22-Jul-2019 Stayed for: 2 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Good
Good
Rooms:
Good
Good
Service:
Average
Average
Food:
Average
Average
Activities:
Average
Average
Facilities:
Average
Average

Pumulani review

Good for a post Safari rest

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AFRICA from UK
Arrived on: 14-Jul-2019 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Good
Good
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Good
Good
Facilities:
Good
Good

Tranquil Pumulani

Pumulani is a great place to end a Safari, very peaceful and fabulous views over the lake.
As lovely as the private villas are, we feel they are very overdue a bit of a facelift, the accommodation is looking tired, sliding doors were virtually impossible to open, bathroom door very difficult to close.

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Carol M from Illinois
Arrived on: 26-Nov-2018 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Pumulani -- The Next Best Thing to Paradise

While not your typical “safari camp,” Pumulani is the perfect place to end a safari experience. In fact, I came here after a month out in the bush and found the serenity I needed to reflect on all I had just seen and done, to restore my energies and to prepare for my long trip home. As I did so I was treated to breathtaking views of Lake Malawi from wall to wall windows throughout my villa, even those in the bathroom.

The villa was comprised of a long entryway leading to a kitchen area (complete with well-stocked fridge) and then to a huge and amply furnished living room. A comfortable writing desk was one of my favorite features in the bedroom, but the absolute best one was the air-conditioning provided there. (Late November can be very hot in Malawi, and the AC was a much appreciated surprise.) The bathroom had all the expected trimmings plus the lake views. And doors from both the living room and the bedroom opened onto enormous balconies.

Most of the time I stayed at Pumulani I was the only guest in residence. I could wander the property at leisure, swim in the two beautiful pools, descend the 140+ stairs leading to the beach and even have lunch there. All of the meals prepared at the lodge were exceptional, but they tasted even better at the beach.

With Ganizan and Black, both of whom are expert guides, I had the opportunity to explore the colorful shoreline by boat on four separate occasions, each time discovering something new and interesting about the lives of the fishermen who live and work in the area. Feeding and photographing the Fish Eagles close up further enhanced my Lake Malawi experience, as did a birding walk around the Pumulani grounds.

I was told that in the Chichewa language Pumulani means "rest well," and I can’t imagine a more appropriate name for this enchanting establishment.

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Mr B. from Blumenthal
Arrived on: 14-Nov-2018 Stayed for: 4 nights
Overall:
Average
Average
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Good
Good
Service:
Good
Good
Food:
Good
Good
Activities:
Average
Average
Facilities:
Good
Good

Pumulani review

For Honey Mooners it is ok.
The snorkling gear and the bikes were in very poor condition (already rated in the lodge). Top bikes and focus on mountain biking could improve the location.
Swimming in the lake was somewhat disappointing. I expected crystal clear water, but it was murky at the beach.
Manager made everything possible.
I think it is over the top.

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Mr & Mrs D from Oxon
Arrived on: 10-Oct-2018 Stayed for: 7 nights
Overall:
Good
Good
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Good
Good
Food:
Poor
Poor
Activities:
Good
Good
Facilities:
Good
Good

Pumulani review

Considering Pumalani is supposed to be the premier location in Malawi - and taking into account the problems in accessing supplies we were still disappointed in the standard of catering.

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Mr H from Isle of Man
Arrived on: 14-Sep-2017 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Good
Good
Location:
Good
Good
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Good
Good
Activities:
Good
Good
Facilities:
Good
Good

Relaxing Pumulani

The focus here is on lakeside activities. A short bird walk one morning was rewarding and we enjoyed looking at Saturn and Jupiter through the telescope.

Dinghy sailing and kayaking were fun and we especially enjoyed the evening cruises on the dhow for sundowners. There was no wind so we used the engine rather than sails but it was switched off as the sun set so we could enjoy the peace of the lake over a G&T, drifting quietly as we watched hippos and the local fishermen.

The rooms are set on a hillside and lunch is often served on the beach - which could be an issue for the less mobile - but a recently acquired buggy will help here.

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Ms S & Mr K from USA
Arrived on: 1-Jun-2017 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Fantastic rooms and food

Had a very relaxing stay which is what we were looking for at the end of our trip. Activities are very flexible and it was nice to sleep in. The food was the best of our trip and great variety-you had two choices for every meal. Only disappointed that we did not have fish during the 3 days.

Highlight was visiting Loyce's orphanage and meeting her 22 children. She also works at Pumulani.

The rooms were huge and the views spectacular. Highly recommend for an end of a trip stay.

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Mr & Mrs H from UK
Arrived on: 5-Oct-2016 Stayed for: 6 nights
Overall:
Good
Good
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Good
Good
Activities:
Good
Good
Facilities:
Good
Good

Beautiful location, very relaxing

In terms of somewhere to chill out after safari, Pumulani was perfect.

The room and service was excellent. We enjoyed a number of sundowner trips on the dhow, the snorkeling with the fish trip and the early morning walk through the bush and kayak back but generally laid on the beach relaxing. As it was quite late in the season the lake level was low which meant that the beach was quite muddy at the water line and swimming in the lake was not really an option. The pool is lovely but quite small so could be a little busy.

The warning about the number of steps was really important, not a problem for us, in fact quite useful exercise, but could be a problem for others.

Best not to rely on the internet access, it was down a lot of the time due to power cuts and when it was working was very slow. However that is a minor gripe.

We spent 7 nights there which was really a bit long, 4 would be ideal

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Mr & Mrs SA from Norfolk
Arrived on: 1-Oct-2016 Stayed for: 5 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Good
Good
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Good
Good
Activities:
Poor
Poor
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Excellent but not as advertised

Pumulani is a curious Lodge in design and what is on offer. In its day I am sure that the chalets were ground breaking and award winning however the dated design lacks practical functionality in many respects. The rooms are huge as are the beds but lack details such as bedside tables [ we had to use a chair] , hanging space [there was one unit on the wall] , places to put haversacks [I used a book table]. The bathroom was huge and totally mega.....twin shower.....twin basin...and bath. Well the bath was a very small and I could only just squat in it. The basins were set high and too far back on the shelf to allow personal washing. The ballroom door which opened inwards leading to the bedroom had no catch the bedroom side and was hung so that it was always open into the bathroom. The bedroom access from the vast lobby come sitting room was through an opening with no door. The chalet had one small air conditioning unit in the bedroom which might just have been sufficient for the bedroom but with all the open doors etc really could not cope and made little difference.

The brick built chalet was painted green unlike the main building which was cream. Our chalet walls became roasting hot during the day and the chalet was an oven which the single air conditioning unit had little effect upon. The main building walls were much cooler than ours. One could not leave any windows open since there were no grills/mesh/nets to keep the monkeys and insects out. There was little in roof overhang thus the sun poured into the rooms. One wall had windows pointing to the rising sun thus the chalets warmed quickly in the mornings. The expedient of adding shutters was an obvious addition the chalet needed to these windows. The balconies [two!] offered fantastic views and a nice 15 foot drop onto rocks below which the single piece of tree branch nailed to questionable uprights seemed little safety. The balconies were potential death traps and our chalet was not suitable for a "family" I guess. Things were different a few years ago.

What to do at Pumulani now that the lake has dropped is serious question. Swimming off the "beach" is a No No since the waters edge is thick mud into which one sinks to the knees. Worse still is the fact that the beach is very flat and one has to wade many meters out before one can then float through the weed. Not a pleasant experience. We did struggle out to the advertised swimming platform which was covered with bird droppings and unusable. There is a small sandy area 5 minutes walk from the beach where one can get into the warm lake water and swim among the weed which the lodge management seem to know little about. There was a much better beach 45 minutes walk or canoe paddle from the lodge where the swimming was quite good. Pity that the management had not thought to arrange free boats to this area since their beach was not for swimming. We took a ride to an island to snortle with the fishes which was good if expensive. I used the Lodge's sailing boats which were for the competent sailor I would suggest, and were in a bad condition and poorly maintained. We went for a scramble up the hill behind the Lodge. Two and a half hours later we considered the scramble was a bad description and should have been described as a "serious" walk for a rambler and impossible on a hot day. Our day was cloudy and low twenties centigrade. This brings up another issue with the Lodge.

The management seemed to know little of what was on offer for the visitors. They did not know about the beaches, we doubted that they had been on the walks, doubtful that they had used the sailboats and obviously had little idea about the chalets. I did suggest to the under manager that she should stay in a chalet to experience the pros and cons.

But before one thinks this is just a moan this lodge has mains electricity to each chalet [and backup generator] , air conditioning, kettle and fridge and air conditioning. Good food at the restaurant and a practical swimming pool. We had dinner on the beach one night. The service was second to none all our stay and the laundry service was free and same day returned.
The management admitted that there were things to be done like getting an engine for their second boat. The engine had been "bought" a year ago and delivery was the "problem". Malawi is very poor and life is very very Africa !
Pumulani is a great place to relax and unwind but hardly a lake beach holiday.

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Dr D from Salisbury
Arrived on: 15-Sep-2016 Stayed for: 2 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Perfect wind-down from bush safari

Pumulani was a perfect place to wind-down from the bush safari camps and the 05:15 wake up calls. The lodge has more of a hotel feel to it and is on multiple levels linked by stairs and walkways.

The beach is beautifully maintained and well equipped with a beach bar serving cocktails as the sun goes down over Lake Malawi. The rooms are huge and well appointed - more apartments than rooms, in fact.

The main lodge facilities at the top are very stylish and arty and again, staff and food were exemplary.

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