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Pumulani
Pumulani
Pumulani
Pumulani
Pumulani

Reviews of Pumulani

Wildlife sightings and reviews

24 independent comments and wildlife information from our travellers who have visited Pumulani and kindly agreed to share their thoughts. They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa

Showing 1-10 of 24
Duration
Arrival date
N & J Lancs
UK

"Pumulani review"

2 nights Arrived 22 Jul 2019
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location:
Good
Service:
Average
Activities:
Average
Rooms:
Good
Food:
Average
Facilities:
Average
AFRICA
UK

"Tranquil Pumulani"

3 nights Arrived 14 Jul 2019
"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.
" See all these reviews: 7n in Zambia; 3n in Malawi
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location:
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Rooms:
Good
Food:
Good
Facilities:
Good
Carol M
Illinois

"Pumulani -- The Next Best Thing to Paradise "

3 nights Arrived 26 Nov 2018
"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." See all these reviews: 11n in Zimbabwe; 10n in Zambia; 7n in Malawi
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location:
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Mr B.
Blumenthal

"Pumulani review"

4 nights Arrived 14 Nov 2018
"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.
" See all these reviews: 9n in Zambia; 4n in Malawi
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Average

Location:
Excellent
Service:
Good
Activities:
Average
Rooms:
Good
Food:
Good
Facilities:
Good
Mr & Mrs D
Oxon

"Pumulani review"

7 nights Arrived 10 Oct 2018
"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." See all these reviews: 11n in Zambia; 7n in Malawi
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Good

Location:
Excellent
Service:
Good
Activities:
Good
Rooms:
Excellent
Food:
Poor
Facilities:
Good
Mr H
Isle of Man

"Relaxing Pumulani"

3 nights Arrived 14 Sep 2017
"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." See all these reviews: 9n in Malawi; 4n in Zambia; 3n in Botswana; 1n in South Africa
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Good

Location:
Good
Service:
Excellent
Activities:
Good
Rooms:
Excellent
Food:
Good
Facilities:
Good
Ms S & Mr K
USA

"Fantastic rooms and food"

3 nights Arrived 1 Jun 2017
"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." See all these reviews: 6n in Malawi; 5n in Botswana; 5n in Zambia
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location:
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Mr & Mrs H
UK

"Beautiful location, very relaxing"

6 nights Arrived 5 Oct 2016
"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" See all these reviews: 6n in Zambia; 6n in Malawi
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Good

Location:
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Activities:
Good
Rooms:
Excellent
Food:
Good
Facilities:
Good
Mr & Mrs SA
Norfolk

"Excellent but not as advertised"

5 nights Arrived 1 Oct 2016
"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." See all these reviews: 13n in Malawi
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location:
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Activities:
Poor
Rooms:
Good
Food:
Good
Facilities:
Excellent
Dr D
Salisbury

"Perfect wind-down from bush safari"

2 nights Arrived 15 Sep 2016
"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." See all these reviews: 6n in Zambia; 5n in Malawi
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location:
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Showing 1-10 of 24
92%
24 reviews of Pumulani by travellers since August 2007
Overall rating by our travellers
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