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
Thanks to Ellie at Expert Africa Head Office for all her help in organising my stay and travel in Malawi." See all these reviews: 4n in Malawi
One of the highlights was snorkelling in Lake Malawi (no bilharzia). The visibility is very clear and the cichlid fish are brilliantly colourful. The other outing we enjoyed, was visiting the orphanage in the local village. This is run by Loyce, a most remarkable woman who, in addition to her own 2 children and her job at Pumulani, has taken 20 orphaned children under her care. We gained much insight into the lives of rural Malawians, and felt very humbled after our visit. Robin Poe Safaris offer a lot of support to the local community, and this is a huge help for the villagers.
There is not a lot of wildlife, but the birding is excellent.
The food and wine are 5 star, and the rooms offer privacy and comfort." See all these reviews: 8n in Zambia; 5n in Malawi
"A fine place to wind down and have fun"
Apart from Saturday, we had the place almost to ourselves, the kayaks and motorboat as well as other facilities were readily available. Guy is a good host and chef, very attentive and helpful, the staff cheerful and always ready to fulfil our wishes.
We particularly enjoyed talking to Louise who runs a small souvenir shop and produces craft work together with orphans." See all these reviews: 12n in Zambia; 4n in Malawi
"Relaxing at Pumulani"
Staff are attentive, efficient and friendly. For us, the slight disappointment was the food which was not as good as on our last visit a year ago and not up to the standards we found at other locations on this trip. Hopefully, this was a temporary blip.
We enjoyed snorkelling, walking and kayaking." See all these reviews: 8n in Zambia; 3n in Malawi
"Great lake setting and activities"
The chalet itself was also extremely spacious and comfortable. The service was excellent and all our requests were promptly dealt with. The facilities were also first class and the dhow and trips on the lake were wonderful. We appreciated the chance to use the telescope with interesting information from Rob.
A very enjoyable experience." See all these reviews: 12n in Malawi
"Relaxing and active time at Pumulani"
Excellent host (Jake, who was temporary manager while Alex and Karien were on leave) who went to great lengths to make sure all our activities were well organised, i.e. snorkelling, dhow lake trips, walks, including village visit, and kayaking. All great fun and extremely informative, especially the village visit, where we also visited the village school. Guides and all staff were excellent, really welcoming and friendly. Overall, excellent level of service.
Only comment would be the lack of clothes hanging space in our chalet: there was only space for four hangers in total, which really wasn't enough for our clothes for our three different locations. The design of the hanging space could not allow for more hangers, a bit irritating. But a minor point overall." See all these reviews: 9n in Malawi; 4n in South Africa
There were some negatives. The wooden walkways that lead to the rooms and the beach were in an appalling state of repair, with loose boards and handrails, and many exposed nails. This included the decking around the pool - ok in daylight with care, but at night most of the walkway was not lit. A small torch was provided attached to the room key, but this wasn't really adequate given the state of the boards.
Our return flight to Lilongwe was a big disappointment. When we were advised that we would be joined by another couple and a large amount of luggage we were promised by Claire the manager that a bigger plane would be provided. Not so! The plane that arrived was the same Cherokee Six that had delivered us. At best this is a 4 plus 2 seater, including the pilot, which was why we were concerned over fitting in 5. It was impossible for my wife to move her legs at all during the fight, as the other couple were seated opposite her with their legs trapping hers.
A great hotel, good food and service and a fantastic location, which we did enjoy, but in the end we were not impressed with this part of our trip. On reflection we would have been more relaxed spending extra days at Tafika, in Zambia.." See all these reviews: 9n in Zambia; 4n in Malawi
"A great lodge with fabulous food"
The Relief Manager was weak. It is usually going to be a negative when the Full Time Manager isn't there." See all these reviews: 11n in Malawi
The casual nature of the beach facilities was fantastic and made such a change! We had a great few days here kayaking, cycling and walking. The efforts of the hotel to improve the lives of local people was appreciated, as was selling the beautiful products by Lois in the shop.
The food wasnt amazing but the location of the resort was phenomenal. Take me back!" See all these reviews: 8n in Zambia; 3n in Malawi
"Pumulani perfect for winding down"
We relaxed by the pool, on the beach, in the lodge and on our balcony, and enjoyed the delicious and varied food. A great strength is the variety of activities on offer. We very much enjoyed the village walk with Luckio and would highly recommend it, we felt welcome, that we were not interfering and in no way was the visit staged or artificial. Likewise, the nature walk with Glen and kayaking back, snorkelling with the cichlids and spotting the otters were highlights. The sunset outings on the beautiful Dhow are also highly to be recommended. Finally, the incredible stargazer telescope gave us wonderful views of Saturn.
During our trip in Malawi and Zambia some people we spoke to were concerned that visiting Lake Malawi was really only for serious watersport fans. So in case you are put off Pumulani because of this dont be, we are not divers or waterskiers, and as Expert Africa told us when we booked, there is so much more to do and see at Pumulani. Our only concern was that the lodge was very quiet when we were there, with only 2 villas occupied by guests and for a couple of days by an RPS film crew. This was by no means a problem for us, but we felt that the word needs to get out that both Pumulani and Lake Malawi are a wonderful destination and we cannot recommend it highly enough." See all these reviews: 10n in Zambia; 4n in Malawi
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