Pamushana Lodge in the Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve...
Pamushana Lodge: Our full report
Pamushana Lodge is located within the private Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve in southeastern Zimbabwe, which shares its southern boundary with Gonarezhou National Park. No one from Expert Africa has stayed at this lodge before but we’ve visited and were impressed with what we found. Pamushana is widely regarded as one of, if not the most luxurious lodges in Zimbabwe.
Pamushana is owned by The Malilangwe Trust, a non-profit Zimbabwean organisation set up to conserve the wildlife and habitats of the region and develop the neighbouring communities. It’s notable for running some very impressive community and wildlife-support programmes in this area.
Paul Tudor-Jones, a Wall Street hedge-fund manager, who is also behind the camps on the Grumeti Reserve in the Serengeti, is a substantial contributor to the trust. (See also Sasakwa Lodge, Sabora Tented Camp and Faru Faru Lodge!) Pamushana is managed and marketed by the team behind the exclusive Singita Reserve in South Africa and it’s certainly one of the smartest lodges in Zimbabwe.
The reserve is home to a variety of wildlife, including rare and endangered species such as roan, sable antelope and black rhino. The landscape of the area is made up of mopane forests and baobab trees, with the Chiredzi River to the west and the Runde River to the southwest, near to Gonarezhou National Park.
Pamushana Lodge is built under a canopy of trees and surrounded by leafy gardens, allowing it to blend naturally into its surroundings. The lodge consists of six luxury suites and one villa which sleeps up to 10 people, all with views of Lake Malilangwe. The cosy and spacious suites all have en-suite bathrooms with panoramic views over the lake and indoor and outdoor showers. The rooms also have their own a private plunge pools and game viewing decks. Rooms are air-conditioned and equipped with bathrobes, slippers and hairdryers.
The villa offers panoramic views over the lake and Malilangwe Dam, and has its own kitchen, dining room, living room, nanny flat, private infinity plunge pool and a game viewing deck.
The communal area of Pamushana Lodge consists of an indoor dining room, a teak deck dining area, a bar, a library, an open-air lounge, a wine cellar, two heated pools, and a jacuzzi all overlooking Mililangwe Dam and the nearby sandstone hills. Meals are served either in the outdoor dining room, on the teak deck outside, or in the bush. The lodge is equipped with high speed wireless internet, satellite tv, fax machines, and telephones.
Pamushana has a bush spa and yoga room which offers a range of massages, as well as feet and hand treatments. The lodge also has two tennis courts and there is a golf course nearby.
There is a wide range of activities offered from Pamushana Lodge, including morning and afternoon-into-evening game drives by spotlight with an experienced guide as well as trips to see the local rock art sites, boat cruises, birdwatching and fishing trips for tigerfish, bass, bream and catfish.
Guests can participate in a variety of guided bush walks, including trips to see the Malilangwe sandstone features or along the riverine forests of the Chiredzi or Runde Rivers. Visitors can use the hides and waterholes that allow them to get even closer to the wildlife. Guests may spend the night in a private hide in the bush and can also visit the local community outreach programme and irrigation scheme.
Our viewPamushana sits high on a hill with great views overlooking the surrounding bush and the Malilangwe Dam. It’s a luxurious place with a wide range of activities and good access to Gonarezhou National Park as well as its own private concession. Although it’s one of the more upmarket safari options in Zimbabwe this region is still under-utilised by overseas tourists, meaning it feels very exclusive and quite remote. Those who do leave the beaten track to venture here will find a host of different ways in which to explore and learn about the local people, their culture and the wildlife they share this region with.
Ideal length of stay: We’d recommend a stay of around 3-4 nights at Pamushana. It’s off the beaten track and there is a lot to keep guests entertained while here.
Directions: Guests can either transfer by light aircraft from Harare or fly in direct to a nearby airstrip from Jo’burg.
Accessible by: Fly-and-Transfer
Food & drink
Usual board basis: Full Board
Food quality: No one from Expert Africa has stayed at Pamushana before however we do know its sister camps in Tanzania very well. If the food is of a similar quality here to Pamushana’s sister camps in East Africa then guests won’t be disappointed.
Dining style: Individual Tables
Dining locations: Indoor and Outdoor Dining
Cost of meal e.g. lunch: Included
Drinks included: House wines, beers, spirits, liqueurs and soft drinks, but not champagnes.
Attitude towards children: Pamushana Lodge only accepts children under the age of 6 if the camp is booked exclusively.
Property’s age restrictions: Children of all ages welcome.
Generally recommended for children: Pamushana is a camp with a mature feel to it and as such we wouldn’t recommend a stay here for families with children under 10.
Power supply: Generator
TV & radio: Satellite TV
Water supply: Borehole
Health & safety
Malarial protection recommended: Yes
Dangerous animals: High Risk
Laundry facilities: A full laundry service is included.