At a Glance
Scenic sunset cruise on a traditional wooden dhow
Try your hand at scuba diving in the lake - glorious crystal clear waters and a profusion of brightly colored fish
Stunning views over Lake Malawi, "The Lake of Stars"
Each of Pumulani's villas is designed to be eco-friendly with grass roofs to reflect the heat of the sun
Relax by the stylish infinity pool
Pumulani's dining is spectacular - expect surf-fresh fish and delicious salads every day
Best time to Visit
Good time to visit
Average time to visit
With varied topography across Malawi, from the high mountains to the Shire Valley below 180m, Malawi has very varied weather. The Shire Valley is tropical with high temperatures and humidity. The rainy season is roughly from December to March, in which the wettest districts are the mountains in the south. It begins to be dry again throughout April and May, in which the days between May through to Novemeber are clear and warm, making it the best time to visit.
Pumulani is an exclusive beach lodge with just ten villas on the protected southern shores of Lake Malawi. It is a magical place to unwind after a wildlife safari and guests are able to do as much or as little as they like, in a beautifully relaxing area.
The name Pumulani means 'rest well' in the local Chichewa language, and that is exactly what is on offer – the chance to unwind in a beautiful and tranquil setting. Pumulani enjoys a spectacular setting on the unspoiled western shore of the Nankumba Peninsula. Surrounding it is Lake Malawi National Park, a World Heritage site, where hundreds of species of fish, including rare and colorful cichlids, swim in the clear blue water.
Nestled in lush hills above the still waters of Lake Malawi, just ten villas provide the ultimate in design and comfort. Their distinctive grass roofs reflect the heat of the African sun while the simple and elegant interiors ensure comfort and privacy.
Guests can relax on the sandy beach or by the stylish infinity pool. For those seeking activity, there is plenty to do including water-skiing, sailing, diving, wake-boarding, kayaking, snorkeling, fishing and bird-watching. At sunset enjoy a scenic cruise on the traditional wooden dhow, a 40ft sailing boat hand-built by local craftsmen. It’s the perfect way to experience the beauty of Lake Malawi, described by the explorer David Livingstone as The Lake of Stars.
At Pumulani you will be in good hands. The lodge is part of Robin Pope Safaris, a very established safari company operating in Zambia offering high standards and friendly service.
The accommodation is in ten beautifully designed villas including four twins, four doubles, one honeymoon chalet and one family room. Each has a large bedroom, a comfortable sitting area and a well equipped bathroom with bathtub, double shower and twin sinks. The bedrooms open out onto private decking where guests can enjoy the morning sun, while the lounge areas have sliding doors that give access to a private deck with stunning lake views.
Although there are no specific child care facilities, children are most welcome at the lodge and the clear, fresh water with no tides, waves or currents provides safe swimming for children. Food and meal times can easily be adjusted to suit younger guests. There is also one family room at Pumulani. It should be noted, however, that there is a minimum age of 7 years during high season.
Pumalani Lodge has a beautiful infinity swimming pool, a range of water-sports equipment, including fishing, sailing and Kayaking (included in the cost) diving, waterskiing, wake boarding and tube rides (are at an additional cost). There is a beautiful 12 meter wooden dhow available for cruises. There is also a telescope for star gazing.
At Pumulani, guests are provided with the very highest possible levels of service. Friendly, well-trained staff will attend to your every need.
The water of Lake Malawi is clean, clear and warm, with no currents and no salt content. This makes it wonderful for swimming, but also ideal for water-sports for example snorkeling, fishing, sailing and kayaking. Also on offer is waterskiing, wake boarding and fun tube rides. Pumlani has a wooden dhow, a traditional African sailing boat that is used for sunset cruises – a perfect way to end the day. Lake Malawi also provides great opportunities for bird watching.
Free Activities : Kayaking, snorkeling, birdwatching, fishing, sailing, sunset dhow cruise.
Paid Activities : Waterskiing, diving, wakeboarding, village walks.
He took us straight to the Lake Malawi National Park, where we spent 48 glorious hours at Pumulani Lodge, a Robin Pope Safaris enterprise, arriving just as the tangerine sun was plunging into the water.
There are 10 large cottages hidden from each other among the trees, all with fabulous views of the lake. We were woken at dawn by baboons scampering across our balcony - but this is the sort of place where you admonish yourself for not rising at dawn.
We drank gin around the bonfire, ate simple, beautifully produced food, joined honeymooners for a sunset sail on a rickety dhow, admired the darting kingfishers and generally got in touch with our inner (albeit it, spoiled) Robinson Crusoe. One morning, we walked to the nearest village and met a small army of spirited children and their hard-working mothers. They had no electricity, no furniture, no proper cooking equipment - but they had oodles of dignity and enough warmth to thaw the coolest of hearts.
Outside a tiny hut with a roof made of straw, we came across a small boy who proudly showed us his one plastic flip-flop He was so frightened of losing it that he had attached it to a piece of string. A week at Pumulani would have been heaven but we had ground to cover.
Majete & Lake Malawi
from $4700 pp 7 nights
- Top class guiding with some incredible wildlife make this a superb safari
- Take a scenic sunset cruise on a traditional wooden dhow
- The fresh water of Lake Malawi provides safe swimming for children
Classic Zambia Safari and Malawi
South Luangwa & Lake Malawi
from $4800 pp 7 nights
- Incredible game-viewing in the wonderful arena of South Luangwa National Park
- Stay in a beautifully designed lodge nestled in trees on the banks of the Luangwa River
- Relax on the shores of the crystal clear Lake Malawi or jump in for a swim!
Location & directions
Pumulani enjoys a spectacular setting on the unspoiled western shore of the Nankumba Peninsula on the southern shores of Lake Malawi.
How to get there
Pumulani can be reached by a ten hour international flight to Lilongwe Airport in Malawi. On arrival at Lilongwe’s Kamuzu Airport, Pumulani guests will be met by a member of staff, who will assist with immigration procedures and the payment of airport taxes. From there its a light aircraft to Monkey Bay, the closest airstrip to Pumulani. At Monkey Bay, Pumulani staff will be waiting to meet you and take you the remainder of the journey, a 20-minute drive through African bush and local villages.