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“Quality of food is far from what you could expect.”
Review of Pumulani

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Pumulani
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 20 May 2011

It is my third visit in this lodge. The first two stays were perfect and the food delicious. The chef has changed since April 2011 and the food is not what we could expect from a lodge who charges 500 US$ per night. The first two years, all meals were original with a specific touch of the chef (spices, presentation, way of cooking meats). I will now classify the cooking as the one we can find in an average restaurant in Lilongwe (not good standards) and a bad restaurant in the UK. Fortunately , the local staff was very helpful and available to us.

  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled with family
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3  Thank Jocelinlilongwe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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90 - 96 of 110 reviews

Reviewed 9 May 2011

This splendid lodge tumbles down a wooded hill to a sandy beach on the southern lakeshore, just inside Lake Malawi National Park. We were warmly welcomed in the main building, with its spectacular views, then taken to our frankly stunning villa room, with not one but two balconies.

Sunset dhow cruises on the lake set out every day, there are watersports, bird walks and the opportunity to visit the very friendly local village. They've also just installed a huge telescope, giving you the opportunity to do some stargazing. But the best thing to do to be honest is simply laze around enjoying the lodge.

Run by the very well regarded Robin Pope safaris, they have applied safari lodge management principles (activities included, friendly atmosphere, opportunity to dine with other guests) and put them into a beach resort - something we have been wishing someone would do for ages. If you love the safari experience, and are looking for the perfect end to your trip to Southern Africa, this lodge is pretty much perfect.

Room Tip: Room 5 is the one with the bath with the view
See more room tips
  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank MirandaMEJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 December 2010

We stayed at Pumulani for three nights last May and have been meaning to write a review ever since. We've been fortunate enough to stay at some great places in the past, but have seldom come across something that is quite as amazing as Pumulani. As mentioned by previous reviewers, the location is out-of-this-world, the villas are exquisite, the staff without exception are first class with a natural friendliness (much like almost everyone in Malawi), and every meal we had was delicious. You can take things at your own pace, either by just relaxing or taking advantage of the numerous activities on offer. And of course, there's the stunning lake - did we mention the location yet? We could have happily spent weeks there but, alas, had to move on. We are trying to think of an excuse to return.

  • Stayed: May 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank PaulAlexandra
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 November 2010

Incredible! - wonderfully relaxing, STUNNING location, rooms to die for, fantastic service, perfect choice of watersports.
Didn't stay at the end of a safari (visiting family instead) so found variety of wildlife extraordinary (baboons on balcony, hippos off the dhow...)
Bettina and Luke (hosts) made it feel like a weekend with friends.
This is a very very special place, and if you get the chance to stay here, do!

  • Stayed: November 2010, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank ShetlandCrescent
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 September 2010

Just beautiful, the perfect end to a hectic safari. Betty and Luke are just lovely, they made us feel so at home and are the perfect hosts. The setting is stunning overlooking the lake and the villas are huge and so tasteful and light and airy with huge surround views and decks. You can just relax or enjoy nature walks,( Luke is a fantastic guide with so much knowledge to share), trips on the Dhow to watch the beautiful sunset, snorkelling trips and so much more but everything is geared to what you want to do. You can have lunch on the terrace or by the beach, the food is delicious. It is a dream of a place with great birdlife and monkeys and baboons to entertain you!
We would love to go back.

  • Stayed: September 2010, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank lilacrose
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 September 2010

4 Nights at Pumulani. Wow. What a stay. Run superbly by Bettina and Luke, this property lets you do as little or as much as you want. Want to use the boat for a guided snorkling trip? Done. Want to ride a bike with a guide through the village? Done. Want to to go on a morning hike? Done. Want to do absolutely nothing but lay by the pool? Done. Georgeous villas. Great Food. A team that cares and loves their jobs in an area where friendly is an understatement of the people. Your hand will get tired from waving to all of the kids and locals who wave at you. Pumulani is special. Its a great part of a safari (the other Robin Pope camps properties are superb) or a great place just to undwind. I left last week and am already planning my return.

  • Stayed: September 2010, travelled solo
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3  Thank MONYLINE
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 September 2010

A group of us spent a long weekend at Pumulani, and each of us were amazed by every facet of the experience. The rooms, which were private villas, were clean and comfortable, and had every necessary convenience. The view was spectacular. The food was the best I've had in southern and eastern Africa. The hosts were cheerful and helpful, and immediately put our group at ease upon arrival and made us feel welcome and comfortable throughout our stay. The beach was quite nice. The late-afternoon dow boat ride was quite fun. I have nothing but great things to say about our stay, and offer accolades to the management of Pumulani. It was worth every penny.

  • Stayed: July 2010
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1  Thank jgf01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Pumulani

Address: Monkey Bay, Lake Malawi National Park 10101, Malawi
Region: Malawi > Lake Malawi National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Lake Malawi National Park
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Pumulani 4.5*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Situated on the west side of the Nankumba Peninsula on the Southern end of Lake Malawi you can find Pumulani subtly nestled in the lush hills amongst the trees and craggy outcrops. The ten villas with their grass roofs to help reflect the heat provide the ultimate in space, design, comfort and privacy. David Livingstone famously named Lake Malawi “The Lake Of Stars” and for good reason, during the day the light dances across the deep blue water and once the sun has set the stars twinkle brightly both in the sky but also on the lake as the fishermen light up their hurricane lamps for their night on the lake. Guests can relax on the white sandy beach or enjoy an elevated view of the lake from the stylish infinity pool. For those seeking some activity we offer waterskiing, sailing, kayaking, walks in the hills, sunset cruises on our handbuilt dhow and snorkling and diving. Under water activities never fail to amaze as the diversity of fishlife is very surprising and experts say that this lake is home to more native fish species than any other in the world. Pumulani offers the perfect mix for a memorable holiday. Enjoy being active or simply relax in the beautiful and tranquil scenery. Luxury accommodation, friendly personal service and stunning views over Lake Malawi combine to make Pumulani the perfect African beach lodge. Dutch architect G. Hooft Graafland designed each of the ten villas individually adapting them to their own unique location to ensure they blend harmoniously into their different surroundings. The gently curving lines of the very spacious villas reflect the patterns and movements of the lake along with the interior design, which is directly inspired from the surrounding nature. Each villa has a large bedroom, which opens out onto a private deck where early risers can enjoy the morning’s first rays. The bathrooms also offer splendid views and are well equipped with a bathtub, double shower and double sink, and the spacious lounge area offers further comfort for those wishing to relax in the room. The central area consists of a spacious open restaurant with an undercover area, bar and a cosy fire area. The infinity swimming pool is on a lower terraced deck. Three raised walkways with steps lead off from the central area to the villas and down to the beach. The name Pumulani means “rest well” in the local Chichewa language, and that’s exactly what we offer – the chance to unwind in a beautiful and tranquil setting. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Pumulani Hotel Lake Malawi National Park
Pumulani Malawi/Lake Malawi National Park

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