Arrive, Transfer To Mkulumadzi Lodge
You're met at Blantyre airport by a representative from Robin Pope Safaris who will drive you to Mkulumadzi Lodge. This takes about 2.5 hours and passes through some lovely scenery, your introduction to Malawi. The final part of the journey is a walk across the suspension bridge over the river - quite an impressive way to arrive! You'll be shown to your chalet. Depending on your arrival time you'll be served lunch or afternoon tea, later setting out on an initial game drive in Majete Wildlife Reserve. This evening dinner is served on the terrace, giving you the chance for some star gazing as you eat.
There's a choice of activities to give you a comprehensive safari experience. Game drives set out in the morning and late afternoon, though all-day drives with a picnic lunch are offered, too. You can also take a boat ride on the Shire River to spot hippo, crocodile, elephant, buffalo and many species of birds, while a guided walk is a great way to get a feel for the environment. Between activities you can rest at the lodge, swimming in the pool, reading and socialising.
Safari activities can be supplemented with a visit to neighbouring village to meet members of the community and find out about their culture and daily lives. If you're feeling energetic you can join a guide for the hike up Chimwala Hill, where your efforts are rewarded with superb views over the Great Rift Valley. After lunch spend some time in the viewing hide where you should get great photo opportunities, before setting off on the late afternoon game drive and the chance to see the Big Five.
After breakfast you'll be driven north to the Nankumba Peninsula on Lake Malawi. You'll be able to watch animals and birds and observe rural life during the 5 hour drive. Pumulani, your destination, is a 10-villa lodge on the hillside above the lake. This is a tranquil location ideal for relaxation, so Pumulani, which translates as 'rest well' in the local language, is well-named! A refreshing swim is just the ticket after your journey and you'll have a choice of lake or pool, later drying off in the sun. This evening you'll enjoy dinner overlooking the water.
At Lake Malawi
The blend of activity and relaxation is the essence of Pumulani and it's completely up to you how you spend each day. Lake Malawi offers great opportunities for snorkelling, kayaking, sailing and fishing, all included in your stay, plus motorised watersports and diving which are available at extra cost. The beach and pool deck are designed for relaxation, where you can sunbathe, doze and catch up with some reading, and your own private deck provides privacy.
At Lake Malawi
Today you might like to use one of the lodge's mountain bikes (free) to explore the local area. This is a great way to meet local people and reach viewpoints for some excellent photographs, as well as getting some beneficial exercise. Alternatively you can join a guide for a tour of a local village where you'll receive a warm welcome. After this why not spend a lazy afternoon by the pool and treat yourself to a chilled drink of fresh fruit juice or maybe something stronger!
At Lake Malawi
Another day by Lake Malawi. While here you should make time to go snorkelling or diving to view shoals of tropical fish in the gloriously clear lake waters. It's an experience that will live long in the memory. Back on dry land, follow a guide into the hills behind Pumulani for bird watching and fabulous views. If you wish you can return by a different route and conclude the tour with a gentle kayak trip on the lake back to the lodge. This evening treat yourself to a romantic sunset cruise on the lodge's private, hand-built dhow, returning just in time for dinner.
The week has passed! Enjoy breakfast on the terrace before the drive to Lilongwe airport where the holiday ends.
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