Sailing on Lake Malawi

Activities at Pumulani

A stay at Pumulani can be as relaxed or as active as you wish. Our remote beach setting is ideal for those who simply want to soak up the sun and swim in the clear blue waters of the lake – but we also provide an exciting range of activities. All activities except motorised water sports are included in the daily rate.

We have our own wooden dhow, a traditional African sailing boat that we use for sunset cruises – a perfect way to end your day. Lake Malawi also boasts some of the most delightful snorkelling and diving in Africa, plus great opportunities for birdwatching.

Water Skiing at Pumulani Scuba diving in Lake Malawi Snorkling in Lake Malawi Mountain biking at Pumulani Kayaks at Pumulani

Water sports

Many visitors to Lake Malawi are surprised at the quality of the water – it is clean, clear and warm, with no currents and no salt content. This makes it wonderful for swimming, but also ideal for watersports.

At Pumulani, guests can enjoy snorkelling, fishing, sailing and kayaking – all included in the price of your stay. For a small extra charge we also offer waterskiing, wake boarding and fun tube rides.

Diving in Lake Malawi

Lake Malawi is the world’s most ecologically diverse lake. Its crystal clear waters are home to more than a thousand species of fish, including hundreds of species of colourful cichlids.

The southern part of the lake boasts some the best diving in Africa, with clouds of tropical fish swimming undisturbed amongst lush volcanic islands. Much of the action takes place in the calm shallows, making it excellent for snorkelling. The water is so clear that it is even possible to observe the marine life from aboard a boat or kayak.

Dhow cruises

What could be more inviting after a day spent basking in the African sun than a sunset cruise on a traditional wooden dhow? Our 40ft (12-metre) boat was hand built by Malawian craftsmen and is powered by a large triangular sail and a 40hp engine. Climb aboard and let our experienced local crewmen take you sailing into the sunset, all included in the price of your stay.


We have three 2 man sailboats available for guest use; this is an ideal way to get out onto the Lake and enjoy the freedom of sailing yourself. Guests wishing to make use of these dinghies must be experienced sailors. For those with little sailing experience a guide can be arranged.

Mountain Biking

There are Mountain Bikes for you to explore the surrounding areas. A suggested activity is to combine a bike ride with a kayak. A guide will escort you on bike trails through woodland and village areas, to finish on the Lake shore across the bay from Pumulani. Kayaks will be waiting for you to paddle back to Pumulani across Kasankha Bay.


Guided walks are offered as an option to discover the area surrounding the lodge. The walking trail offers some excellent birding as well as opportunities to spot Hyraxes, Samango Monkeys, Bushbuck and Klipspringer and Spot-Necked Otter whilst paddling back. Bird specials include Bohms Bee-Eater, narina trogon, livingstones Flycatcher, Red-Throated Twinspot, Verreaux’s Eagle and African Hawk-Eagle amongst others.

A popular combination is a walk along the trail heading through the hills, finishing at a secluded beach and kayaking back to Pumulani along the shoreline of the National Park.

Village walks

At Pumulani we are particularly proud to offer a unique activity for our guests – guided walks through some of the local villages. Malawians are renowned for being amongst the most friendly people in Africa and during your stay you will have the opportunity to meet them.

Accompanied by local guides, you will be welcomed into people’s homes to see how they work, eat and relax. You will also get an insight into how village life operates, as people explain their traditions and rituals. Village walks are also included in the price of your stay.

Birding in Malawi

Birdwatchers will be entranced by the wealth and variety of birdlife on Lake Malawi. As well as endemic species, it is also possible to see migrating species as they pass north and south. Expert guides can help you identify birds on the lake shore, in the gardens of the lodge and in the wooded hillsides. Birdwatching and guided nature walks are included in our rates.

Contact us

To find out more about your stay at Pumulani, please contact us .