Who They Are
Pumulani on Lake Malawi, a UNESCO site in Lake Malawi National Park, is a new lodge that belongs to Robin Pope Safaris. There are ten large villas nestled in the lush hills above the still waters of the lake, providing excellent design and comfort. Their distinctive grass roofs deflect the heat of the African sun while the simple and elegant interiors ensure comfort and privacy. Individually designed by a Dutch architect, the villas are modern and spacious, their clean lines blending harmoniously with the surrounding nature.
Many visitors to Lake Malawi are surprised by the quality of the water – clean, clear and warm, with no currents, no salt content, and more than 500 species of fish recorded, although there’s thought to be an equal number still unrecorded. Guests can snorkel, fish, sail, and kayak. Visits to the village and to local homes, accompanied by local guides, are included.
What They Are Doing
Nearby Pumulani, between Mbeya and Kasankha villages, RPS has built a school for locals, who used to have to walk over ten kilometers to school every day. The school, which will probably open in 2010, can seat up to 100 pupils. There are two large classrooms with blackboards, benches, and desks. It is located on the outskirts of the village next to the soccer fields which will provide the children with ample space for activities during playtime. A number of guests have left pens, pencils, and books for the school as well as very generous donations.
There is also a bursary scheme in place to support children who don’t have the financial means to continue on to secondary school. RPS works with Nankhwali Secondary School in the nearby village, Lisumbwi Secondary in Monkey Bay, and Zomba Catholic School near Blantyre.
In 2007 RPS started Reforest Nsefu, a project that is aimed partly at offsetting carbon emissions, partly at reforestation. It also encourages locals to plant and nurture trees for future use (for fruit, firewood, or to make poles and furniture). Some 1,000 trees are planted a year, and the project employs a local person to help the villagers with the sustenance of the trees.
In Their Own Words
“The hope is that the children will get involved with the project and this will offer them an opportunity to learn about trees and about conservation.”