Pamushana, Lake Malilangwe
Pamushana, – ‘a place in the sun’ – sitting on a rocky promontory overlooking the beautiful Nyamasikana Gorge is one of the most quietly luxurious lodges in the world, nestling unobtrusively beneath the rock fig trees
During the search for the lodge site, the conservators of the Malilangwe Trust were drawn to this rocky promontory overlooking the Nyamasikana Gorge – just as the Changana and San Bushmen were drawn to it long ago when they named it Pamushana – ‘a place in the sun’. Designed to fit unobtrusively into its surroundings this lodge was one of the first in the ecology-sound, luxury lodge movement. Though one’s villa may offer the most modern comfort and beautiful decor, though the fabulous cuisine is prepared in a state-of-the-art kitchen and immaculately served – one of the finest wine lists in Southern Africa – all nestles unobtrusively beneath the trees, just like the homes of a small Changana village.
Built into the natural environment sandstone boulders protrude and are integral to the open-air bar and lounge, the swimming pool wraps itself around the hilltop and the leadwood trunks that support the dining room roof and rock fig trees that work their way through fissures in the stone bind the whole together. Massive, high ceilings, curvaceous earthy walls and myriad pillars, punctuating the open-plan rooms – the villas offer exquisite luxury and strike the perfect balance between nature and the luxurious comforts of modern living.
Set amidst 100,000 acres of pristine wilderness, there are no other tourists here and one experiences wild Africa in the most intimate, uncrowded way – at one’s own pace. Pamushana’s guides, generally acknowledged to be the elite in Africa, share a perpetual sense of wonder with their guests – whether pointing out treasures of ancient rock art, moving the canoe silently by shy hippos, tracking leopard or waiting for rhino – driving through the bush, chatting over tea or sundowners at the water-hole, they love to enthuse with friends.
At night, roll up the blinds to look out over the vast Lake Malilangwe dappled by moonlight. By day, time may be spent on one’s private observation deck (equipped with telescope), watching the elegant giraffe and wildebeest herds pass by before taking a dip in one’s private plunge pool – a little nest of indolent luxury between safaris into the Lowveld. As the sun sets over the lake, one may reflect on the day’s activities and come to the realisation that this is Africa as it should be – the big cats, elephant and giraffe, the antelope grazing and the black rhino once again at home on the savanna – large and small, existing as it should. Pamushana is a very special place.