The remote, 130,000-acre Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve in the lowveld of southeastern Zimbabwe has a long, rich history, having been home to generations of indigenous Shangaan people and the San before them, as well as the unique flora and fauna which sustained them. Today it is a protected wilderness area that is home to Singita Pamushana Lodge, which will reopen in mid-May after a total transformation inspired by Zimbabwe’s ancient tribal culture and the renewed optimism that pervades its people today.
Malilangwe, meaning “call of the leopard”, boasts an astonishing geological variability and a diversity of habitats that enables it to support an exceptionally rich assortment of wildlife species. Home to one of the highest concentrations of the endangered black rhino as well as fourteen species of eagle, the area is known for its rocky sandstone outcrops, cathedral-like mopane forests and majestic baobab trees. Malilangwe is also an area where you will find over 80 rock art sites that date back more than 2000 years. The abundance of wildlife, the pristine landscape and the cultural heritage of the local people gives guests much to explore, making Singita Pamushana Lodge ideal for family safaris and longer stays. In fact, guests staying for a week or more qualify for our “Stay for 7, Pay for 6” and “Stay for 10, Pay for 8” promotions which offer complimentary nights for those exploring the area on an extended stay.
Exploring the bush on a game drive or guided walk is the best way to connect with the natural beauty of this diverse and beautiful piece of Africa. Rare and unusual species abound and guests regularly spot wild dogs, cheetah, sable antelope and Lichtenstein’s hartebeest as well as the Big 5. The birdlife in the Reserve is also a huge highlight of any visit – more than 400 different species are found here, including 14 species of eagle. Whether traversing the sandstone hills and riverine forests in Singita’s state-of-the-art Land Cruisers or tracking animals on foot with your highly skilled guide, there is something new around every corner of this spectacular wilderness.
The Malilangwe Dam, whose shimmering expanse spreads out below the lodge, plays an important role not only in the lives of the local wildlife but in the safari experience for our guests. Sundowner cruises are a popular way to wind down at the end of the day, and offer a new perspective of the surrounding landscape from the water. During the summer months, elephant breeding herds regularly enjoy leisurely swims at the top end of the dam and noisy hippos are often seen enjoying a cooling dip as the sun sets. The dam is also home to several fish species, and a peaceful afternoon spent with a lure in the water and your knowledgeable guide and tracker for company is a memorable part of the visit to Singita Pamushana Lodge for many guests.
The thrill of seeing Africa’s most iconic wildlife up close is tempered by the leisurely pace of life in the Malilangwe Reserve. Guests can find balance in the lodge’s main infinity pool, with its breathtaking view of the dam below, or in the tranquility of the spa, which offers a range of unique and relaxing treatments for weary travellers. There is also a fully-equipped gym on site and yoga facilities and equipment are available upon request. The current transformation of the lodge, where the main decks and living spaces are being extended to maximise the connection to the natural beauty of the surrounding area, will offer guests an even more intimate experience with this magical place.
Honouring the culture of the local Shangaan people is an important part of Singita’s conservation work in Zimbabwe, which is undertaken in partnership with the non-profit Malilangwe Trust. The Kambako Living Museum takes visitors on a historic journey through time, elaborating on the survival secrets of the Shangaan and serving as an invaluable record of traditional culture in the area. Community visits also give guests an opportunity to witness firsthand the positive impact of the thriving development programmes in place and meet the fascinating people who live in the villages on the outskirts of the Reserve. The ancient rock art sites dotted around the property also have huge cultural significance and a visit to see them is a fascinating addition to any Singita Pamushana Lodge safari itinerary.
The beauty of Zimbabwe’s most popular attractions is well within reach of Malilangwe, which is conveniently positioned close to sights like the ancient city of Great Zimbabwe, which inspired the lodge’s design transformation, and the magnificent Victoria Falls. A direct chartered flight is available to take guests from Singita Pamushana Lodge to the Falls, getting you to this UNESCO World Heritage site in under two hours. Combining the tranquility of Malilangwe’s remote wilderness with the awe of seeing the Smoke That Thunders – the largest sheet of falling water in the world – is a great way to experience the wonder of this extraordinary country which has overcome so much to become one of Africa’s most interesting and exciting safari destinations.
The Villa at Singita Pamushana Lodge
Singita Pamushana Lodge exists as the ecotourism arm of the Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve, and, as such, is responsible for generating funds for its continued conservation. Through the Malilangwe Trust, Singita is involved in numerous projects designed to restore and sustain the historic biodiversity of the Reserve. Carefully managed environmental sustainability and community partnership initiatives complement these efforts, making a positive and meaningful contribution to the preservation of this beautiful place. Visit the Conservation section of our site to learn more »