Just arriving at Pondoro was already incredible: the standard chalets are so gorgeous it makes us wonder what the luxury chalets must be like. Beautifully decorated, very comfortable (big bed!) and a magnificent setting with view of the river.
But the experience was only starting: the meals, served in another amazing setting, were very tasty, and the rangers and trackers really delivered on game sightings during the game drives. Picking the best sighting from a caracal and her young drinking, a pride of 11 lions taking a walk and later resting in the grass, or a group of 13 elephant bulls walking past a few meters from the car is impossible. What makes these drives special is the fact that the rangers can take you very close to the game with their all-terrain vehicles (which are remarkably comfortable, by the way...).
I should also mention the friendly, personal service of the crew, making the experience a complete delight.
We were only there for 2 nights, but would have gladly added another week if schedule and budget had allowed for it. Pondoro just made it to the top of our places-to-return-to-someday list.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Set on the cool riverine banks of the Olifants River (largest in Kruger) in the 40 000 ha Big 5 Balule Private Game Reserve inside the greater Kruger National Park, Pondoro offers its visitors comfort, sophistication, elegance and a canvas on which to create a truly unforgettable African safari.In this small, very exclusive 16-bed lodge ( owner managed ) you will discover the only way to experience the African bush. In addition to luxurious accommodation and the caring attention from trained professionals, our visitors are lavished upon with international fare and humble African hospitality.Meals are an extraordinary culinary experience where Traditional African Cuisine fuse effortlessly with modern European trends.To compliment the food, select any of our fine wines from our extensive wine cellar. Vegetarians are specially catered for. All meals are served on a wooden deck high up in the tree canopy overlooking the Olifants River (weather permitting).Between game drives in open safari cruisers, nature walks and peaceful afternoon naps, enjoy a dip in the sparkling rock pool, a spot of sun bathing or browse through the library. The Pondoro bar is the ideal spot to quench your thirst and grab a snack. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Pondoro Game Hotel Balule Private Game Reserve
- Pondoro Game Lodge South Africa/Kruger National Park