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“enjoyable family game viewing experience” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Pondoro Game Lodge

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Pondoro Game Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“enjoyable family game viewing experience”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 February 2014

We stayed 3 nights in Pondoro, to celebrate family events. This small structure (8 rooms only) provide a very personalise and intimate service, deliver by well trained and friendly personnel.
8 hours of game drive per day (in 2 cessions of +/- 4h each), and the possibility of a bush walk if you did not get enough allow you to enjoy all the beauties of the african bush, including the legendary big 5. All this under the supervision of very helpful and knowledgeable ranger and spotter.
Rooms and amenities cleanliness, quality of the food (nothing to compare the usual "braii" provide in most of these structures, with a very good and fine cuisine served here), friendship and amiability of the people make you feeling that you are received in friends house and not in an hotel.
The rest of the family and myself loved and enjoyed it all, thanks to Lize and her staff that made this safari experience unforgettable.
Serge and Mimi

Room Tip: The room at the right hand side of the restaurant is the closest of the river and let you sleep with...
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  • Stayed January 2014, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Serge P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pondoro, Owner at Pondoro Game Lodge, responded to this review, 3 March 2014
Dear Serge and Mimi,

Thank you very much for taking the time to write a review.

It looks like you had a fabulous time and that everyone loved their stay at Pondoro. I am glad that we could contribute in helping you celebrate your family events.

Greetings from the bush,

Robbie and Pondoro family
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review

676 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    639
    26
    8
    3
    0
See reviews for
116
416
26
5
Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (160)
Date | Rating
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  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
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English first
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 February 2014

Lize and Robbie are terrific hosts and guides for an amazing safari adventure. I cannot say enough about how incredible to food was and how comfortable the rooms were. Robbie guided our group of 9, and we saw everything we could have hope to have seen and more. We felt very welcomed and very well taken care of. You won't be disappointed at Pondoro.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Kyle R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pondoro, Owner at Pondoro Game Lodge, responded to this review, 3 March 2014
Dear Kyle R,

Thank you very much for taking the time to write a review.

It has been an absolute pleasure to host you and your group at Pondoro. I had a lot of fun as had everybody else when hosting your group. It really invigorates all the staff when seeing how much guests are enjoying themselves.

Greetings from the bush,

Robbie and Pondoro family
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Alkmaar
Level Contributor
146 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 February 2014

we stayed two nights in this private lodge and enjoyed every minute of it. Three times a game drive a day, including a bush walk, complete menus with great tasting. Great animal spotting with master ranger Robbie. We loved and enjoyed it all. Thanks to all the lovely people who made our safari unfourgetable. We keep the memories and pictures for ever...

Room Tip: All the locations are great on the olifantriver...
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Kaaskop57
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pondoro, Owner at Pondoro Game Lodge, responded to this review, 3 March 2014
Dear Kaaskop57,

Thank you very much for taking the time to write a review.

It has been really enjoyable driving you around and I am glad to be able to contribute in you having a great time at Pondoro. Hope to hosting you again in the not too distant future.

Greetings from the bush,

Robbie and Pondoro family
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Stockholm, Sweden
Level Contributor
25 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 February 2014

Pondoro is a truly fanstastic lodge. Everythings is well cared for, presented and planned and the ambitions of the owners and their "Pondoro family" is to make your vacation as perfect as possible. You sleep in spacious, well designed and decorated cottages with your own terrace overlooking the river, the food matches any first class restaurant both in quality of cooking and presentation and they have a good and well assorted cellar of local wines. The game drives are special with few cars around and a lot of animals. You may not see all five at the first drive but if you stay for a couple of nights there is a good chance that you can tick them off. The guides and the rangers are well experienced and knows their way around the animals and the area. If the night is clear and you are lucky, you may get a special treat from Robbie telling you about the "African starry sky".

Again, we stayed here again for the third time and the lodge has developed a lot since we first came ten years ago but the special atmosphere and the friendliness is still there. Thank you Lize, Robbie and your Pondoro family for a truly fanstastic stay. I am sure we will come back.
Agneta& Christer with friends

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Agbeta R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pondoro, Owner at Pondoro Game Lodge, responded to this review, 3 March 2014
Dear Agneta, Christer and friends,

Thank you very much for taking the time to write a review.

It has been an honor to welcome you to Pondoro for the 3rd time and even more important to see that we managed to live up to your expectations. We will eagerly await your next visit.

Greetings from the bush,

Robbie and Pondoro family
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 January 2014

Pondoro Game Lodge was truly an amazing experience in every way. I was traveling with eight friends and we all stayed in the uniquely themed suites. Each suite had a private deck, hot tub and great view of the river. The meals prepared by Lize and staff were so delicious and worthy enough to rival a high-end dining experience . Robbie was our guide during the drives and his enthusiasm for tracking the animals was great to see. He truly loves his job and is good at it and it made for a very enjoyable experience.

Lize, Robbie and Pondoro Game Lodge staff ROCKED! I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a truly amazing experience.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Rudy G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pondoro, Owner at Pondoro Game Lodge, responded to this review, 31 January 2014
Dear Rudy G,

Thank you very much for taking the time to write a review.

I am elated to read how much you enjoyed your stay. It was a privilege to drive all of you around. A lot of fun actually!

Greetings from the bush,

Robbie and Pondoro family
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dallas, Texas
Level Contributor
70 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 January 2014

Pondoro was outstanding. The level of service and attention to detail is unmatched. Prior to arriving here for a couple days, I stayed at another Private Game Lodge in Sabi Sands. My first time being in South Africa, I though that lodge was great. But then I cam to Pondoro and I realized I just went to a whole different level of class. The rooms were very spacious. Very nice, very clean. The food was the best food I had in my entire 2 week tour around Africa. The service staff was extremely nice and accommodating. The safari drives were great and the tracker was awesome. When we were having trouble finding the animals in the jeep, we dropped him off and he went out on foot looking for the lions and cheetahs by himself. Then radioed back and told the driver where they were.

Balule reserve is beautiful. The only gripe that I had was that the safari drives were EXTREMELY bumpy. If you have bad back or neck problems, you may want to reconsider. There isn't anything Pondoro can do about that, it's the way the terrain is. But the it was significantly more bumpy than my game drives at other lodge.

If your considering Pondoro, stop considering and just book.

Room Tip: Get the suite it's AWESOME
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank WaldoWorldTravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pondoro, Owner at Pondoro Game Lodge, responded to this review, 31 January 2014
Dear rsingleton,

Thank you very much for taking the time to write a review.

Great to read that you enjoyed your stay at Pondoro so much and that you found the level of service and attention to detail as well as the food unmatched.

Greetings from the bush,

Robbie and Pondoro family
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Iasi, Romania
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 January 2014

We arrived at Pondoro Game Lodge without a clue about what it means a game drive and I only had pictures in my mind from TV shows. I must say now that everything was beyond our best hopes ; it was an intense experience in the wild and I will treasure it for as long as I live. Every member of the staff was very helpful and friendly. The attention to details at Pondoro is exceptional. I cannot imagine a more exquisite place for a luxury safari adventure! I recommend this place with all my heart!

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Dascalescu D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pondoro, Owner at Pondoro Game Lodge, responded to this review, 31 January 2014
Dear dan899,

Thank you very much for taking the time to write a review.

I am very glad to see that Pondoro could exceed your wildest expectations and that you recommend our hotel to everyone.

Greetings from the bush,

Robbie and Pondoro family
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Pondoro Game Lodge

Property: Pondoro Game Lodge
Address: Balule Private Nature Reserve, Kruger National Park 1380, South Africa
Phone Number:
Region: South Africa > Kruger National Park > Balule Nature Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 19 Speciality Lodging in Balule Nature Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:5 star — Pondoro Game Lodge 5*
Number of rooms: 8
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 
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Also Known As:
Pondoro Game Hotel Balule Private Game Reserve
Pondoro Game Lodge South Africa/Kruger National Park

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