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“Wonderful stay at Pondoro!”
Review of Pondoro Game Lodge

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Pondoro Game Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 17 July 2014

Pondoro was a perfect stay from start to finish. We stayed 4 nights in Hardekool and then 1 night in Tree and loved both. The personnel and service were outstanding and the food was exquisite. We had read about the amazing attention to details and this proved to be true throughout our visit. We spent time at another lodge following Pondoro and while nice, it could not in any way compete with Pondoro. One thing we loved about Pondoro is that it is tastefully decorated - you feel you are in an exotic location but without the unnecessary over the top decorations. The views from the room's terraces and from the restaurant on the Olifant River are stunning and provide, when you are lucky, fantastic vistas from which you can watch animals (giraffe, elephants,...) After game drives, we always felt like we were coming home - completely comfortable and knowing that we would have a wonderful meal and peaceful sleep. You should not hesitate to book at this lodge as you will not be disappointed. One piece of advice - don't bug the drivers/guides to view specific animals - they are not Dr Doolittle - you will see what animals are out and the drivers/guides cannot control this!

Room Tip: Seems that all rooms are good
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  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank safarigirlNC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pondoro, Owner at Pondoro Game Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 25 July 2014

Dear safarigirlNC,

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

I am happy to see that you really enjoyed your stay with us and that you enjoyed staying in both the chalets and suites. I love your comment regarding Dr Doolittle. It is so true. I might just use it in the future!

Greetings from the bush,

Robbie and Pondoro family

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Reviewed 17 July 2014

We had a truly wonderful 4 night stay at Pondoro in July. The staff couldn't have been more attentive. The accommodation was luxurious. The food and service was world class. The wildlife was awesome. We saw more than we could have ever dreamed; The Big 5 plus giraffes, zebras, baboons, crocs and much, much more. The game drives were amazing and the trackers and guides did over and above to make sure we saw as much as possible and that it was as fun and enjoyable and informative as it could be. Lisa and Robbie and all their staff do a wonderful job and well deserve the awards they have received. Cannot recommend Pondoro more highly and would love to return for a longer stay. Thanks again for an awesome holiday guys! Gill and Bob

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Gillian C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pondoro, Owner at Pondoro Game Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 25 July 2014

Dear Gill and Bob,

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

Glad that we could provide you with a memorable stay at Pondoro and that you found the accommodation to be luxurious and the food and service world class. It is good to see that the guides and trackers made the safari drives fun, enjoyable and informative.

Greetings from the bush,

Robbie and Pondoro family

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Reviewed 15 July 2014

We stayed at th Pondoro Game Lodge the beginning of July 2014. What a fabulous lodge that will not disapoint in any way! Let's start with the staff.....WOW in every aspect. Clearly Robbie and Lize lead the Pondoro family of staff to make sure every guest has exactly what they need or want. Our servers, Linkie and Kgomotso were such wonderful young ladies with the most beautiful of smiles! No request at meal time was ever a trouble to them. And the food was always delicious. The presentation of the food could clearly be a photo cover on any gourmet magazine and seemed to make it that much more tasty. My only complaint was that I think I gained 5 pounds in the 3.5 days we stayed there....LOL. The room was devine! Of course it came with that breath taking view of the river that you set on your deck to view or even from your bed. Again we wanted for nothing. The game viewing was lead by our ranger, Rul with the tracker Andres. We were extremely happy when we saw two lioness with their nine baby cubs! In addtion we saw zebra, white rhino, elephant, giraffe and many antelope. I highly refer anyone to stay at this lodge if your plans include the private reserves west of Kruger! We loved our time there, THANKS to al,l at Pondoro Lodge! Vicki & Terri, USA

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with friends
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1  Thank SeeTheWorldMiami_FL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pondoro, Owner at Pondoro Game Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 25 July 2014

Dear Vicki and Terri,

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

It is as always good to know that someone has enjoyed their stay with us. I will show your review to Linkie and Kgomotso who will take great satisfaction and pride from this. Rul and Andries are stalwarts and finding animals are not only a priority but also gives them great pleasure. It really helps when you love what you are doing.

Greetings from the bush,

Robbie and Pondoro family

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Reviewed 5 July 2014

Wonderful ! Nice rooms, nice meals...
The games was so exciting ! We saw the big five and a lot of others very interessing things.You can nearly touch the animals.. you feel like a child meeting le Père Noël !
The walk with a ranger is very interessing also..
When you come back at night everybody is waiting for you with warm towels and a little glass of sherry ! So kind !
The rangers were fantastic ! Erik got incredibles eyes and he saw a cameleon just driving at night along the three he were on... so fantastic ! And Robbie knows everything about everything it's really a pleasure to collect all this informations...
Thanks for every things.. We'll come back and we'll stay longer !
Eric, Isa et Clarisse from France.

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with family
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1  Thank Isa74140
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pondoro, Owner at Pondoro Game Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 25 July 2014

Dear Eric, Isa and Clarisse,

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

It makes me feel so good to see how much you enjoyed your stay with us. It has been a pleasure to drive you around and glad that we saw so many animals. Everybody is looking forward to your next visit.

Greetings from the bush,

Robbie and Pondoro family

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Reviewed 3 July 2014

This was our first visit to southafrica and a very memorable trip. We stayed for to weeks ib SA but only 4 days at Pondoro Game lodge. We were to couples , The Safaries were very interesting , all of them. Morning and evening- though a bit exhausting. We saw all the five big. and a lott of smaller once often more fascinating.
If We come back we would stay a bit longer so we could spend some time at the lodge and enjoying its facilities. The hole place is romantic and adventures most of all FANTASTIC food!!
and very friendly employees and service minded.

Johan H. from Norway

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with friends
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Thank Rudolf-Bergen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pondoro, Owner at Pondoro Game Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 25 July 2014

Dear Johan H,

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

I am glad that we could provide you with a once in a lifetime experience and that you found the safaris to very interesting. Yes a lot of the time the smaller animals that do not fall into the Big 5 category are a lot more fascinating.

Greetings from the bush,

Robbie and Pondoro family

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Reviewed 21 June 2014

The lodge is small and very beautiful! Also, the spa was the best we experienced in South Africa!! The staff would greet us by name and arranged a special private dinner to celebrate our 10 year anniversary. Each meal was delicious...even the veggie options. The trackers do a great job of making sure you get to see as much as possible even if that means off roading for an hour.

The only reason I did not give 5 stars was I thought they over crowded the safari jeeps...we were there on a romantic getaway and did not always get to sit next to each other on 5 hr safaris. Also, the rooms are probably great in summer but are quite cold on winter nights and mornings.

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank gatorgirl515
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pondoro, Owner at Pondoro Game Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 25 June 2014

Dear gatorgirl515,

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

I am glad to see that you enjoyed your stay with us, especially the food and service.

I fully understand that you wanted to sit next to your partner during all the safari drives. There are however only 3 seats in a row and all safari vehicles are built the same due to various factors out of our control. Limiting guests to only 8 in a safari cruiser that can seat 10 can hardly be called overcrowding the vehicles. You would not be able to get a better deal at any 5 star lodge in the Kruger area at the prices that we charge. The only lodges where vehicle capacity might be limited to 6 would charge at least twice the rates of Pondoro. Please understand that it is just not financially viable to provide the service you request at the rates that we charge and we must take care to compare apples with apples.

Your other option would have been to book a private vehicle at only R4000 per day. So for as low as R4590 per person per night a private vehicle for two can be booked. You will not find a better rate at any 5 star lodge inclusive of a private vehicle.

Yes, off course our rooms are colder during winter. All our rooms have got an aircon with a heater setting as explained to guests during check-in. It would have been no trouble at all to management to help you with operating and with the settings on the aircon if only you had requested us to do so during your stay. An extra heater could also have been provided if made aware that you were cold.

I am sure that the hot waterbottle that we put in your bed during evening turndowns were much appreciated.

Greetings from the bush,

Robbie and Pondoro family

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Reviewed 17 June 2014

Pondoro is a piece of African bush magic...as this was part of our extended Honeymoon, I was looking forward to visiting the lodge. From the very second we arrived we were greeted by Lize, one of the owners and shown to the rooms, with a true South African welcome. Light lunch was served and our first game drive commenced. This was done exclusively by Robbie, the other owner and his tracker Andries. They were a very dedicated team and tried their best to show us the best of the bush and we enjoyed every moment. Dinner was served in a private cellar, which was a very romantic experience, but nothing compared to the turn down service of our second evening, which even included a personal message on the bed made out of petals and leaves. A personal highlight was sitting in the jacuzzi at sunset and experiencing two elephants walking by, a mere 10m from us.
Pondoro is about service, quality and true hospitality!!!
Thank you Lize, Robbie and the entire friendly team....we will be back!!!

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
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1  Thank Stevie J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pondoro, Owner at Pondoro Game Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 25 June 2014

Dear Stevie J,

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

It has been an absolute pleasure to host you during your honeymoon. Glad that we could make a once in a lifetime experience special. We will definitely be looking out for you for your return visit.

Greetings from the bush,

Robbie and Pondoro family

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Additional Information about 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 #2 of 21 Speciality Lodging in Balule Nature Reserve
Price Range: £550 - £925 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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