In July 2014 My wife, mother and 2 kids (14 and 12) spent 4 nights at Pondoro in Balule Game reserve adjacent to Kruger National Park. I spent 2 years researching Game lodges and finally decided on Pondoro based on a number of factors including location, price, Trip advisor reviews and their ability to accommodate gluten free for my daughter who has celiac.
Upon arrival we were blown away by the level of service and attention to detail. We were warmly greeted by the staff and immediately felt like we were part of a family.
We booked the Rock and Tree Suites and they were the best rooms we have ever stayed in (the rooms were superior to hotels like Grand Wailea in Maui, Four Seasons LA, Waldorf Rome, Waldorf NYC, Ritz Carlton San Francisco). If you are looking for luxury I promise Pondoro will not disappoint.
As far as the food it was amazing. As I mentioned my daughter is gluten free and the effort they went to to make sure she was taken care and of was unsurpassed. Meals would compare to any of your favorite upscale restaurants.
On our trip we saw all of the big 5 multiple times. We saw lions and lion cubs 5 out of the 8 drives and were blown away by how close you can get to these animals in their natural habitat.
For our game drives we had Robbie and Sam and their knowledge and passion were inspiring.
Robbie and Lize were amazing hosts and what we thought was going to be a once in a lifetime trip will hopefully become more than that. It has been 4 weeks since our trip and we are already trying to find ways to get back to Pondoro. If you want luxury accommodations in a beautiful setting with amazing food and great service along with seeing amazing wildlife up close and personal in their natural habitat Pondoro is where you should stay. We feel so strongly about Pondoro that this is the first review I have ever written. Thank you Robbie and Lize for an amazing experience. We will see you again.
- 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