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“The Best”
Review of Pondoro Game Lodge

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Pondoro Game Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Liverpool, England
Level Contributor
30 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 105 helpful votes
“The Best”
Reviewed 12 June 2009

I would just like to endorse all the comments made previously about Pondoro. This place is superb on every level and so are the staff who all contribute to make this such a memorable experience. I have stayed in three different private lodges in Sabi Sand and here and whilst all of them are excellent, this is the best!
PS. I have attached some photos from the game drives with Shaun/Samson/Eric

  • Stayed June 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank bluesy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
west yorkshire
1 review
Reviewed 12 April 2009

Truly great experience, from start to finish. Our ranger Shaun ,guide Samson ,hostess Rosanne were wonderfull.The highlight of our S. A. holiday. Our last night there was truly so special, it needs a review in its self .We were the only guests there but that only added to the unique time we had. The staff and location made the whole experience so memorable.

  • Stayed December 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank behan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
224 reviews
90 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 220 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 April 2009

What an impressive place. The lodge is nestled by a river with an extemely peacful feel. Great food and service and extraordinary game viewing. One of the best.

  • Stayed April 2009, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
1 Thank bruceSydney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Miami Beach
Level Contributor
72 reviews
48 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 March 2009

We picked Pondoro based on a recommendation and we were not sorry. The lodge is in a beautiful location - very appropriate for its location but you might not expect to find such comfort and "luxury" in the midst of the African bush. Service was excellent--we felt spoiled, they looked after our every need. Meals were plentiful and scrumptious. Gourmet meals. The price was right. They have a spa and exercise room which were unexpected pleasant surprises. The rooms are very tastefully decorated and spotless. The outside bathtub was such a treat! The views are wonderful, the atmosphere very serene. Staff all pleasant and the owner and manager ensure all goes well. The rangers/trackers that take you on safari are pleasant and knowledgeable and you feel very safe while having a great experience.

  • Stayed March 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank margaritab710
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Missunde
Level Contributor
11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 March 2009

The best value for your money ever, in any other lodge with similar quality you would at least pay double.
I stayed at Pondoro for one week and enjoyed each minute.My suite " Earth "was breath taking, realy huge,wonderfuly furnished, totaly private,floor to cieling windows giving view to a large terrasse overlooking the river. Fantastic outdoor shower though the indoor bathroom was spetacular.
Food, wine, setting and service were outstanding. The dining aerea, a large terrasse under big shady trees, overlooking the river,where you might see the hippos, gives you the most romantic place for your meals. But there is more :
one night my table was set directly at the river bank, candles the only illumination...unforgetable !!! Another night I had the pleasure to enjoy my dinner in the wine cellar, big wooden doors opened to the outside, very,very special !! So I can only recomment to stay a little longer to experience what Pondoro has to offer. Besides there is a lovly spa, a fittness center, a little curio shop and a beautiful big pool/aerea.
The game drives were fantastic, I saw everything I had hoped for, even a lioness with her cubs, three weeks old.
They realy do off road here and you will hardly ever meet another car.
I´m a well experienced traveler in five star lodges and Pondoro is outstanding in each and every aspect.

  • Stayed February 2009, travelled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Setha77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Auckland, NZ
Level Contributor
26 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 February 2009

My husband and I stayed at Pondoro for our first experience of African wildlife parks. In every way it exceeded our expectations - our room was HUGE and magnificent. We couldnt believe it when we walked into the tree suite and saw a beautiful bed with the romantic mosquito nets draped over it, the bath by the window and the seating area and decking looking out onto the river. But we didnt have long to drool as the team was waiting at the restaurant for us to join them for the evening safari. Off we went for four hours (which passes in a flash) hunting for wildlife - when you see your first zebra within a few metres, a giraffe munching on trees beside the vehicle, and the crazy warthogs running and jumping in circles around you , then you can understand what people have been raving about for years. And that is just the beginning. In 4 days we saw all of the big five (only a fleeting glimpse of a leopard but we were so excited about it). But the quest of the big five is really not what the Pondoro experience is about. There is just as much pleasure from seeing the birds and the small animals, the aforementioned warthogs going crazy because it had just rained and as we came around a bend there were hundreds of them running round and round in circles with a hop and a skip every few steps. We stopped in the dark one evening and then realised the loud noise was the elephant ripping off the branches of the bush right beside our van, We marvelled at the skill of the trackers who heard the lions were on the move and drove the vehicle to a spot to just sit and wait - sure enough within 5 minutes Big Boy the most important lion walked right up to the truck with his whole pride. It is eerie to see these majestic creatures within arm's length yet be totally ignored by them. Every day was a fabulous new experience with a morning and evening safari. It sounds a long time but we would have sat there all day long quite happily. The driver and guides were brilliant. Stopping on the rock for sundowners as we watched the African sun setting was magical. When we returned to the Lodge the wonderful staff were waiting with yet another gourmet meal.
We sat at dinner in the dark wondering with our fellow travellers 'what more could you want?" "Why do people pay enormous sums of money when you can stay at Pondoro for a very reasonable amount?" I guess they get expensive champagne all day long for free - but at Pondoro you get superb food, service, accommodation and amazing safaris with knowledgeable guides.
Do not hesitate to choose this place - you will love it.

  • Stayed March 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank tui52
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GJAY13
2 reviews
Reviewed 23 December 2008

Words don't come close to describing this place. myself and my fiance(more about that later) her sister and her partner went for 4 nights at the start of november and from the very start we were just overwhelmed with the hospitality, the service and the friendliness of the place. you are made to feel so welcome by every one. Robbie the owner is a gentle giant with such knowledge and respect of the animals around him its amazing. we were privileged to be brought out by him for the four days of our trip,where we came so close to lions ( especially big boy, robbies favourite lion) elephants, zebra, giraffe and so many others im still going through my photos.back to pondoro itself, the chalets are luxury, i've been to many nice places in the world and this is right up there! every night the beds are turned down and the weather reports and a little sweet are left on your pillow.the food is amazing and cooked with such care and attention to detail by liza the chief and hostess. One of the purposes of my trip was to get engaged to my long suffering girlfriend.it was meant to happen later on on the trip but pondoro is so romantic and magical i just knew it had to be there. So after getting down on bended knee on the balcony of one of the chalets, beening watched by a mean looking croc and two hippos in the river witch flow's by pondoro, robbie took us to a look out point in kruger where we watched the sun going down with a few glasses of champagne and afterwards liza had cooked a beautiful meal and served it to us in the wine cellar ( so romantic !!!!) All in all a perfect end to a perfect day! To sum things up, YOU HAVE TO GO TO PONDORO!!!!! it's the perfect size not over crowded and the attention to detail and the care your given is the best ever !!!!!!

  • Liked — Everything
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed November 2008, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank GJAY13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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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