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“Perfect Getaway; could do better on food” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of White Elephant Safari Lodge

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White Elephant Safari Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Durban, South Africa
Level Contributor
27 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Perfect Getaway; could do better on food”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 April 2014

My better half suprised me with a beautiful weekend away at The White Elephant Safari Lodge in Pongola Game Reserve and I have to say that it was a wonderful experience.
Just 4 hours away from Durban on a busy road and one cant wait to get there!
Great reception by the Adrian the Camp Manager and his team, great tented rooms with an outdoor shower and a bath drawn by the time you arrive in the room.
The proximity of Lake Jozini and the glorious sunrises and sunsets are a testimony of the beauty of the game reserve.
We managed to track a black rhino at close proximity with the game ranger whose knowledge in the wildlife of the area was very impressive.
An early morning boat trip down at the lake should not be missed as the sight of hippos and crocs with the early morning sunrise is glorious.
The opportunity to watch animals at 'the hide' was great and the team did all they could to offer top notch service.
The only let down has got to be the food - breakfast preparation wasnt great and the dinner options quite unexciting coupled with a rather unfriendly chef unfortunately.
There is no lunch served but a high tea which is great
All in all, would love to go back again when the food gets better.

Room Tip: Stayin the tent furthest away from the swimming pool as closer to the pool, you can hear people talk...
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 3 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?
1 Thank Aritho
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
WhiteElephantPongola, Guest Relations Manager at White Elephant Safari Lodge, responded to this review, 6 March 2015
Dear White Elephant Friend

Thank you very much for the comments and review of your stay at White Elephant. We are always grateful for feedback and certainly work on any areas we fall short in to continuously better our experience. We hope to see you back at White Elephant in the near future.

Kind regards
White Elephant Team
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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102 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (16)
Date | Rating
  • Czech first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
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English first
Level Contributor
72 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 April 2014

Clean, comfortable accommodation with great food and facilities in beautiful part of Africa. The safaris with Les Brett were unforgettable and an altogether awesome experience. I would recommend this location as opposed to the like of Kruger National Park, it is smaller and more personal.

  • Stayed May 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Sapper501
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
WhiteElephantPongola, Guest Relations Manager at White Elephant Safari Lodge, responded to this review, 6 March 2015
Dear White Elephant Friend

Thank you very much for the comments and review of your stay at White Elephant. We are always grateful for feedback. We hope to see you back at White Elephant in the near future.

Kind regards
White Elephant Team
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
27 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 October 2013

We sailed our yacht to Africa from Canada and decided we deserved a bit of luxury along with a little more adventure... we found both at the White Elephant Safari Lodge.

Wildlife adventures were available twice a day in the form of Game Drives or Bush Walks, Boat Trip or spending time in the 'hide'. We did all of these activities numerous times in the four days we spent there. We saw many different species of wildlife including hippos,White Rhinos, ostriches, crocodiles, giraffes, zebras, warthogs, Black Backed Jackal, Leopard Tortoise etc. etc. but the highlight was when we came face to face with a Black Rhino Bull on one of our bush walks. Gulp! Amazing!

Now let's talk about the luxury... White Elephant Safari Lodge exemplifies the word "luxury".

An example of our experience was our first afternoon and evening there:

When we arrived we were greeted by staff who offered us a warm towel to wipe off the dust of travel and a refreshing cocktail. We were then shown to our luxury tent - complete with king size bed with canopy of netting; claw foot bath tub surrounded by lit candles and an outdoor shower (hot water of course). At 3pm we went to the lodge for high tea which included a selection of delicious goodies including sandwiches and scones with whipped cream and strawberry jam. Then it was time for the boat trip... after three hours of viewing wildlife in and around the waters of Lake Jozini we came back to be greeted again by staff with a cocktail and then we headed back to our tent where we found our bed turned down and the bath drawn. Oh my!

Rested and bathed we went back to the lodge at 7:30 for pre-dinner drinks and sat around the fire pit chatting with other guests and our host. Dinner was served at 8:00pm - very civilized. Every meal was amazing. The chef produced absolutely scrumptious meals including some local wildlife dishes at dinner. My favourite was the Wildebeest. Wines were paired with the food to make a delightful eating experience. We ate on the verandah overlooking the garden and infinity edge pool with a view of the reserve and down to the lake with the Lebombo Mountains in the distance.

To get a taste of what luxury and wildlife adventures can be make sure you stay for at least three days at this lovely place. It truly was an "Out of Africa" experience.

Room Tip: Each luxury tent is situated so that one feels total privacy - the only view is of the reserve and...
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  • Stayed October 2013, 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
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank cath_traveller1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
WhiteElephantPongola, Guest Relations Manager at White Elephant Safari Lodge, responded to this review, 10 December 2013
Thank you very much for your review of White Elephant. We value your opinion and strive to use the feedback given to us on TripAdvisor to make the White Elephant Experience even better in the future.

We hope to see you return to White Elephant Safari’s one day!

Warm Regards
The White Elephant Team
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hilton, South Africa
Level Contributor
20 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 September 2013

We stayed at the Bush Camp with a group of 35 people celebrating a 40th birthday party! It was an ideal venue and offered plenty to do for children as well as adults. It's best kept secret is the birding available on the lake, the best I have seen outside the Chobe River in Botswana. Accommodation is simple but adequate, it would be nice to have a tea-station in each room. The lake is a bit distant so a bit of planning is required, but no problem if you have your own vehicle.

Room Tip: Remember that the rooms have reed walls and no mosquito nets, so you will be warned to keep doors cl...
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  • Stayed September 2013, travelled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Hugh D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
WhiteElephantPongola, Guest Relations Manager at White Elephant Safari Lodge, responded to this review, 10 December 2013
Dear White Elephant Guest,

Thank you very much for your review of White Elephant. We value your opinion and strive to use the feedback given to us on TripAdvisor to make the White Elephant Experience even better in the future.

We hope to see you return to White Elephant Safari’s one day!

Warm Regards
The White Elephant Team
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vinkeveen
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 August 2013

We had a great time, friendly, good food, and good safari. There is respect for the wild animals and the animals are still really wild and not just for the foto shoot. We also liked the background explaining how the animals lived, eat and breed. We recommend this place for everyone who wants to see the real African bush and not the Big zoo as you will see it in the Kruger Park.
Be guided by real rangers in real life. "this is really out of this world"

  • Stayed July 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?
Thank Raymond d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
WhiteElephantPongola, Guest Relations Manager at White Elephant Safari Lodge, responded to this review, 10 December 2013
Thank you very much for your review of White Elephant. We value your opinion and strive to use the feedback given to us on TripAdvisor to make the White Elephant Experience even better in the future.

We hope to see you return to White Elephant Safari’s one day!

Warm Regards
The White Elephant Team
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Level Contributor
54 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 August 2013

We actually didnt' stay in the lodge but in the bushcamp which is a self catering camp with 8 cottages in the bush. I absolutely loved it here. We did all our own food and spend the day on safaris and a boat trip on Lake Jozini. Absolutely stunning area of South Africa. I will recommend it to all my clients but it is best to go with a group and take out the whole camp.

  • Stayed April 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?
Thank JessyLip
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
WhiteElephantPongola, Guest Relations Manager at White Elephant Safari Lodge, responded to this review, 10 December 2013
Thank you very much for your review of White Elephant. We value your opinion and strive to use the feedback given to us on TripAdvisor to make the White Elephant Experience even better in the future.

We hope to see you return to White Elephant Safari’s one day!

Warm Regards
The White Elephant Team
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Durban, South Africa
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 June 2013

Spent a romantic, relaxing weekand away from the city lights. Truly great all round experience, excellent service, wonderful food, good wine cellar and great animal veiwing with knowledgable rangers. Accommodation was also excellent as was the overall hospitality. Deifintely worth a visit.

  • Stayed April 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 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 MikevT874
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
WhiteElephantPongola, Guest Relations Manager at White Elephant Safari Lodge, responded to this review, 14 June 2013
Dear White Elephant Guest,

Thank you very much for your review of White Elephant. We value your opinion and strive to use the feedback given to us on TripAdvisor to make the White Elephant Experience even better in the future.

We hope to see you return to White Elephant Safari’s one day!

Warm Regards
The White Elephant Team
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 White Elephant Safari Lodge

Property: White Elephant Safari Lodge
Address: Pongola Game Reserve (South) on Lake Jozini (Pongolapoort Dam) | P. O. Box 792, Pongola 3170, South Africa
Region: South Africa > KwaZulu-Natal > Zululand > Pongola
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 11 Speciality Lodging in Pongola
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:5 star — White Elephant Safari Lodge 5*
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
White Elephant is the only lodge in South Africa to offer Kariba-like, water based safari activities (motorized and canoeing) as well as the traditional land based activities. This sets us apart from other safari destinations. We are passionate about conservation and offer a superb Black Rhino tracking experience (with an excellent chance of viewing Black Rhino on foot), as well as fascinating Elephant research activities. We also offer the conventional activities such as game drives, educational bush walks and incredible boat cruises on Lake Jozini. These varied activities as well as the chance of catching tiger fish and superb bird watching possibilities, make us a truly unique South African Safari experience. White Elephant is the perfect romantic retreat for newly weds and anniversary celebrations. White Elephant Safari Lodge (TGCSA 5 star) captures the history and romance of a bygone era. The deep verandah, sweeping views and tranquil setting provide the venue for a unique African experience. Eight luxurious safari tents, each with romantic ball and claw bath, outdoor canvas shower and private verandah provide an evocative safari in the Pongola Game Reserve Wilderness. ... more   less 
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