We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
5.0 of 5 Lodge   |   Balule Private Nature Reserve, Kruger National Park 1380, South Africa
Hotel website
Hotel amenities
Special Offer
Low season up to 20% off
Save Saved
You added Pondoro Game Lodge to your Saves list
Pondoro Game Lodge
Best prices for your stay
Enter dates for best prices
Check In Check Out
Show Prices
You must enter dates to see the best prices.
98%
Certificate of Excellence 2014
A recent review
5 of 5 stars reviewed 3 weeks ago
John F Duluth, Georgia
  • Overview
  • Reviews (388)
  • Photos (487)
  • Amenities
  • Q&A
  • Room tips (90)
  • Location
  • More
Write a Review

388 people have reviewed this hotel

Traveler rating
    366
    15
    5
    2
    0
See reviews for
67
227
20
3
Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (90)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Duluth, Georgia
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago

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... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
Sydney, Australia
Top Contributor
72 reviews 72 reviews
33 hotel reviews
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Being that i work in the Tourism industry, it is very easy to fall into the trap of having huge expectations and being cynical when i travel on my own holidays. With that said, Pondoro is one of the rare instances where an operator hits the sweet spot in hospitality. Cost-effective, wonderfully warm yet efficient staff, well organised safaris and... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago

The thought and detail we encountered at Pondoro exceeded our wildest expectations. We stayed in the Tree Room. It was well appointed, VERY comfortable and spacious! The Tree Room, as with some other rooms, is outside the electrified fence providing guests much privacy the caveat being you must be escorted at night to your room as there may be wild... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Perth, Western Australia, Australia
Top Contributor
82 reviews 82 reviews
28 hotel reviews
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago

The owners & staff are very friendly. The driver & tracker we had really knew their stuff & went out of their way to follow recent tracks. We saw the Big 5 because of the way the driver & tracker did their thing. The suite we stayed in (Earth) was fantastic. The food was varied & delicious & Lise went... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
New York City, New York
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
11 hotel reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago

The entire experience was top notch, from the welcome refreshments to the heated pack on your seat every morning drive Pondoro takes care of every detail which made our experience something we truly enjoyed. We loved the game drives and walks and took advantage of all three opportunities each day of our visit. The trackers and guides were outstanding, very... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

We had a wonderful stay in this lodge. Having now visited 5 lodges in this price range, I think I can fairly compare. The food and service is the best I've experienced. The chalet rooms are small and in need of a bit of upkeep compared to other lodges I've stayed in. My only reason for not giving 5 stars... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 3
Pondoro, Owner at Pondoro Game Lodge, responded to this review

Dear rwjames1uk, Thank you for taking the time to write a review. I am glad to see that you had a wonderful stay at Pondoro and that the food and service is the best that you have experienced. Your recommendation regarding the chalets are noted. I am disappointed with the engagement and interaction from your guide and have addressed the... More

Atlanta, Georgia
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Our family stayed at Pondoro last week. After doing an extensive amount of research into various game lodges throughout Kruger, I settled on Pondoro based on the reasonable price and the exceptional reviews they had received on Trip Advisor. Pondoro absolutely did not disappoint and managed to exceed even the highest of expectations I had going in. I’ve never before... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Pondoro, Owner at Pondoro Game Lodge, responded to this review

Dear Anthony M and family, Thank you very much for taking the time to write a review. I am very happy to see that we could exceed your expectations and that you rate our level of service so high. It has been an absolute pleasure to drive all of you around during your stay and I loved the enthusiasm and... More

Johannesburg, South Africa
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Pondoro is one of the most amazing places we have ever stayed at. First and foremost, the owners and staff are unreal, always going out of their way to make you feel at home, just when you think they cannot out do themselves they surprise you. The food, OMG, every meal is outstanding! The chef is world class. The accomodation,... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Pondoro, Owner at Pondoro Game Lodge, responded to this review

Dear sparky1818, Thank you very much for taking the time to write a review. It is really heartwarming to see how much you enjoyed your stay with us. Glad to see how much you enjoyed staying in our chalets and that you loved having a bath under the African stars. Yes Rul and Andries really try their best to try... More

Santiago, Chile
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
18 hotel reviews
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 17, 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... More

Was this review helpful? Yes
Pondoro, Owner at Pondoro Game Lodge, responded to this review

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... More

Perth, Australia
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 17, 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... More

Was this review helpful? Yes
Pondoro, Owner at Pondoro Game Lodge, responded to this review

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... More

Owners: What's your side of the story?
If you own or manage Pondoro Game Lodge, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.
Manage your listing

Been to Pondoro Game Lodge? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Pondoro Game Lodge

Address: Balule Private Nature Reserve, Kruger National Park 1380, South Africa
Phone Number:
Location: South Africa > Kruger National Park > Balule Private Game Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Pondoro Game Lodge 5*
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Hotels.com, Booking.com, Tingo, Priceline, T4B and BookingOdigeoWL so you can book your Pondoro Game Lodge reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Pondoro Game Hotel Balule Private Game Reserve
Pondoro Game Lodge South Africa/Balule Private Game Reserve

487 photos of this hotel

Traveler photos: See what travelers like you saw

Viewed
All traveler photos (477)
Viewed
Business center/function rooms (1)
Viewed
View from room (12)
Viewed
Room/suite (67)
Viewed
Bathroom (16)
Viewed
Dining (35)
Viewed
Hotel & grounds (39)
Viewed
Family/play areas (6)
Viewed
Pool/beach area (6)
Viewed
Other (295)

Management photos: Courtesy of the property manager

Viewed
All management photos (11)
Viewed
Dining (1)
Viewed
Room/suite (7)
Viewed
Pool/beach area (1)
Viewed
Hotel & grounds (1)
Viewed
Other (1)

Amenities

Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Class
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 
Number of rooms
8

Questions & Answers

Questions? Get answers from Pondoro Game Lodge staff and past guests.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Can tickets for local attractions be purchased at the front desk?
  • Do you have to pay extra for a mini-fridge?
  • At what time does the pool open each day?

See which rooms travelers prefer