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“Amazing experience” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Pumba Private Game Reserve

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Pumba Private Game Reserve
5.0 of 5 Lodge   |   Highlands (just off N2) | (100 kms from Port Elizabeth), Grahamstown 6140, South Africa   |  
Hotel amenities
Certificate of Excellence
Lahaina, Hawaii
Level Contributor
10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Amazing experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 27, 2012

As soon as we entered the gates we saw all kinds of animals, zebra, impala, wildebeest, warthog and the female white lion and her cub. The cub was trying to catch a warthog but was unsuccessful. That next morning we actually got to see the female lion show her cub how its done. It was very exciting! The game drives are amazing. You get to be up close to all the animals. We did other safaris, including Kruger, but this place was very special. The staff was excellent. Very friendly and extremely attentive. Definitely a first-class, five star experience. The rooms and views were beautiful and breathtaking and the food was fantastic. This was by far our favorite stay!!

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Katiejoshep
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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602 reviews from our community

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Leeds, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 10, 2012 via mobile

We had 4 nights at the Water Lodge in June 2012. The whole experience was excellent from the moment we arrived. We arrived too late for the main drive that afternoon but they had someone waiting on stand by to take us out if we wanted to, we did and were pleased we had because we saw the male white lion. Over the course of our trip, we saw loads of wildlife and had some amazing experiences. We didn't see everything but the fun was in looking. The ranger made it very exciting and was very knowledgeable about all aspects of the reserve.

After getting back from the drives, there were always drinks waiting for us which were constantly refilled. It really was fully inclusive and the quality of the drinks on offer were good too. We were expecting cheap wines etc but they weren't at all. We really enjoyed sitting around the fire in the evenings talking to the other guests over drinks before and after dinner.

The food was delicious and some of the best we have ever eaten.

The service was excellent and nothing was too much trouble. On our last day, they arranged a private lunch for us on the boardwalk down by the lake. We weren't expecting it so it was a lovely surprise. That night after dinner, we got back to a candle lit room, with a bottle of fizz and a bath waiting for us. A lovely touch and made us feel very special.

I can't rate Pumba enough and we will definitely be returning when we're next in South Africa.

Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank Hannah W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
leeds
Level Contributor
20 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 6, 2012

We started our honeymoon with 3 nights at Pumba and it was my favourite part of our whole three week trip. We felt very looked after our whole stay, we never wanted for anything. The food is fantastic and there is plenty of it. The staff are friendly and attentive. The game drives are brilliant, you don't see everything every time, but for us the thrill of the chase added to the whole experience and after a couple of quieter drives we saw three cheetahs hunting wilderbeast, and it was just fantastic. We saw elephants, white lion, giraffe, white rhino, vervet monkeys, baboons, zebra, and hippos. This really is a 5 star experience, and we 100% recommend it.

Room Tip: There are two lodges, we stayed at the water lodge. They are very different feels. The bush lodge ha...
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank joperks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lincoln, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
29 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 6, 2012

We were located at the Water Lodge. If you have a chance, visit this place! We found it to be one of the best holiday locations for safari yet, the staff cannot do enough for you. I must say we were treated very well, with everything at hand day or night. The accommodation and views were breathtaking with the animals sometime at arms length was unreal. We did consider other safaris but looking through the books, website and viewing various clips on youtube we were very happy that we chose this location. Although we stayed for five nights, other guests only had two to three days and although they had an excellent time, I felt that I wanted a little longer and to be totally honest Five days was about the right time to see everything and have the time to relax and soak up the atmosphere. I cannot say enough about this place, it was just fantastic.

Room Tip: It doesn't matter! they are all good
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Jayteepee_1999
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 26, 2012 via mobile

We visited Pumba Game Lodge in April this year. We were blown away by the whole experience! From the stunning comfortable warm inviting accommodation to the friendly helpful staff to the passionate beyond the call of duty game ranger....it was an amazing once in a lifetime trip!! We took our 13 year old daughter and our 10 year old nephew we all loved everything!! I know this sounds too good to be true but on top of this we saw the game all day everyday! Herds of elephant, rhino,hippo every type of antelope etc etc we scurried past the most amazing animal life on our way to even more spectacular finds...white lioness and her cub making a kill !! And... The hot water bottles and the early morning coffee and rusks mid morning game drive and the sundowners and biltong on the evening game drives!! Do it people you won't regret it!!

Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
Helpful?
1 Thank Angela M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
london
Level Contributor
33 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 26, 2012

Much more then I expected. After each safari you arrive back with hot towels and hot choc in the morn and hot wine in the evening. Rooms where lovely with a coal burner if you go in the winter like us, even though the temp was in the 20's in the day it was lovely to have the fire going at night making our room cosy.
Food and spa is amazing and service is unbeatable. As for the safari twice a day we where very lucky, we saw wht lions, cheethas, zebras, elephants, rhinos etc. could want to see more. Our ranger freedom was very informative and made the rides enjoyable.
We love it so much we are planning our next trip.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank leigh30
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NYC
Level Contributor
55 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 10, 2012

Location: We were debating on going to Kruger National Park because it's said to offer the biggest & best safari experience, but since the eastern cape safaris were so much closer to Capetown and rated well (and malaria free!) we decided to go there. You have to fly into Port Elizabeth (30 mins from Capetown by plane) and then drive about 1.5 hrs from the airport to Pumba. Very easy to find!

Rooms: We stayed at the water lodge vs bush lodge. Our room looks just like the photos on the site. The beds were very comfortable. The bathroom was HUGE with separate tub & shower, there were always snacks in the room and amenities included binoculars, robes & slippers.
Pro: Water lodge rooms all overlook a watering hole and have beautiful verandas that offer great views and privacy...and an outdoor shower!
Con: And this was a BIG one for me. There were SO many little bugs in our room that came out at night. They were innocuous bugs, but they'd somehow get all over the bed, which as a city girl, totally freaked me out and kept me up all night. I later learned they reside in the thatch roofs and fall onto the bed. The bush lodge rooms have nets over the bed, which I think is key - especially if you're going during the summer season when there are more bugs out and about.

Safari: The safari was wonderful. Our guide was very knowledgeable and we got to see all of the big 5 except for the elusive leopard. It was so beautiful, it's hard to put into words. We stayed 3 nights and got 6 safari rides in total and I think it was the perfect amount. The grounds are large but not as large as Kruger so if we stayed longer, I think it would have gotten a bit redundant.

Food: AMAZING - and I know food! Every meal, we got to eat overlooking the watering hole. Breakfast menu was the same everyday, but really good. They make this great interpretation of eggs benedict. Lunch menu changed daily and you would get to sample everything! Dinner menu changed daily as well with seafood and game options. Excellent meat! Desserts were equally delightful. Unlimited alcohol, which is always a plus!

Service: Every staff person was incredibly helpful and nice. They really went out of their way to help you and make you feel comfortable. Even during my semi-embarrassing bug scare, they tried their best to help solve the situation.

Other: The property provided us with other great amenities and experiences. The water lodge had a small pool overlooking the watering hole, which was great. We got to practice archery and they take you on nature walks. One the of the most memorable evenings, they took us all down to the dock on the watering hole at night after dinner when the stars were out and shut all the lights off in the main cabins. Best star gazing I have and probably will ever see. We saw the MILKY WAY! Gorgeous!

Overall: Despite my war with bugs on this trip, I'd stay here again.. I would just stay at the Bush Lodge instead.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank NYCTraveller999
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Pumba Private Game Reserve

Address: Highlands (just off N2) | (100 kms from Port Elizabeth), Grahamstown 6140, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Eastern Cape > Grahamstown
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 20 Specialty Lodging in Grahamstown
Price Range (Based on Average Rates):
Hotel Class:5 star — Pumba Private Game Reserve 5*
Number of rooms: 23
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Awake to the sounds of the African bushveld as the sun makes its appearance on the horizon, bringing with it the prospect of another perfect day. Eco friendly Pumba, a proud member of the Green Leaf Conservation Initiative, is set in the malaria-free Eastern Cape and provides an intimate African safari experience never to be forgotten. The reserve is home to Africa's Big Five as well as rare white lion, hippo, hyena, cheetah, giraffes, various antelope and more than 300 bird species. Feel the heartbeat of nature as you explore the reserve in custom landrovers or on guided walking safaris. Water Lodge offers 12 waterfront chalets overlooking Lake Cariega while Bush Lodge is set on a floodplain with scenic mountain views, offering 11 luxury thatch and glass chalets. All Chalets open onto private game-viewing decks boasting plunge pools and outdoor showers. The indulgent bathrooms offer free-standing tubs and double basins, and each room is fitted with an earthenware fireplace. Whether dining indoors or under the starlit sky, meals at Pumba are simply sublime. Enjoy African fusion cuisine with an Eastern Cape flair, complemented by a superb selection of local wines from our Director's Cellar. Revitalise body and mind in the Soul Spa or enjoy a workout in the glass-enclosed gym at Bush Lodge. Other activities include bird watching, bass fishing, stargazing, archery as well as nearby horse riding and golf. An hour from Port Elizabeth and 15 minutes from Grahamstown. WiFi. TGCSA 5-star Lodge. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Pumba Private Game Reserve Hotel Port Elizabeth

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