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“Fab end to honeymoon!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of African Pride Pumba Private Game Reserve

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African Pride Pumba Private Game Reserve
5.0 of 5 Lodge   |   Highlands (just off N2) | (100 kms from Port Elizabeth), Port Elizabeth 6065, South Africa   |  
Hotel amenities
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Fab end to honeymoon!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2012 via mobile

Beautiful setting, fantastic atmosphere, fabulous rooms, friendly and helpful staff- who would go out of their way to help! Great food and ambience. Excellent rangers for safaris!? The strength of 'Pumba' is their attention to detail and their personal touch to each of their guests. Would highly recommend Pumba!!

  • Stayed August 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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270 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (81)
Date | Rating
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English first
Geneva, Switzerland
Top Contributor
60 reviews 60 reviews
28 hotel reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
53 helpful votes 53 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 1, 2012

Accommodation: Fantastic! Exceptional! Unbelievable! We had the family suite in the Water lodge, with two large bedrooms and a living room with a nice fire-place. Each bedroom has a private bathroom, but one of the two is just like in the dreams, with Jacuzzi and shower closed only by windows with a view on the bush! And there is also a huge terrace with a small private swimming pool over the water basin of the lodge. Towels are changes twice a day, and everything is all inclusive. When I say everything is not just meals, but also room minibar, laundry and anything else you can think of.
Food is exquisite and always more than enough. Maybe if I have to find one negative point in our stay is the fact that meals are served at a very slow pace that sometimes is not optimal, especially if you have young children.
Staff is very professional and they basically think about everything. You do not have time to need anything, they have already thought about it. Impressive! We never felt so “taken care of” before!

Game drives: Pumba is a medium-size reserve with about 7000 hectares. Rangers are very professional and prepared (and by the way, they also serve you a fantastic drink in the wild to have a short break!). As a first Safari experience Pumba is a very good choice. It’s clear that one miss a bit the thrill to drive 2 hours to find animals, but still it is very enjoyable. And for little extra money they allow you to have your own vehicle where you can bring your kids!

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 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
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Colchester
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 23, 2012

My wife, children ( aged 12,14 and 14) and I visited Pumba for a 3 day safari in August. Having researched extensively a game reserve suitable for children and first time safariers, Pumba seemed to fit the bill.

We were not disappointed, from the minute we arrived and were met by warm towels and a refreshing drink, to the minute we left at 6am when they arranged for the Kitchen staff to arrive especially early to prepare us breakfast, they could not have done anymore to make our first safari experience special.

Rooms

We had booked the Kudu suite as we wanted the children to be in the same room as us, and this provided a 2 bedroom suite. The room was huge, 2 very large bedrooms, with equally large ensuites, joined in the middle by a massive living area. All rooms opened onto the decking terrace that overlooked the lake, giving the most spectacular view. The deck had a plunge pool, although as we visited in winter, the water was very cold and we didn't make use of it. Each evening, wood and fire lighters were provided to get the open fire going in the room, lovely to return to a cosy warm room after dinner.

Food

Quite simply fantastic, some of the best food I have had anywhere. Beautifully presented at all meals, to be fair a limited choice, but we always found something to eat. I even tried the kudu steak one evening, which was fantastic. Some reports on here have said that service was sometimes slow, we certainly didn't experience this, all you need to appreciate is that everything is cooked fresh and to order, so it takes 20 Minutes or more sometimes. There is also always a children's menu available, that our children appreciated.

Safari's

You need to appreciate the difference between a private game reserve and a national park safari. In a private game reserve there are limited numbers of each animal, so do not expect in smaller reserves to see thousands of wilderbeast or zebra crossing the plains. However, what you can expect to see in a short space of time are some of the experiences of the wild that would take weeks or months to see in a national park. For example, On our last day, we were lucky enough to locate the reserves 3 cheeta's, and track the at close quarters, at times no more than a few feet away, whilst they hunted wilderbeast. on the occasion we experienced, we were amazed to see them corner a wilderbeast, only for the rest of the herd to return and chase he cheeta's off, quite extraordinary to see.

Service

Again, quite simply exceptional. Nothing was too much trouble, whether it was the housekeepers, the waiting and dining staff or the rangers. We had Justin as our ranger for the 3 days, and he was fantastic, extremely knowledgable, always willing to take us off road to get the best view of the animals, and extremely polite and friendly.

Would we return to Pumba? Probably not, although that is not any reflection on the reserve. We felt it was a fantastic introduction to safaris, and may well go to a bigger reserve or stay on Nnational park next time, although the chances of them living upto the exceptionally high standards set by Pumba are unlikely.

Thanks Pumba for a truly memorable trip.

The marshall/ Ketley family

Room Tip: They have 2 lodges here, the water lodge and the msenge lodge ( in the bush) we stayed at the water...
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bicester, England, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 21, 2012

My husband and I stayed at Pumba as part of our honeymoon, and we absolutely loved the experience! Even driving up to the lodge in our hire car was exciting as we paused to watch a herd of impala and zebra grazing. The welcome was great, as we were given welcome drinks, shown round the water lodge, taken to watch the hippos swimming in the lake, and then shown to our room. Our room (no 1) was huge and really lovely, with a fantastic view of the lake - the first thing we did each morning was look outside to see what the hippos were up to! We could also see right round the nearest end of the lake, which meant we got to watch herds of impala, warthogs and, one day, two elephants walking along really close to our room. The game drives were amazing, and our friendly, helpful and knowledgeable ranger Gladman really went the extra mile to make sure we had a great experience and saw what we wanted to. He even provided us with hot water bottles on particularly cold game drives! We saw lots of animals every day - elephants, rhinos, buffalo, giraffes, and the beautiful white lions, and got very close to them all in our open-sided Land Rover without worrying the animals at all. The food at the lodge was delicious and they were very accommodating in making me delicious vegetarian meals even when there weren't any on the menu that day. The whole experience was a truly fantastic way to end our honeymoon, and we can't wait to go back there one day!

Room Tip: Room 1 has fantastic a 180 degree view and is right opposite where the hippos sleep - highly recomme...
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  • Stayed August 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2012

We arrived for a 3 night stay in heavy rain with good signage on an unpaved road which our little hire car did fine with. When we got to the main gate we were greated with a smile and asked to park by the gate and be picked up by a ranger as our hire car would not make it through the mud on the road in, she was right! The land rovers used really did go through anything and needed to in all the amazing landscape on our safaris.

Our luggage was unloaded and taken to our room as we were welcomed with THE BEST hot chocolate ever followed by a walk around the main building. The main restaurant and lounge had open fires and made for a lovely atmosphere.

When shown to our room we could not believe we were on safari, we were at the water lodge, the room (number 6) was huge. We had a bath in the lounge, private pool, balcony, walk in shower, heated floors, free laundry service, free drinks, free welcome snacks... The list goes on.

Our ranger for safari drives was Freedom. He was amazing, very knowledgable and lots of fun. We had as much fun driving in the land rover on the variable terrain searching for animals as watching the great creatures, well almost. We saw 4 of the big 5 we could not find the leopards who are extremely hard to find as they hide in the valleys in the reserve. We did however see the white lions and 1 yr cub just after a kill which i cannot put into words. Freedom did everything he could to get us as close as possible, within a couple of metres or closer, of the animals but was carefull not to intrude into their space and backing off when required.

We did not spot the lions at all our first 3 rides but on returning from our 4th ride siting down for breakfast Freedom rushed over and apologised for interupting before we ordered but said the white lions had been spotted, we had been dying to see them, and asked if we would like to go back out unscheduled, hell yeah! That is what i call service. The rangers communicate through radios on different routes to help each other spot the animals to help everyone get the best experience.

I must not to forget to mention it was winter and when we return to are room for the evening the fire was set to be lit and under the covers we had our own individual hot water bottles heating our bed!

Thank everyone at Pumba for an amazing visit!!!

Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Port Elizabeth
Top Contributor
89 reviews 89 reviews
26 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 18, 2012

Went for 2 night stay with wife and 2 kids. The weather was terrible, rainy, cold and windy. However hospality of personnel made everyting excellent, good food and wine, warm and tasty bar experience and atmosfere of lounge made you feel at home. Best part was game ranger that went xtra mile to show us a leopard.

Room Tip: We were at Water Lodge, but I think you can expect more from Bush Lodge.
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lahaina, Hawaii
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about African Pride Pumba Private Game Reserve

Address: Highlands (just off N2) | (100 kms from Port Elizabeth), Port Elizabeth 6065, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Eastern Cape > Port Elizabeth
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 Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 52 Specialty lodging in Port Elizabeth
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — African Pride Pumba Private Game Reserve 5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Discover wildest Africa in true luxury at Pumba Private Game Reserve & Spa in the malaria free Eastern Cape, South Africa. Our exclusive reserve has achieved gold status for its environmental responsibility, through The Green Leaf Initiative, and a 5-star rating for its exquisite accommodation facilities. With the formalities out of the way, African Pride Pumba Private Game Reserve accommodation at one of two intimate and enchanting lodges. Each idyllic chalet is totally private and complete with their own pools framed by timber decks and outdoor showers... only the monkeys and the hippos will be watching you here. Every chalet is designed and decorated using individual and natural fabrics - picking up on different aspects of African nature and wild life, and immersing you into feeling at one with the unspoilt beauty which surrounds you. When dining you'll be treated to an array of gourmet safari cuisine, all prepared by our passionate Five Star chefs, who will cater to all your individual needs. We have additional pampering for the mind, body, and soul, at the Msenge Bush Lodge's Soul Spa - as well as our fully equipped gym surrounded by glass, and extending out beneath a cathedral of trees. Come face to face with Africa’s Big 5 at African Pride Pumba Private Game. Visitors have the chance to experience the wonders of Africa - from the graceful giraffe to the seldom seen leopard. Don’t miss the once in a lifetime opportunity to see the very rare White Lions - 45 species of mammals and other small game. For the bird lovers and twitches the nearly 317 species occurring in our geographical region will never fail to delight you. This is the heart and soul of wildest Africa... this is African Pride Pumba Private Game Reserve. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Pumba Private Game Reserve Hotel Port Elizabeth

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