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“Better late than never” 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 8005, South Africa   |  
Hotel amenities
somerset
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Better late than never”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 29, 2013

I should have written this much soon as I stayed with my family in February we had 2 Msenge lodges no.1 & 2 and they were absolutely fabulous with our oversized bathroom plus outside shower we were spoilt for choice. The plunge pool on our patio was great and made even more special being able to watch the warthogs playing in the distance and our frequent monkey visitors who were very cheeky.
The food was plentiful and very good, service sometimes a little slow but everyone was so courteous and friendly it more than made up for it. The bar was great and we had some really nice nights in there with whatever ranger was on bar duty.
I have been on safari before in Kenya and although this time it was on a reserve it was still as good in a slightly different way, we found it a wonderful experience made even better if that was at all possible by our fantastic ranger Craig.
I was so impressed by the whole experience that I am hoping to book my daughter her family and friends in next year.
I would like to say a very big thank you to all the staff for making our stay so memorable.

  • Stayed February 2013, 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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284 reviews from our community

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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 (84)
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Oxford
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 23, 2013 via mobile

Wow, this is a special place, a great finish to our South African holiday. The rooms all have a view of the water and the hippo family. The food was very good and a wine excellent. The ranger was very knowledgeable on the game drives. We felt spoilt and very lucky to have found such a beautiful spot. We would love to return and you should visit if you can.

Stayed September 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rugby, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 4, 2013

Well, it's a big WOW, Pumba Water lodge! I knew we'd booked a little place of luxury during our South Africa visit, and it exceeded our expectations enormously. We stayed for 3 nights and had Jono as our ranger, who I have to say is amazing, thank you for making our experience wonderful! Those guys work so hard, and are so passionate about what they do. It also helped him being a photography expert, as my husband is also a keen photographer which led to some good banter while out in the jeep. The rangers work as a team while out on drives, which helps to get the most of the trips, and get the maximum amount of sightings.
Never being in a game reserve like this before, it was a shock on our first game drive when he stopped for a drink, and we all got out! A glass of wine out in the "bush" is a rare treat.
The food was amazing, as was the wine. The team were very accommodating of our slightly fussy eating 9 year old. Warming soup for lunch was fabulous, especially as it was quite cold for us out on the game drives (August)
The lounge/dining area is very cosy; this is especially so as it's a very small place, with only about 12 rooms. It meant that while you were there you got to know all of the other families staying too.
I would like to thank every member of staff for making our trip so memorable.

  • Stayed August 2013, 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.
York
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 12, 2013

Heaven. Cold on a morning and night this time of year but who cares you can wrap up and keep warm on the safaris everything fantastic and out of this world a fantastic 50th birthday gift The animals are all beautiful so so many to see fell in love with them all pumba was fantastic the food was fantastic the staff fantastic what more could you ask for?

Room Tip: Room 8 had good views of the lake you could see the hippos
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  • Stayed July 2013, 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.
MartinAlanC, Manager at African Pride Pumba Private Game Reserve, responded to this review, August 16, 2013
Dear Vanessa K

Thank you for your TripAdvisor review and congratulations on your 50th birthday.
It was our absolute pleasure to have you staying with us over this special time.
With all the wonderful game views a mug of hot chocolate and a warm fire … one soon forgets about the chill in the air.

We look forward to welcoming you back to Pumba in the future.

Kind Regards
Management Team
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 23, 2013

So, we arrived around 11 in the morning greeted personally by one of the reception staff Tula (lovely, and I forgot to give her her tip - sorry Tula, will make it up next time we visit) by a table set up with champagne glasses filled with delicious fruit juice........first class service from there on in. Like one of the reviews below, I won't say too much as the essence of Pumba, needs to be experienced first hand, not read about. There are so many special touches at Pumba I was a tad overwhelmed in the beginning - maybe not overwhelmed but more astounded at the beauty of the place. We stayed at the Water Lodge with hippos across the lake snorting and bathing daily, what an experience. The food was 5*+. The service 5*+, the wine 5*+ - actually the whole place is 5*+! Our ranger Freedom was just amazing - we had 8 drives with him and were very lucky to have the last few just me, my husband and Freedom us as the others in our group had left. We experienced angry elephants (scary), happy elephants, lion kill (this was upsetting to me initially but it's nature and what a thing to experience), flat tyre near the white lions (trust me, not as scary as the angry elephants), giraffe, zebra, deer, hippo, rhino, buffalo (HUGE) - and so much more. Freedom really was an incredible guide/ranger - his knowledge and respect for the animals was just fantastic and it was so amazing to watch him listening and watching for anything that may be happening. He is a real asset to Pumba.
I really thought the last leg of our honeymoon to Mauritius was going to be my favourite part as I am a bit of a beach bum but Pumba came out on top over any holiday/experience I have ever had. People told me I would have 'wedding blues' when we came home - the only blues I had were 'Pumba blues'......all I can say is GO and enjoy.......

  • Stayed June 2013, 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.
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2013 via mobile

I loved pumba lodge it was absolutely amazing! We were very lucky to see most of the animals and they were all superb I particularly enjoyed watching a lion kill which was a very rare yet thrilling experience.

The rooms were absolutely huge and had a lovely plunge pool outside which was very nice and refreshing when we were quite hot! We also had warthogs come in our garden which was a lovely suprise seeing as they were my favourite animal!

The food was excellent and it was a very comfortable restaurant and had a lovely feel about it.

As we stayed during Christmas me and my brother enjoyed a lovely present give to us by the hotel, the staff were very friendly. Especially our ranger which let me and my brother take turns in sitting in the front! We got a great view of the animals he also kept his patience despite the amount of the same questions asked by my brother! We also got to enjoy snacks and drinks given to us while we were having our safari.

Overall a lovely enjoyable experience :)

Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leeds, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
62 reviews 62 reviews
28 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2013

Overall, we loved Pumba. The setting was very impressive - The view from the main house is beautiful and you can also keep a eye out for the hippos (although in our experience these were pretty much impossible to find even with binoculars!)
The rooms are amazing - very spacious, comfortable and luxurious with a slightly African theme. I really enjoyed the over-the-top luxury of Pumba (4 sturdy walls plus air conditioning!). Huge glass sliding doors open onto a lovely private deck that overlooks the lake. I loved the outdoor shower and the small plunge pool was definetely a plus as it gets very hot in the middle of the day (the pool up at the main house is pretty small so we did not bother going up there to swim). Our bathroom had one wall made entirely of glass so you can enjoy the view at all times which was amazing.
The food throughout was also amazing and the best all inclusive we have ever experienced - Definitely 5* all round.
The dining area itself is wonderful as it is set up in the main house on a high platform overlooking the lake so the views are great and its very atmospheric at night as they light a big fire when the temperatures start to drop. All drinks are included and the wines were very drinkable, which was a pleasant surprise given that all inclusive places often serve up cheap nasty wine. This was certainly not the case here.
We stayed for 3 nights at the end of our Garden route tour and met some great people on our drive of which we are still in contact with now and have become good friends. Obviously, this is a private game reserve so its not quite the same as going on safari in the wild I guess. It was definitely a good place to go as it was our first time on safari and we enjoyed every second. I really enjoyed the whole experience and was impressed at how close we got to the lions, rhinos and elephants. The rangers were excellent and happy to answer any questions, which really enhanced the experience. For its size, the reserve is very well stocked with lots of impala / antelope / springbok / wildebeast and lions, giraffes, elephants, rhino etc etc but we never saw the leopards which was not for a want of trying! We did get very close to a number of them - we got within 3 feet of the male lions which was incredible! Pumba is an amazing place and would recommend to all....

Room Tip: All rooms are fantastic....
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  • Stayed January 2013, 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
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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 8005, 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 53 Specialty Lodging in Port Elizabeth
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — African Pride Pumba Private Game Reserve 5*
Number of rooms: 23
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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