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.

“Phantastic Experience” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Pondoro Game Lodge

Best prices for -
Enter dates for best prices
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 6 more sites!
Save
You added Pondoro Game Lodge to your Saves list
Pondoro Game Lodge
5.0 of 5 Lodge   |   Balule Private Nature Reserve, Kruger National Park 1380, South Africa   |  
  |  
Hotel website
  |  
  |  
Hotel amenities
Special Offer
Low season 10% off
Neuss
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Phantastic Experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 9, 2013

We stayed at Pondoro Game Lodge from 17th of February until 20th of February 2013. It was a very phantastic experience, Robbie and Andre, our rangers, showed us many animals. We had the luck to see two lions when they tried to catch a zebra and every day was a surprise. We saw black and white rhinos and many elephants. All of the big five except the leopard. But friends from Austria who stayed at Pondoro a little big longer then we send us one day later when we were on our way to Johannesburg a photo from the leopard the have seen It was an amazing time to see all these animal in the nature. Also the accommodation was excellent. A place like in paradise for relaxing. The food was also great. Suzi and the stuff were excellent. The last evening before we leave we had diner at the riverside with a great fire. It was totally romantic.

  • Stayed February 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pondoro, Owner at Pondoro Game Lodge, responded to this review, April 10, 2013
Dear Evelyn R,

Thank you very much for taking the time to write a review. I am so glad to see that you enjoyed your stay with us and hope to welcome you again.

Greetings from the bush,

Robbie and Pondoro family
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

439 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    416
    16
    5
    2
    0
See reviews for
75
259
21
4
Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    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 (105)
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
Washington DC, District of Columbia
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2013

My mom and I had a lovely stay at Pondoro. The room was beautiful, the food was delicious, and the game drives were a ton of fun (two per day). We saw everything except the leopards (which are hardest to spot) and really enjoyed each ride. But perhaps the most memorable part was the staff -- each and every person made our time there wonderful. Having done lots of research on various lodges before deciding to pick Pondoro, it's hard to imagine another lodge providing so much for the price. It's an awesome value, and I highly recommend it.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pondoro, Owner at Pondoro Game Lodge, responded to this review, March 7, 2013
Dear jmojacks

Thank you very much for taking the time to write a review. It is very good to see that you enjoyed your stay with us. Thank you for complimenting the staff as they are the heart of Pondoro and work very hard to ensure that each guest feel welcome and special.

Greetings from the bush,

Robbie and Pondoro family
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 21, 2013

We recently visited The Pondoro Game Lodge and had an awesome experience. We had the 'Water' suite, overlooking the river and it was amazing. Everything from the food, which was excellent. My favorite was our last dinner of Impala in phyllo parcels. To all the friendly service from everyone, from the restaurant staff to the game drivers, our favorite server was Grace, always smiling and easy to laugh.
The game drives were very rewarding too. We were within 15 feet of an adult male Leopard, totally jaw dropping, and a mother Lioness carrying her cub in her mouth. We saw loads of elephants and a couple huge Rhino! Along with countless other animals.
Overall our stay couldn't have been better. Thanks for such a memorable stay Robbie and Lize.

Room Tip: The 'Water' Suite was totally private, quiet and beautifully designed/decorated. And with to...
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2013, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pondoro, Owner at Pondoro Game Lodge, responded to this review, March 7, 2013
Dear Randy S

Thank you very much for taking the time to write a review. I am elated to see that you enjoyed your stay with us at Pondoro. Yes the leopard and mother lion carrying the cubs was great to see!

Greetings from the bush,

Robbie and Pondoro family
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 8, 2013

We stayed here last May and I am ashamed that I am only writing a review now. If I visited South Africa a hundred times for safari, I would stay at Pondoro every single time. The staff were excellent. The experience was memorable in every way, it is an absolute must.

We considered staying in a chalet but opted for the Earth Suite. It was so beautiful. It was authentic and comfortable and relaxing. The bed was heavenly and because it was quite cold while we were there, they put a hot water bottle into the bed every night during dinner and it made all the difference.

Our driver Mark and tracker, Erik were sensational. They were so skilled in finding the animals and it was cleared that they loved their job which made the experience all the more enjoyable. We saw four of the big five but Mark and Erik did there very best on our last day to try and find a leopard for us. unfortunately they didn’t but they couldn’t have tried harder.

During the evening drives, I became quite attached to the mini pizzas that you have when you stop off to stretch your legs. The animals we got to see were breathtaking and Pondoro did everything they could to ensure we saw as much as possible.

The owner creates the entire menu and the food is quite simply sensational. So delicious. There was nothing we didn’t enjoy. On the final night, all of the guests had a candlelit dinner together which was so wonderful. The staff, the guests, the accommodation, the drives couldn’t have been better.

When we left, we were humbled to be given a bottle of pinotage wine from the owner. It was the wine we had enjoyed every night and the personal touch just added to the whole experience.

I had a massage in the spa during our stay, which was on par with any day spa I have ever been to.

Overall, a truly enjoyable experience. The staff were very conscious of safety and ensuring that we were comfortable and enjoying ourselves at all times.

Room Tip: Earth Suite was fantastic.
See more room tips
  • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pondoro, Owner at Pondoro Game Lodge, responded to this review, March 7, 2013
Dear YasminMorrissey,

Thank you very much for taking the time to write a review. I am so glad to see that you enjoyed your stay with us and that you found everything from the safaris to the food to your liking.

Greetings from the bush,

Robbie and Pondoro family
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minneapolis, Minnesota
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 3, 2013

From the welcoming and friendly staff, to the impeccable accommodations and delicious food, this was an absolute 10 for us! The entire experience was well-thought out and delivered with excellence. Thanks to everyone at Pondoro for helping us kick of an amazing honeymoon in South Africa!

  • Stayed November 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pondoro, Owner at Pondoro Game Lodge, responded to this review, February 11, 2013
Dear Anna J

Thank you very much for taking the time to write a review. I am very glad that Pondoro helped in providing you with an incredible honeymoon.

Greetings from the bush,

Robbie and Pondoro family
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane, Australia
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 27, 2013

My partner and I had 4 nights at Pondoro Lodge and it was one of the highlights that we have ever experienced in our life. Robbie and Leesa were fabulous hosts and could not do enough for us. The food was sensational, the service was amazing and overall nothing could be faulted. We were there for New Years Eve and was one of the best New Years we have ever had. Leesa,Robbie and their staff went to extreme lengths to make sure our stay was something to be remembered. We were fortunate enough to see the BIG FIVE which was also an amazing highlight. Accomadation was well themed for the location.
Bob and Terri

Room Tip: Ask for a room close to reception.
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pondoro, Owner at Pondoro Game Lodge, responded to this review, February 11, 2013
Dear Bob and Terry

Thank you very much for taking the time to write a review. It was a pleasure hosting you at the lodge and New Years' Eve was fantastic. Good to see that you enjoyed your stay with us.

Greetings from the bush,

Robbie and Pondoro family
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Antonio, Texas, United States
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 12, 2013

Absolutely wonderful place. We went on our honeymoon and don't think there is a better place in the world! Highly recommended! The staff are very friendly, the trackers are excellent, the food is fantastic, and the lodging is wonderful.

  • Stayed December 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pondoro, Owner at Pondoro Game Lodge, responded to this review, February 1, 2013
Dear Austin S

Thank you very much for taking the time to write a review. I am very glad to see that you enjoyed your honeymoon with us and found everything from the food, lodging and safaris to be excellent.

Regards from the bush,

Robbie and Pondoro family
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Price Your Stay

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
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 Style:
Ranked #2 of 12 Specialty Lodging in Balule Private Game Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Pondoro Game Lodge 5*
Number of rooms: 8
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 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Hotels.com, Booking.com, T4B, Agoda, Priceline, Venere, Odigeo and Tingo 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

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.