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“"Getting intimate with the Wild"” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Pondoro Game Lodge

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Pondoro Game Lodge
5.0 of 5 Lodge   |   Balule Private Nature Reserve, Kruger National Park 1380, South Africa   |  
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Lower Hutt, New Zealand
1 review
“"Getting intimate with the Wild"”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 6, 2013

When I booked Pondoro I was looking for something special as I was travelling by myself. I found the staff were very friendly and helpful. The food was excellent (thanks to Lize and her staff). The accommodation superb. I was fortunate to have Robbie as my guide for the three days I was there. His passion for photography and nature made the drives into the bush intimate and special. Getting intimate with "the wild" doesn't mean you will always get "the shot"...but you do get the memory and the story to tell. If you are looking for something "special" you can't go far wrong with Pondoro Game Lodge.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled solo
    • 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, December 16, 2013
Dear Richard A,

Thank you very much for taking the time to write a review.

Was great driving you around. Looks like you got some really good photos. Glad I could help you in getting some real close-ups. Hope to see you soon again.

Greetings from the bush,

Robbie and Pondoro family
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439 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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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)
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English first
Stuttgart, Germany
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 4, 2013

When we had passed the gate and had managed to leave the 16km of the access road behind, we were extremely surprised to find such an excellent place in the midst of nowhere (we thought). The lodging, the food, the friendliness of the people, the professional cruises through the wilderness with expert guides - everything was overwhelming. The only negative aspect was that our plans forced us to leave after two nights, what a pity! Thank you so much for the extraordinary experience, Madeleine. We will come back!
Kurt and Friends from Germany

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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, December 16, 2013
Dear Kurt K,

Thank you very much for taking the time to write a review.

I am elated that we could give you such a pleasant surprise and that you enjoyed every moment of your stay with us.

Greetings from the bush,

Robbie and Pondoro family
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Sao Paulo, SP
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 4, 2013

Pondoro is a wonderful lodge with lovely people, excellent food and a special environment.
I had good moments with the staff, met new friends, the spa is excellent for a massage after a safari, and the environment is so beautiful.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled solo
    • 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, December 16, 2013
Dear VaniaMSalgado,

Thank you very much for taking the time to write a review.

Great to see that you found Pondoro to be the highlight go your visit to South Africa. Hope to welcome you soon again.

Greetings from the bush,

Robbie and Pondoro family
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Teddington, United Kingdom
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 3, 2013

My husband and I had four nights at the Pondoro Game Lodge, it was amazing. The food is fantastic, twice we went on a picnic trip to a hide by a watering hole. Which was one of the most relaxing experiences of the holiday. All of the staff are amazing, headed up by Madeleine and Mark. Mark and Eric took us out on our drives, twice a day, we got to see the big 5 while we were there. The rooms are fantastic and very private, I would definitely recommend you stay here, if wanting the best Safari holiday.

  • Stayed December 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, December 16, 2013
Dear Sarah L,

Thank you very much for taking the time to write a review.

I am very glad to see how much you have enjoyed your stay at Pondoro. Look like you had some great safari drives and that the picnic at the hide was a highlight.

Greetings from the bush,

Robbie and Pondoro family
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Gmund am Tegernsee, Germany
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 3, 2013

We stayed for 3 nights at Pondoro and it was just too short.
I wish we had replaced Krüger by Pondoro from the very beginning on.

The team at Pondoro is highly professional, personal and very ambitious.
Everybody and everything is focussed on serving the guests in the best way.

As vegetarians we appreciated very much the flexibility and creativity to fulfill our needs.
I would like to go back today!
All our best wishes for you and your staff - we hope that Pondoro will remain as we have perceived it.

  • Stayed November 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, December 16, 2013
Dear Peter G,

Thank you very much for taking the time to write a review.

It really makes me joyful to see how much you enjoyed your stay with us and that we could fulfill your dietary requirements and wishes. I hope to welcome you soon again at Pondoro.

Greetings from the bush,

Robbie and Pondoro family
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Danville, California
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 3, 2013

Pondoro Game Lodge is a great place to stay and see the amazing wildlife in South Africa. The lodge is clean and private and the two-a-day safaris are simply incredible experiences. Dinners are elegantly served outdoors, under the stars and amidst lanterns and candles. The staff is friendly and helpful. If you're truly looking for a five-star safari experience, Pondoro Game Lodge is the place to go.

  • Stayed November 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
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, December 16, 2013
Dear Eric S,

Thank you very much for taking the time to write a review.

I am very grateful that you enjoyed your safari experience with us!

Greetings from the bush,

Robbie and Pondoro family
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, Washington
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 3, 2013

Pondoro is a small Game Lodge on the Limpopo river, a private game reserve, part of the greater Kruger National Park. Our private chalet was just perfect. Shower,bath, or hot tub after the game drives while watching the elephants splash in the river was a real treat. Everything is well done. The staff is welcoming, encouraging, and protective. The rangers really know how to show you the animals while not getting in their way. I have great close up pictures of lion, leopard, rino, elephant, buffalo, and many others. We used RinoAfrica Travel to make all the arrangements. The trip was everything we had hoped for and more.

Room Tip: We had the far left chalet. The elephant walked right by to go to the river.
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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, December 16, 2013
Dear MarkMV3238YD,

Thank you very much for taking the time to write a review.

Look like you had a fantastic time at Pondoro. Great photos and elephants splashing in the river while sitting in the Jacuzzi. What a treat!

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.
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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 
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Also Known As:
Pondoro Game Hotel Balule Private Game Reserve
Pondoro Game Lodge South Africa/Balule Private Game Reserve

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