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“Fantastic Lodge” 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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Hotel amenities
Special Offer
Low season 10% off
Dublin
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
“Fantastic Lodge”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 4, 2007

Pondoro is amazing. The lodge is beautiful, the food is INCREDIBLE (best I've ever had at a small accommodation like this) - absolutely restaurant quality. There is no sense that they are cooking for a large amount of people (and they are not - only 12 people can stay here at a time). Service is unbelievable, I had a problem with work and had to check email and Lize helped me resolve the problem.

The game drives are amazing. They grew on me more and more every day and by the time we left I was a wreck b/c I wanted to stay longer. Robbie (owner of lodge) was our ranger and his love for what he does really rubs off on the guests. We met great people as well - obviously Pondoro attracts a good crowd. The property is unique, the chalets are really classy, with personal touch decorating. The deck is beautiful, the view of the river (and occasional monkey in the trees) fabulous.

Isaac was our tracker and he was great. A little scary when he gets out of the jeep for 1/2 hour ! We had great sightings of elephants, lions, and buffalo - there was a better sense of adventure here than in the other lodge we stayed in where there were more jeeps rushing to each sighting.

I can't recommend this place enough. If you want a zoo experience and 'guaranteed' big five sightings, this is not for you. If you want relaxation, immersion in learning about the animals and appreciating nature and the bush, along with great food and a wine list that I couldn't possibly afford to really take advantage of, then this is the lodge for you.

  • Liked — personal touch
  • Disliked — that i couldn't stay longer
  • Stayed July 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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439 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
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
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Manchester
Top Contributor
121 reviews 121 reviews
44 hotel reviews
Reviews in 52 cities Reviews in 52 cities
76 helpful votes 76 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 30, 2006

I have stayed in some great places with outstanding service but Pondoro beats the lot. Robbie, Liza and thier staff were fantastic. The accommodation, games drives and food were truly exceptional. I can't think of anything I'd want to change. The cost compared to other luxury lodge sin nearby reserves alos makes this an outstanding place. If you are going to teh Kruger on safari then you won't be disappointed with Pondoro

  • Stayed April 2006, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 17, 2006

In September 2006 4 of us traveled to every part of South Africa and one part of that stay was at the Pondoro Game Lodge. A month later I'm still smiling about my stay there. The guides were knowledgable. Robbie the head guy who we spent most of our time with answered all of our questions ...and there were lots. He took plenty of time to help distill myth that we had about many of the animals. It only takes a couple of rides with Robbie to feel the passion that he has for the land and animals. The people who work at the lodge could not have been more pleasant. Whatever you needed it was there ---- and there were not many because they were head of any need imaginable. The decor was so tastefully done - in the stone and tree rooms - you would find an outdoor shower, a neat indoor shower, a tub that allowed you to look out from your room to the river. Hey and one word about the food -Magical! My taste buds are still dancing. Lize is just unbelivable when it comes to preparing meals. Signed - Still Smiling in Atlanta, Georgia

  • Liked — Exquisite Food, Excellent Personalized Service, Spectacular Surroundings, Unique Lodging
  • Disliked — Nothing - Loved Everything
  • Tips/Secrets — Stay in one of the three private luxury Chalets
  • Stayed September 2006, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 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.
Bryanston
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 24, 2006

24th August 2006
Alessandro Bottega
In the plethora of lodges, all expectations were exceeded. The attention to detail, accommodation, food and fantastic game drives were a pleasure. We took 500 photos, and 90 minutes of raw video footage. Having a ranger who is a wildlife photographer put us at a huge advantage as he had a perfect sense of position. If wildlife photography is your thing, this is the place to be. Three days was definitely too short. Thank you to our fantastic hosts and guides who really put their guests first. I will be returning sooner than later.

  • Liked — attention to detail, character
  • Disliked — n/a
  • Tips/Secrets — lots of film/memory sticks for photographs
  • Stayed July 2006, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 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.
A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 14, 2006

I went to Pondoro Game Lodge on my honeymoon and was amazed at how things can be so perfect away from civilisation. We were treated to something special every night of our stay and were lucky enough to view all animals of all shapes and sizes. We saw the lion heard on every single one of our game drives and got to see the cubs as well. Lize and Andries were amazing. Best of all was the food. This is five star quality meals that leaves you begging for more.

  • Stayed March 2006
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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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