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“Fantastic bush camp experience” 5 of 5 stars
Review of White Elephant Safari Lodge

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White Elephant Safari Lodge
5.0 of 5 Lodge   |   P. O. Box 792, Pongola 3170, South Africa   |  
Hotel amenities
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
“Fantastic bush camp experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 2, 2013

We actually didnt' stay in the lodge but in the bushcamp which is a self catering camp with 8 cottages in the bush. I absolutely loved it here. We did all our own food and spend the day on safaris and a boat trip on Lake Jozini. Absolutely stunning area of South Africa. I will recommend it to all my clients but it is best to go with a group and take out the whole camp.

  • Stayed April 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.
WhiteElephantPongola, Guest Relations Manager at White Elephant Safari Lodge, responded to this review, December 10, 2013
Thank you very much for your review of White Elephant. We value your opinion and strive to use the feedback given to us on TripAdvisor to make the White Elephant Experience even better in the future.

We hope to see you return to White Elephant Safari’s one day!

Warm Regards
The White Elephant Team
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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45 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    37
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    1
    0
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    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 (7)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Durban, South Africa
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 12, 2013

Spent a romantic, relaxing weekand away from the city lights. Truly great all round experience, excellent service, wonderful food, good wine cellar and great animal veiwing with knowledgable rangers. Accommodation was also excellent as was the overall hospitality. Deifintely worth a visit.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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.
WhiteElephantPongola, Guest Relations Manager at White Elephant Safari Lodge, responded to this review, June 14, 2013
Dear White Elephant Guest,

Thank you very much for your review of White Elephant. We value your opinion and strive to use the feedback given to us on TripAdvisor to make the White Elephant Experience even better in the future.

We hope to see you return to White Elephant Safari’s one day!

Warm Regards
The White Elephant Team
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cape Town
Top Contributor
96 reviews 96 reviews
34 hotel reviews
Reviews in 46 cities Reviews in 46 cities
96 helpful votes 96 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 5, 2013

We had for a long time been aware of White Elephant Lodge in Zululand on the Jozini Dam (also known as Lake Jozini) close to Pongola in Zululand. We finally got there and were accommodated in their Safari Tented Lodge. Well spaced units, and thus you are not on top of your neighbours as with so many who develop these properties by clustering them so close by you hear everything your neighbours do, here this is not the case! The magic is in the water experience, which incorporates not just the Lake but the Pongola River - superb and interesting birdlife and wildlife seen from the tranquil surrounds of the water, not as with so many other Southern & East Africa lakes, rivers and estuaries where you are surrounded by carft of every kind and crowds, this was a totally serene, private and magical experience in the sunny non humid months of the Kwa Zulu Natal Winter. Privately owned this lodge provides greats plains game and water plus the tented experience, and can be part of an itinerary that includes one of the many other Zululand options, and if time is available, the KZN Battlefields with their history and excellent accommodation and guides to the region. An easy self-drive from Johannesburg or Durban, with flight options into Richards Bay, and hopefully elsewhere soon, we enjoyed the hospitality food, history and sheer relaxation of it all. A cottage which we did not visit looks like a charming self-catering option, and there is a rustic self-catering Bush Camp too, but the Safari lodge with its glorious pools, immaculate cycad filled gardens and birds was our preferred option.

Room Tip: We had Tented Unit no. 4, private and secluded, loved the outdoor shower and comfy beds with good li...
See more room tips
  • 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WhiteElephantPongola, Guest Relations Manager at White Elephant Safari Lodge, responded to this review, June 14, 2013
Dear White Elephant Guest,

Thank you very much for your review of White Elephant. We value your opinion and strive to use the feedback given to us on TripAdvisor to make the White Elephant Experience even better in the future.

We hope to see you return to White Elephant Safari’s one day!

Warm Regards
The White Elephant Team
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stuttgart, Germany
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 28, 2013

We really enjoyed our stay at the White Elephant Lodge. Very nice team, great guide and delicious food and wine. We can only recommend this Lodge as especially the accommodation was such a great experience. We will definitly come back!!

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
WhiteElephantPongola, Guest Relations Manager at White Elephant Safari Lodge, responded to this review, December 10, 2013
Thank you very much for your review of White Elephant. We value your opinion and strive to use the feedback given to us on TripAdvisor to make the White Elephant Experience even better in the future.

We hope to see you return to White Elephant Safari’s one day!

Warm Regards
The White Elephant Team
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mtunzini
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 25, 2013

We went up to White Elephant for a weekend break - what a fantastic place. They offer many different activities at the lodge including game drives, bush walks, boat cruises on Lake Jozini (a great experience) and canoeing (also on lake jozini).

Elephant sightings were good and we also had the opportunity to meet their full time researcher who's doing interesting research on the elephants. If you go to White Elephant take the opportunity to speak to the guides and researcher about the work they doing with the elephants and their Space for Elephants foundation.

General game sightings were also good. We enjoyed lovely sightings of Elephant, Giraffe, Zebra, Buffalo and more. Birding was also very good - if you enjoy birding then you must spend some time at the lodges small bird hide.

The reserve has a fascinating history being located in one of South Africa's oldest game reserves. The original farm has been restored into a beautiful country style lodge and the individual rooms are stunning and private.

If you planning a KwaZulu-Natal vacation White Elephant is worth at least 2 nights stay.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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.
WhiteElephantPongola, Guest Relations Manager at White Elephant Safari Lodge, responded to this review, June 14, 2013
Dear White Elephant Guest,

Thank you very much for your review of White Elephant. We value your opinion and strive to use the feedback given to us on TripAdvisor to make the White Elephant Experience even better in the future.

We hope to see you return to White Elephant Safari’s one day!

Warm Regards
The White Elephant Team
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Eindhoven, The Netherlands
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 16, 2012

An unforgetable stay at a fantastic place with a very high quality of the accomodation, the service and treatment! We stayed there for 2 days which is to short and we certainly will go back. We have informed all of our best friends and family about The White Elephant Lodge and will never forget it!

  • Stayed October 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WhiteElephantPongola, Guest Relations Manager at White Elephant Safari Lodge, responded to this review, December 10, 2013
Dear Valued White Elephant Guest,

We are delighted that you enjoyed your time at White Elephant Safaris so much and thank you for the valuable feedback. We hope to see you again in the near future!

Regards
The White Elephant Family
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 20, 2012

Just spent the weekend with clients at White Elephant Bush Camp for a bit of tigerfishing. The Bush Camp is not to be confused with the Lodge. This was my 4th visit and the quality of the accommodation remains remarkable. Excellent facilities with a fully equipped kitchen, dining area, lounge with TV, plunge pool, fire place and braai (bbq). The chalets/rooms were spotless, pleasantly decorated and all the facilities worked properly. Comfortable beds and linen.
It is an ideal place to go with a group of friends or clients (if you're prepared to do the cooking). The cleaning staff did a great job of quietly sorting out the kitchen and mess from previous night's session of watching the bush tv (fire). The guides were pleasant and eager to help.
Unfortunately the weather did us no favours so the fishing was a disaster due to high winds and a cold front. But we had a great time nevertheless.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WhiteElephantPongola, Guest Relations Manager at White Elephant Safari Lodge, responded to this review, June 14, 2013
Dear White Elephant Guest,

Thank you very much for your review of White Elephant. We value your opinion and strive to use the feedback given to us on TripAdvisor to make the White Elephant Experience even better in the future.

We hope to see you return to White Elephant Safari's one day!


Warm Regards
The White Elephant Team
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 White Elephant Safari Lodge

Address: P. O. Box 792, Pongola 3170, South Africa
Location: South Africa > KwaZulu-Natal > Zululand > Pongola
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 8 Specialty Lodging in Pongola
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — White Elephant Safari Lodge 5*
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
White Elephant is the only lodge in South Africa to offer Kariba-like, water based safari activities (motorized and canoeing) as well as the traditional land based activities. This sets us apart from other safari destinations. We are passionate about conservation and offer a superb Black Rhino tracking experience (with an excellent chance of viewing Black Rhino on foot), as well as fascinating Elephant research activities. We also offer the conventional activities such as game drives, educational bush walks and incredible boat cruises on Lake Jozini. These varied activities as well as the chance of catching tiger fish and superb bird watching possibilities, make us a truly unique South African Safari experience. White Elephant is the perfect romantic retreat for newly weds and anniversary celebrations. White Elephant Safari Lodge (TGCSA 5 star) captures the history and romance of a bygone era. The deep verandah, sweeping views and tranquil setting provide the venue for a unique African experience. Eight luxurious safari tents, each with romantic ball and claw bath, outdoor canvas shower and private verandah provide an evocative safari in the Pongola Game Reserve Wilderness. ... more   less 
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