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All reviews bush lodge our honeymoon plunge pool white lion game reserve overlooking the lake land rover hot water bottles whole experience fantastic experience safari drives out of this world lunch and dinner elusive leopard wild animals garden route three nights
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Reviewed 3 weeks ago

What an amazing place! As we left the main gate reception and were being driven to the Bush Lodge we started to see game within minutes and it just got better and better. We were there 3 days and were allocated the same ranger (Denise) for all the game drives, she was superb very knowledgeable and went out of her way to get us good views of the animals. As a result we have come home with some spectacular photos. In fact we couldn't fault any of the staff all of who were very attentive, the organisation of everything, the rooms and the food was wonderful. We made it the last place on our tour and were glad we did - a real highlight.

Date of stay: September 2019
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Thank Alan T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PEHotelGroup, Public Relations Manager at Pumba Private Game Reserve, responded to this reviewResponded 3 weeks ago

Thank you for leaving us such a nice review. We are glad that Pumba was the high light of your entire journey. Our dedicated staff will be pleased to learn of your high praise. Hoping to welcome you back in the not too distant future!

Warm Regards, The Pumba Team

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Reviewed 3 weeks ago

We spent 4 nights here and absolutely loved it. It really is a bit special. We had a water lodge chalet, and when we woke in the morning we walked out onto the decking to be greeted by the most incredible view over the lake, with lions, giraffes, baboons, warthogs all coming down for a drink. There was also a hippo feeding in the middle of the lake. It is a breathtaking view and one that will live long in the memory.
Our guide for the game drives was Stem, and he was brilliant. He managed to give us up-close views of White Lions, cheetahs, hippo, elephants, giraffes etc etc. We had elephants crossing right in front of the jeep. I could literally reach out and touch them (But that would have been a bad idea !!) We were so impressed with Stem. He was a fountain of knowledge about the animals, birds, plants, all of it. I had a bet with the wife that I could ask him a question about the animals and he wouldnt be able to answer it, and i failed miserably. He knew everything !! The meals were absolutely delicious. Georgous food. Mzie in the resteraunt always greeted us with a beaming smile, and he was always bustling about, busy and he was a credit to the place. But to be honest everybody was. It was beautiful. I'll always remember it and if i could give it more stars i would

Date of stay: September 2019
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Thank JonKent
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PEHotelGroup, Public Relations Manager at Pumba Private Game Reserve, responded to this reviewResponded 3 weeks ago

It always makes our heart sign to hear when our guests have wonderful interactions with The Pumba Team and to know that you had a wonderful time. We are curious to know what the bet was?

Warm Regards, The Pumba Team.

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Reviewed 3 weeks ago

We stayed for 4 nights at the beginning of Sept and pretty much forgot how to say anything other than wow and amazing!!!

This is a little piece of paradise with the added bonus of feeling like you’re in a wildlife documentary. The resort is friendly, personal and welcoming without being in your face and too much. They leave you alone to relax but are there if you need anything. It is as though there is a hidden army of people working behind the scenes as everything runs seamlessly and whilst you are busy doing something else!

Our Water Lodge was beautiful and so spacious. They had thought of everything from robes, slippers and hairdryer to a log burner and free standing radiator/heater in the bathroom for those chillier evenings. There’s tea and coffee making facilities as well as a fridge (with fresh milk) and a mini bar.

The main lodge was a lovely place to relax and there were always drinks or snacks to be had. The day started for us just before 7am with coffee, a toasty or juice before going out on our game drive for 2.5hrs. On colder days they provided waterproof, fleece lined poncho and hot water bottle as well as a bottle of water each and use of binoculars. We stopped for hot chocolate/coffee and snacks in the mornings and stronger drinks in the afternoons! When you return from the game drive, you are presented with a hot towel each which is great – either to wipe off the dust or to warm up your hands/face. I had read other reviews and dressed in layers – sometimes we were comfortable in shorts, others we needed a fleece, long trousers and a warm coat. The only thing I wished I had taken was a pair of gloves and ear muffs as the wind blows through the vehicles given they are open but otherwise the Lodge have thought of everything!

Upon returning from our morning drive, we tucked into freshly cooked breakfast with both hot and cold options. Then we had a few hours to relax. We spent time in on our balcony sunbathing on the warmer days and with the fire lit inside on the colder day we had. On one of the days, my husband went on a Ranger Walking Safari for 2 hours which was just 550 Rand (bargain). On the day he went out, he was the only one so got a 1:1 with Wayne, who was so knowledgeable and my husband came back buzzing from the experience. So much so that the next day it was sold out!

After a late lunch, we then went on our second game drive for another few hours. Upon returning from this one, you are presented with a menu for you to choose your evening meal and the time you wish to eat. Once you’ve freshened up in the room, you come back to the main Lodge to eat dinner which was so nice – we ate steak, pork, Kudu and Impala whilst there; all of which was lovely.

The main lodge has fires lit on colder days, which is so cosy. On the warmer days we sat outside to eat.

From the lodges you look out across the lake and to the hippos on the other side; such an amazing view. One day we saw something in the trees on the other side and out popped an elephant. On another day, we watched the hippos sunbathing whilst the giraffes grazed in the tress behind them.

We tried our hand at bass fishing but with no catches!

The actual game drives were something else; coming face to face with these amazing and beautiful animals is unlike anything else I’ve ever experienced. Certainly, this was nothing like going to a safari park in the UK!!

Our Ranger was Josh and he was amazing, so committed to his vocation and knowledgeable. We had some really good conversations and he loved answering our many and sometimes poo related questions. He was determined to make our experiences as good as possible and tailored our experience to what we wanted to try and see. We were so lucky that we saw everything we wanted to, including a leopard, which I hadn’t realised until there just how rare this was. You keep the same Ranger for the whole time you are there and they don’t load the vehicles to full capacity in order that everyone can see and move around if they want to.

We were lucky enough to watch 3 lions hunting (they weren’t successful) and watch different lions feasting on their prey one morning. As well as getting super close to the dominant male lion and the older white lion, who I’m sure wanted me to rub his belly!!

The animals we saw were beautiful and I loved being able to get so close to them. The Rangers are respectful of the animals and don’t interfere with them. If they walk away from the tracks, you don’t follow.

Josh was able to show us track prints and stopped to show us different things along the way such as skulls and smaller animals. We were lucky enough to not only see a jackal but get a quick shot of it too.

This is one of the best experiences I’ve ever had the fortune to take part in and I would highly recommend Pumba to everyone. The Reserve is large enough for the animals but small enough to feel intimate and navigate around.

A massive thank you to Josh, Wayne and the rest of the staff at Pumba who made this one of the most memorable experiences (and birthdays) ever!

Date of stay: September 2019
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2  Thank brooksy55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PEHotelGroup, Public Relations Manager at Pumba Private Game Reserve, responded to this reviewResponded 3 weeks ago

Thank you for leaving us such a wonderful review, we are honoured by all your kind words. Reading your review has taken us on the ultimate Pumba experience! Pumba staff will definitely be happy to read what you wrote, your review reaffirms the hard work the staff put in every day. We trust that you will forever cherish the memories you made with us at Pumba.

Warm Regards, The Pumba Team

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Reviewed 3 weeks ago

A magical, magical place. Whatever expectations we had, they were exceeded in every area. The views from the lodges are stunning, the food is incredible and everyone is so friendly and welcoming - truly a wonderful place.
We had Dean as our Ranger, who made our trip. His enthusiasm and knowledge is infectious, and the best part was learning all about the personalities from the park - from the rambunctious and cheeky bull elephant ‘Rubbish Boy’ to the sun lounging leopards and 3 cheetah brothers. Dean was absolutely fantastic.
Wonderful, wonderful place to create lifelong and lasting memories

Date of stay: August 2019
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank Culture17281596457
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PEHotelGroup, Public Relations Manager at Pumba Private Game Reserve, responded to this reviewResponded 3 weeks ago

We are glad to hear that we have exceeded all your expectation, thank you for your kind words and we look forward to seeing you again!

Warm Regards, The Pumba Team

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Reviewed 4 weeks ago

We stayed here recently on our honeymoon and were blown away by Pumba! From the moment you drive through the gates it is pure luxury. Our room was breathtaking. On our first night a mother and baby elephant walked right by our plunge pool, a magical experience. The game drives were fantastic! The food stops were even more fantastic, looking out over the reserve while having a glass of wine! We're also converted to Amarula in hot chocolate! We had a fantastic guide called Stem, he made our drives really enjoyable and had a fantastic sense of humour! We also met a lovely guide called Mike, what a lovely man! He made our chat by the fire so memorable and he was a fantastic ambassador for Pumba. All the staff were faultless, so kind and polite. On the first day I asked for gluten free bread and they were beyond apologetic that it had not been flagged when we checked in. At our next meal I had freshly baked gluten free bread and individual options in all meals afterwards, I was beyond impressed! An amazing experience from start to finish, we were so sorry to leave!

Date of stay: August 2019
    • Value
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Thank Dublin_Ireland9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PEHotelGroup, Public Relations Manager at Pumba Private Game Reserve, responded to this reviewResponded 3 weeks ago

It is lovely to hear on your first night you were greeted by two elephant's right at your own plunge pool!
Thank you for sharing your review, we are thrilled that you had a fantastic experience. I hope you will cherish these memories you made here with us at Pumba for years to come.

Warm Regards, The Pumba Team

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