We travel a lot in SA,and we were guests in many lodges but Pondoro was a real discovery.
What an experience!
We were looking for a game lodge in a bigger area with preferable an open connection to Krüger. Pondoro is located in the Balula area so it met our desire in this respect. Moreover, Pondoro is “unfenced”, which always offers a more real experience.
After entering Balula, It takes a drive of more than 30 minutes to bring you at Pondoro.This trip, on gravel roads brings you deep into the Balula area, far away from “the civilized world”.
And then, when the road goes down towards the river, you are suddenly there. Heartily welcomed by Lize and her staff. The lodge is really beautiful. Real African style and very tasteful. Beautiful deck with river view. Everything fits immediately around you.
The chalets are also great and very nice decorated in African style too, with a large private deck. The shower has a huge window from ceiling to floor, viewing on the bush and the river, nevertheless with 100% privacy. The beds were great.
Pondoro has a fantastic kitchen and it produces real culinary food. Even for breakfast they have a comprehensive menu which is changed every day.
No good Game Lodge without good quality game drives. Also in this respect Pondoro is a very good choice. Being an “open” reserve rangers and trackers have to work harder and need more skills to find the animals. Pondoro’s rangers are excellent and very professional. The lodge has good cars without a roof, which we consider as the best option. It gives you a much better contact with the environment, and makes it possible to go off road, what they did frequently.
Being a relatively small, family run lodge there is a real pleasant atmosphere. The staff is very friendly without being over-bearing and does everything to satisfy the guests. One example: a “surprise” candlelight dinner in the sand along the river. Pondoro got several Awards in 2011 2012 and even now 2013. Our experiences fully justify these awards. We stayed for three nights, but we could have stayed there forever. We will fully recommend Pondoro to everybody. It’s really the best choice you can make. We will definitely go back to Pondoro. In fact we can’t wait!!!!
- 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:
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- Also Known As:
- Pondoro Game Hotel Balule Private Game Reserve
- Pondoro Game Lodge South Africa/Balule Nature Reserve