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“Even better the second time!”
Review of Pondoro Game Lodge

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Pondoro Game Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed August 18, 2013

We stayed here for one night in 2012 to check it out, as we had a spare night on that trip. We travelled to southern Africa every year for the last 15 years. Pondoro Game Lodge is right up there with the best of them.

The game drives can be variable as it is the bush, not a zoo, something which some people seem to forget! If you want to guarantee seeing animals every 5 minutes then please stay at home and go to your local zoo and leave the bush lovers to enjoy what is around them!

We stayed for 3 nights and when you combine the game viewing over those periods we had some fantastic sightings, aided by Robbie, whose knowledge of the bush is outstanding.

The rooms are fantastic and the staff are brilliant. You can really see that the people who work there are happy and love what they do, which makes such a difference.

Finally I have to pay tribute to the food. It was, without doubt, the best food I have ever eaten in southern Africa.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Nik B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pondoro, Owner at Pondoro Game Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded August 21, 2013

Dear NorthenNik,

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

I am so glad that we could live up to your expectations and that we managed to show you some fantastic safari sightings. I am honored to be able to share some of my knowledge with you. I will share your review with the staff who always appreciate positive feedback. Lize loves your comments about the food!

Greetings from the bush,

Robbie and Pondoro family

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Reviewed August 13, 2013

We recently had 4 USA guests and decided to take them to Pondoro. Upon asking them if this is what they expected of SA their reply was "and SO MUCH MORE". Thanks to the team at Pondoro for making this a great experience and for showing off our beautiful country!! WELL DONE. It was our family's second time there and definately not our last.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank TersiaH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pondoro, Owner at Pondoro Game Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded August 21, 2013

Dear TersiaH,

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

Looks like you had a fantastic time at Pondoro. Glad that we could do our part in providing 5 star service and gameviewing to you and your friends.

Greetings from the bush,

Robbie and Pondoro family

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Reviewed August 12, 2013

If you already want to have an idea what heaven must be like, visit Pondoro ! This is everything you have ever dreamt about ... and more ! This is the total experience of excellence in multiple form. I know this sounds a little over the top, once you have been there you will find this is quite modest. We (family of 4) spent 3 days at Pandoro and from the very moment we arrived, till the sad moment we had to move on, it has been an absolute miracle for all four of us. The location, the place, the wildlife, the food, the service (SERVICE I should say as it is service with a capital "S") and thus the people who make this work ... EXCELLENT ! If you think you have seen it all and there are no further surprises ... you've got it wrong, because there is yet another surprise waiting for you. I have been working in the tourism and hospitality sector internationally for over 20 years now and I have attended many programs about service quality excellence ... and never really found it ... well, look no further, it is here at Pondoro !!! Unique !!! Fantastic Pure and total Execllence.

Room Tip: This is a no-brainer as there simply are no better rooms ... all are "best" !!!
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  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
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3  Thank Herman Jan M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pondoro, Owner at Pondoro Game Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded August 21, 2013

Dear Herman,

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

Wow! Thank you for the amazing review. I am so glad that we could meet and even exceed your expectations. Appreciation like this energize everyone and makes all the small little touches worthwhile.

Greetings from the bush,

Robbie and Pondoro family

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Reviewed August 8, 2013

Pondoro Game Lodge delivered on all levels. The chalets were spectacularly decorated, the dining "room" was superbly located and the entire property was just gorgeous. The staff were all very friendly and the tracker Andries and game ranger Robbie were very knowledgable. The food was excellent - We would have loved it even if we had not been lucky enough to see the big five!

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank bushandsea
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pondoro, Owner at Pondoro Game Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded August 21, 2013

Dear bushandsea,

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

I am elated to see how much you enjoyed your stay with us. A safari is not just about seeing the animals but also to learn more about the miracles of nature and I am glad that we could deliver and share our knowledge as well.

Greetings from the bush,

Robbie and Pondoro family

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Reviewed August 1, 2013

Pondoro gave my boyfriend and I the best holiday in the bush we could have ever imagined. The staff and owners are friendly, helpful and very hands on. The twice a day games drives ensured that we saw most of the Big 5. Seeing wild cats was on our "to see" list and the game drives delivered. The food was always outstanding and I loved the way in which every meal was served in a different setting. For example we had the most amazing picnic lunch up on a tree and one night we enjoyed a group dinner with other visitors and guests from the USA and Australia. My significant found his pedicure to be very relaxing. Everything was professional, well thought of, luxurious and definitely great value. We thoroughly loved the place, we had a fabulous weekend and made beautiful new memories. Thank you Pondoro xoxo

Room Tip: We absolutely loved the "Tree" room. Very spacious with a very comfortable setting. The...
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  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Lerato L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pondoro, Owner at Pondoro Game Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded August 20, 2013

Dear Lerato L,

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

I am so glad that we could deliver on your expectations and that we could provide a better safari holiday than ever imagined. Glad you enjoyed the " cats ", picnic and luxury as well as our service.

Greetings from the bush,

Robbie and Pondoro family

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Reviewed July 28, 2013

We stayed a few nights here during our honeymoon and it was one of the two unforgetable highlights of our trip. It was amazing! Rooms are great and elegantly decorated, view is magnificent, food excellent and the game drives where fantastic! Robbie (owner and also our ranger) was very knowledgeable and taught us so much about the animals. Lize (owner and chef) is a great cook and makes you feel at home in the bush. Utter luxury never felt so right :-)
Robbie, Lize, Andries (tracker) and the rest of the staff: thank you so much!

Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
1  Thank FAldelhof
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pondoro, Owner at Pondoro Game Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded August 20, 2013

Dear FAdelhof,

Thank you for taking the time to write a review.

I am elated that we could help in making your honeymoon a special and unforgettable occasion. Glad to see that you enjoyed my guiding and Lize's cuisine. I will Andries and the other staff know of your appreciation.

Greetings from the bush,

Robbie and Pondoro family

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Reviewed July 23, 2013

We stayed at Pondoro at the end of June for my husband's 50th birthday and what a once in a life time experience it was! Pondoro delivered what it promised. The food was fabulous. The staff were friendly and attentive. The game drives were thrilling especially the treks on foot through the bush looking for lion cubs. We frequently got up close and personal with the big five as well as other animals that we did not expect to see such as a cheetah and civet cats. Our trackers were not a chatty bunch but when you did ask questions they proved to be a pair of top blokes whose love and knowledge of the bush and sense of humour was infectious. On the day of the big 50 our dinner was held on the river bank under candle light. During dinner we heard a noise and shone our torches across the river to see a herd of elephants having their dinner as well! A big thank you to all the staff,who made our stay memorable.

Room Tip: We stayed in a chalet close to reception. Though the rooms were very private we were green with envy...
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  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Reservoirgirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pondoro, Owner at Pondoro Game Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded August 20, 2013

Dear Reservoirgirl,

Thank you for taking the time to write a review.

I am glad that Pondoro could help in making your husband's 50th birthday a special occasion. Big 5, lion cubs on a walking safari, cheetah and elephants during a bush dinner surely helps to make a safari experience unforgettable.

Greetings from the bush,

Robbie and Pondoro family

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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 Nature 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 21 Specialty Lodging in Balule Nature Reserve
Price Range: $671 - $1,230 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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 Nature Reserve

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