We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Amazing Hotel!!!”
Review of Pondoro Game Lodge

Best prices for -
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 3 more sites!
Pondoro Game Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 5, 2014 via mobile

This is truly an amazing place!! The hotel is excellent!! Both owners Robbie and Lize take care of everything, paying attention to every detail. Rooms are big, clean and very comfortable!! The food is great, especially the breakfast!!
They have a great structure for the safari and a natural talent for finding trails!! We saw the big 5 twice in two days of safari!! And several other animals!!
I really recommend this place!!

Stayed: January 2014
1  Thank Pedro O
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 January 31, 2014

Dear Pedro O,

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

Look like you had a wonderful time at Pondoro and that you were really lucky in seeing a lot of animals during your safari drives as well.

Greetings from the bush,

Robbie and Pondoro family

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review
Reviews (742)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Language
  • More languages

340 - 346 of 742 reviews

Reviewed January 2, 2014

We didn't know what means bad, good or excellent when speaking about a "game lodge" in South Africa. Now, we know what excellent means. Lize and Robbie are doing a prefect job, taking care of every little detail, so the guests can enjoy every moment when at Pondoro. Together with their staff, they were kind, friendly, calm, smiling, ready to help. We stayed there 4 nights. From the very first afternoon when we arrived, they sent us in a safari game drive, which was a perfect start. Rul (driver) and Ramson (tracker) perfectly did their job during all morning or evening game drives. Although we've seen more than the Big 5, many times and very close to us, not one single moment we felt in danger. Real adventure! And when back from safari to Pondoro, we were waited with hot napkins and refreshing drinks. Meals were different from day to day (I can not imagine Lize's and Patricia's efforts to plan everything - real master chef). Rooms are traditional as design, but modern as functionality. No fences, still very safe.

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Mihai D
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 January 29, 2014

Dear Mihai D,

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

Great to see that we got the excellent tick and that we could give you a real adventure! Yes, Rul and Remson are masters of their jobs and glad that they could get you close to the many amazing animals at Pondoro but still made you feel safe.

Greetings from the bush,

Robbie and Pondoro family

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 31, 2013

This was truly a trip of a lifetime. The accommodations were rustic in keeping with the natural surroundings yet extremely comfortable. The dining was wonderful; excellently prepared food beautifully served. Everyone on staff was incredibly gracious, helpful, and friendly. They often fill multiple roles, and are expert at them all Of course, we came for the animals, and wow--the animals! The tracker and ranger were experts, and we were regularly regaled with up close viewings of lions, elephants, giraffes, zebras, rhinos, all kinds of antelope/deer animals, a leopard, a rhinoceros, many birds. Because we were there in the summer, we were fortunate to see many babies who are as enchanting as can be. And on top of all that, you can receive an expert massage, will be treated to warm wet towels and port sherry upon returning from the evening safari (this after the hors d'oeuvres and wine while on the safari), and dry towels and hot chocolate if it happens to rain during the morning safari. The attention to details at Pondoro is exceptional. I cannot imagine a more exquisite place for a luxury safari adventure!

Room Tip: All the "rooms" are individual cottages. Each one is beautiful.
See more room tips
  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank ithacatraveler
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 January 29, 2014

Dear ithacatraveler,

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

It is very fulfilling to see how much you enjoyed your stay at Pondoro. Thanks for noticing the small touches and it looks as if you has some great safaris as well.

Greetings from the bush,

Robbie and Pondoro family

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 27, 2013

You will find an amazing hideaway in the middle of pure nature. Elephants were walking around. Never seen wild animals so close. The staff as well as the owner Lize and Robbie were absolutly warm and friendly and you feel like to be at home. The rooms are beautiful and designed individually. Safaris with the trackers were an outstanding experience. Everything - especially the food - was high quality and a lot of surprising details show the warm and friendly approach of all the staff. Not to forget the relaxing Massage after long day safari trip. We hope to come back sometime.

Room Tip: Choose one of the suites -they are a dream. Unfortunally wie didn't get one and the room was als...
See more room tips
  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Heike S
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 January 29, 2014

Dear Heike S,

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

It is great to see how much you enjoyed your stay with us and that we managed to make you feel like you were at home. We hope that you will return soon.

Greetings from the bush,

Robbie and Pondoro family

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 13, 2013

We looked at a lot of places online prior to choosing Pondoro Game Lodge. We ended up choosing it because they got back to us quickly with any questions that we had and the website made the place look amazing. Well, pictures don't lie. The accommodations and food were outstanding. The morning and evening safaris were a great way to see the wildlife. We were thrilled with the animals that we saw and we felt that the guides did a great job of giving us the very best experience.

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank LeslieAnnB
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 December 15, 2013

Dear LeslieAnnB,

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

Glad that you enjoyed your stay at Pondoro and that we managed to live up to your expectations by providing good service and accommodation and great safaris.

Greetings from the bush,

Robbie and Pondoro family

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 12, 2013

Travelling from Sydney, Australia to Pondoro is a long trip, so you hope that your safari experience is very special as it could be a long way to go if it turns out badly. Pondoro didn't disappoint and in fact it exceeded all expectations. We had 4 nights there and the accomodation was beautiful and comfortable. Lize & Robbie are wonderful, passionate hosts who, with their friendly staff, go out of their way to make sure that you have a memorable time there. Every detail was exemplary; from the high quality of all the meals (and wine!!) to the unforgetable safari's. We had the most wonderful time that we haven't stop raving about it to all our friends.

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Mark S
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 December 15, 2013

Dear Mark S,

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

Glad that we managed to exceed all your expectations and that you had a wonderful time and some unforgettable safaris.

Greetings from the bush,

Robbie and Pondoro family

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 8, 2013

We spent 4 nights at Pondoro to celebrate my husband's birthday. Everything was better than expected. The suite was beautiful overlooking the Olifant River. The meals were top tier, and there were NO decisions to make (other than breakfast entree). The schedule was perfect, with downtime as needed. The games drives (2 per day) were amazing! We were lucky to have been there at the time when many babies were being born. We saw a tiny baby elephant only 1 week old, who had not yet really learned how to use his trunk. Rul and Renson were our trackers/guides, and they did an awesome job of finding so many animals for us to view. In each case, we were able to get very close to the game. It was perfect in every sense of the word. I can't imagine why we would ever go any place else.

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank jmorgan811
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 December 15, 2013

Dear jmorgan811,

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

I am elated to see how much you enjoyed your stay at Pondoro and that we were chosen as the place to celebrate you husband's birthday. I will let Rul and Remson know of your appreciation!

Greetings from the bush,

Robbie and Pondoro family

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Balule Nature Reserve
19.1 mi away
Kapama River Lodge
Kapama River Lodge
#3 of 4 in Kapama Private Game Reserve
1,782 reviews
22.1 mi away
Kapama Buffalo Camp
Kapama Buffalo Camp
#2 of 4 in Kapama Private Game Reserve
410 reviews
0.6 mi away
Kurhula Wildlife Lodge
Kurhula Wildlife Lodge
#2 of 2 in Balule Nature Reserve
273 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
23.0 mi away
Kapama Karula
Kapama Karula
#1 of 4 in Kapama Private Game Reserve
445 reviews
4.5 mi away
Naledi Bushcamp and Enkoveni Camp
Naledi Bushcamp and Enkoveni Cam...
#3 of 21 in Balule Nature Reserve
1,077 reviews
4.7 mi away
Sausage Tree Safari Camp
Sausage Tree Safari Camp
#1 of 21 in Balule Nature Reserve
676 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Pondoro Game Lodge? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

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: $725 - $1,225 (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 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Hotels.com, Hotwire, TripOnline SA and Agoda so you can book your Pondoro Game Lodge reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Pondoro Game Hotel Balule Private Game Reserve
Pondoro Game Lodge South Africa/Balule Nature Reserve

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing