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“Outstanding in every way!”
Review of Pondoro Game Lodge

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Pondoro Game Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
New York City, New York
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Outstanding in every way!”
Reviewed January 28, 2014

Pondoro Game Lodge was truly an amazing experience in every way. I was traveling with eight friends and we all stayed in the uniquely themed suites. Each suite had a private deck, hot tub and great view of the river. The meals prepared by Lize and staff were so delicious and worthy enough to rival a high-end dining experience . Robbie was our guide during the drives and his enthusiasm for tracking the animals was great to see. He truly loves his job and is good at it and it made for a very enjoyable experience.

Lize, Robbie and Pondoro Game Lodge staff ROCKED! I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a truly amazing experience.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank Rudy G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pondoro, Owner at Pondoro Game Lodge, responded to this review, January 31, 2014
Dear Rudy G,

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

I am elated to read how much you enjoyed your stay. It was a privilege to drive all of you around. A lot of fun actually!

Greetings from the bush,

Robbie and Pondoro family
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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706 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (161)
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English first
Dallas, Texas
Level 5 Contributor
70 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
Reviewed January 18, 2014

Pondoro was outstanding. The level of service and attention to detail is unmatched. Prior to arriving here for a couple days, I stayed at another Private Game Lodge in Sabi Sands. My first time being in South Africa, I though that lodge was great. But then I cam to Pondoro and I realized I just went to a whole different level of class. The rooms were very spacious. Very nice, very clean. The food was the best food I had in my entire 2 week tour around Africa. The service staff was extremely nice and accommodating. The safari drives were great and the tracker was awesome. When we were having trouble finding the animals in the jeep, we dropped him off and he went out on foot looking for the lions and cheetahs by himself. Then radioed back and told the driver where they were.

Balule reserve is beautiful. The only gripe that I had was that the safari drives were EXTREMELY bumpy. If you have bad back or neck problems, you may want to reconsider. There isn't anything Pondoro can do about that, it's the way the terrain is. But the it was significantly more bumpy than my game drives at other lodge.

If your considering Pondoro, stop considering and just book.

Room Tip: Get the suite it's AWESOME
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank WaldoWorldTravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pondoro, Owner at Pondoro Game Lodge, responded to this review, January 31, 2014
Dear rsingleton,

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

Great to read that you enjoyed your stay at Pondoro so much and that you found the level of service and attention to detail as well as the food unmatched.

Greetings from the bush,

Robbie and Pondoro family
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Iasi, Romania
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed January 10, 2014

We arrived at Pondoro Game Lodge without a clue about what it means a game drive and I only had pictures in my mind from TV shows. I must say now that everything was beyond our best hopes ; it was an intense experience in the wild and I will treasure it for as long as I live. Every member of the staff was very helpful and friendly. The attention to details at Pondoro is exceptional. I cannot imagine a more exquisite place for a luxury safari adventure! I recommend this place with all my heart!

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Dascalescu 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 review, January 31, 2014
Dear dan899,

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

I am very glad to see that Pondoro could exceed your wildest expectations and that you recommend our hotel to everyone.

Greetings from the bush,

Robbie and Pondoro family
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sao Paulo, SP
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
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
Helpful?
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 review, 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
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Iasi, Romania
Level 4 Contributor
20 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
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
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
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 review, 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
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ithaca, New York
Level 3 Contributor
21 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
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.
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
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 review, 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.
Limburg, Germany
1 review
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...
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
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 review, 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.
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Additional Information about Pondoro Game Lodge

Property: 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 #3 of 20 Specialty Lodging in Balule Nature Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
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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