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“Dominic and Francois”
Review of Pondoro Game Lodge

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Pondoro Game Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed April 3, 2014

Our first contact with South africa was Pondoro Game Lodge in March 2014 : an unforgettable
experience way above our expectations . Everything was perfect : the location in the wilderness,
the cottage, the friendliness and efficiency of the staff, the restaurant , the attention to all details of our guests Liz and Robbie . And last but not least , the twice- daily safari tours
were a unique experience to discover wilderness at its best .
We already dream of our next stay !!

  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled as a couple
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Thank fradeco
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 April 29, 2014

Dear Dominic and Francois,

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

I am so glad to see how much you enjoyed your stay with us and we are looking forward to your next visit.

Greetings from the bush,

Robbie and Pondoro family

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Reviewed March 24, 2014

Our sincere thanks to everyone at Pondoro Lodge for a truly memorable stay in February 2014. Just an amazing experience from start to finish, that has so much WOW factor, it makes you wonder if you have suddenly gained celebrity or VIP status. What makes Pondoro Lodge literally stand out from everyone was the attention to detail, which was TRULY EXCEPTIONAL. An amazing setting on the river, utilised to the maximum by this beautiful property. Wonderful taste in the décor and layout, luxurious fittings for the ultimate relaxation in your bungalow. Every day was a treat - wondering how the table would look, what colours the staff would be wearing, what delicious dish would be on the menu, how it would be presented, the receptacles the food would even be in and so on. As for the lanterns taking you down for the candlelight dinner by the River with our Norwegian friends whom we met at Pondoro Lodge, on my husband's birthday....we will never forget it...just the most wonderful night ever. We have never before experienced anyone put that much thought into all they do; our thanks to you, Lize and Robbie, because you have really created the most unique experience. It's not a question of whether you will see the big 5 on the Game Drives, but more how close you are going to get to them, and you see so many more animals besides, with learned rangers who were not only expert in tracking the animals, but who had such a wonderful sense of humour; fond memories of Rul and Remson. A very warm greeting from Vanessa the minute we arrived, and that warmth carried through in all the staff, who could not have done more for you or been more charming. An awesome experience that I think we will never be able to match...unless we return to Pondoro. I travel all over the world and have been doing this for some years, it's my job, but I have never seen or been in such a magical place as this. Our sincere and grateful thanks for creating for us something I could never have made in my dreams....that's quite a feat. Love to you all, Ruth and Richard. xxxxXXX

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
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Thank Ruth 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 April 2, 2014

Dear Ruth and Richard,

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

It is heartwarming to read a review such as this especially coming from someone who has really seen the world. Thank you for choosing Pondoro as the destination to celebrate Richard's birthday. I will send your thanks through to everyone at the lodge, especially Rul, Remson and Vanessa.

Greetings from the bush,

Robbie and Pondoro family

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Reviewed March 11, 2014

My wife and I celebrated our wedding anniversary with a fabulous trip to South Africa this February [2014], arranged for us by Kensington Tours. We toured Cape Town, the Franschhoek wine lands, and had a fantastic safari adventure at the Pondoro Game Lodge. Kensington Tours did a fantastic job of keeping us informed, planning all the logistics and details; many thanks to Jolene for a trouble free experience.
This review is concentrated on the fabulous experience provided to us by the staff, our tracker and Ranger [highly recommend Erik and Eddie; very knowledgeable and customer oriented], and our hosts Robbie and Lize of the Pondoro Game Lodge. The daily game drives, one in the morning and one in the evening were exceptional, Each day we set off to “see something amazing”! Consistently we were able to do just that, discovering giraffe, zebra, lions, elephants, black rhinos, hippos, and more birds and impala imaginable.
The accommodations at Pondoro were first class, the food exceptional [love the impala pie], and the attention to detail and focus on the guest experience truly amazing. Lize Prehn manages the Lodge and went above and beyond to insure we had a memorable, romantic and very special experience. From the sherry cordials waiting our return from the evening game drives, to the champagne, flowers and sweets provided during the nightly turn down service, everything was impeccable.
I don’t recall telling anyone at the Lodge that it was our wedding anniversary, yet on the evening of our anniversary we were escorted to the extensive wine cellar for a private, and very romantic, dinner for two; complete with candlelight and a special bottle of wine. After our game drive on Valentine’s Day, we were treated to a special candlelight dinner for two alongside the river bed where earlier in the day we had seen elephants playing. I can go on and on about the impeccable level of service and high quality experience provided. I do not offer gratuitous commentary and have high standards and expectations. I can strongly recommend the Pondoro Game Lodge if you are looking for a unique safari adventure, personalized service, and a truly fabulous experience. We look forward to returning in the near future…

Room Tip: All the rooms face the river and have good views, ours was clsoest to the dining and bar area, which...
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  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Chuck_and_Lori_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 April 2, 2014

Dear Chuck and Lori D,

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

I am so happy to see how much you enjoyed your stay with us. It was an honor that you chose Pondoro as the destination to celebrate your wedding anniversary. Thank you for noticing all the special touches during Valentine's day! We are also looking forward to your return.

Greetings from the bush,

Robbie and Pondoro family

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Reviewed February 24, 2014

We stayed 3 nights in Pondoro, to celebrate family events. This small structure (8 rooms only) provide a very personalise and intimate service, deliver by well trained and friendly personnel.
8 hours of game drive per day (in 2 cessions of +/- 4h each), and the possibility of a bush walk if you did not get enough allow you to enjoy all the beauties of the african bush, including the legendary big 5. All this under the supervision of very helpful and knowledgeable ranger and spotter.
Rooms and amenities cleanliness, quality of the food (nothing to compare the usual "braii" provide in most of these structures, with a very good and fine cuisine served here), friendship and amiability of the people make you feeling that you are received in friends house and not in an hotel.
The rest of the family and myself loved and enjoyed it all, thanks to Lize and her staff that made this safari experience unforgettable.
Serge and Mimi

Room Tip: The room at the right hand side of the restaurant is the closest of the river and let you sleep with...
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  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with family
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Thank Serge P
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 March 3, 2014

Dear Serge and Mimi,

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

It looks like you had a fabulous time and that everyone loved their stay at Pondoro. I am glad that we could contribute in helping you celebrate your family events.

Greetings from the bush,

Robbie and Pondoro family

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Reviewed February 24, 2014

Lize and Robbie are terrific hosts and guides for an amazing safari adventure. I cannot say enough about how incredible to food was and how comfortable the rooms were. Robbie guided our group of 9, and we saw everything we could have hope to have seen and more. We felt very welcomed and very well taken care of. You won't be disappointed at Pondoro.

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with friends
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Thank Kyle R
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 March 3, 2014

Dear Kyle R,

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

It has been an absolute pleasure to host you and your group at Pondoro. I had a lot of fun as had everybody else when hosting your group. It really invigorates all the staff when seeing how much guests are enjoying themselves.

Greetings from the bush,

Robbie and Pondoro family

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Reviewed February 10, 2014

we stayed two nights in this private lodge and enjoyed every minute of it. Three times a game drive a day, including a bush walk, complete menus with great tasting. Great animal spotting with master ranger Robbie. We loved and enjoyed it all. Thanks to all the lovely people who made our safari unfourgetable. We keep the memories and pictures for ever...

Room Tip: All the locations are great on the olifantriver...
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  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
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Thank Kaaskop57
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 March 3, 2014

Dear Kaaskop57,

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

It has been really enjoyable driving you around and I am glad to be able to contribute in you having a great time at Pondoro. Hope to hosting you again in the not too distant future.

Greetings from the bush,

Robbie and Pondoro family

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Reviewed February 8, 2014

Pondoro is a truly fanstastic lodge. Everythings is well cared for, presented and planned and the ambitions of the owners and their "Pondoro family" is to make your vacation as perfect as possible. You sleep in spacious, well designed and decorated cottages with your own terrace overlooking the river, the food matches any first class restaurant both in quality of cooking and presentation and they have a good and well assorted cellar of local wines. The game drives are special with few cars around and a lot of animals. You may not see all five at the first drive but if you stay for a couple of nights there is a good chance that you can tick them off. The guides and the rangers are well experienced and knows their way around the animals and the area. If the night is clear and you are lucky, you may get a special treat from Robbie telling you about the "African starry sky".

Again, we stayed here again for the third time and the lodge has developed a lot since we first came ten years ago but the special atmosphere and the friendliness is still there. Thank you Lize, Robbie and your Pondoro family for a truly fanstastic stay. I am sure we will come back.
Agneta& Christer with friends

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with friends
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Thank Agbeta R
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 March 3, 2014

Dear Agneta, Christer and friends,

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

It has been an honor to welcome you to Pondoro for the 3rd time and even more important to see that we managed to live up to your expectations. We will eagerly await your next visit.

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: $694 - $1,180 (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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