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Pondoro Game Lodge

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Traveller (1294)
Room & Suite (269)
Dining (86)
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About

#1 of 15 lodges in Balule Nature Reserve
Location
Cleanliness
Service
Value
Travellers' Choice
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.
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Property amenities
Free parking
Free High Speed Internet (WiFi)
Pool
Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room
Free breakfast
Entertainment staff
Airport transportation
Spa
Secured parking
Wifi
Hot bath
Pool / beach towels
Outdoor pool
Bar / lounge
Coffee shop
Restaurant
Special diet menus
Wine / champagne
Full body massage
Massage
Baggage storage
Concierge
Gift shop
Mosquito net
Non-smoking hotel
Shops
Sun loungers / beach chairs
Private check-in / check-out
Dry cleaning
Laundry service
Ironing service
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Room features
Bathrobes
Air conditioning
Private balcony
Room service
Safe
Coffee / tea maker
Minibar
Bath / shower
Seating area
Wake-up service / alarm clock
Complimentary toiletries
Hair dryer
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Room types
Non-smoking rooms
Suites
Family rooms
Good to know
HOTEL CLASS
5.0 of 5 stars
HOTEL STYLE
River View
Quaint
Languages Spoken
English, Afrikaans

Location

Kruger National Park 1380 South Africa
Pondoro Game Lodge
Getting there
Hoedspruit Airport
25.4 km
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Phalaborwa Airport
33.8 km
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1,060Review28Q+A100Room tips
Traveller rating
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haggarfamily wrote a review Yesterday
1 contribution
We had an amazing family holiday. We were looked after extremely well . The setting is beautiful. Staff amazing.
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Date of stay: April 2024
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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Anna T wrote a review Mar 2024
Saltsjo-Boo, Sweden7 contributions1 helpful vote
We had the most beautiful week, great rooms, fantastic guides and trackers, fantastic staff! And to be able to see all the animals close, Leopards with cubs, Lions with cubs, sitting in the middle of an Elefant herd, and much much more, soooooo amazing!!! Happy tears everyday! And you made my birthday very very special, thank you!!!!!!!
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Date of stay: March 2024
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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Discover283483 wrote a review Mar 2024
1 contribution
Pondoro provided a spectacular experience. Every aspect of the trip was wonderful. The rooms and the grounds were beautifully designed and comfortable. The service was over the top; no request went unanswered. Finally, the safari experiences were phenomenal; the guide was extremely knowledgeable and due to their care with the animals we were able to get great pictures.
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Date of stay: March 2024
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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Joe T wrote a review Mar 2024
1 contribution
Pondoro is amazing. I rarely write reviews as most places are about what I expect, but I feel compelled to write about this place. Everything was absolutely incredible. The staff is amazing, the food is delicious, the game drives were exceptional. We saw all the big 5 multiples times, and went there in July. We also saw so much more then the big 5. The information provided from trackers was very interesting. The small details from different dinner settings, notes from the staff who do the rooms, the service at any time of day sets this place apart. My only complaint is we said this would be a once in a lifetime trip when we booked (we are from Canada) and 6 months later we already want to go back. Thank you everyone who works at Pondoro for making our Honeymoon the absolute best and exceeding our expectations. We still follow closely on Instagram. Joe + Karlene
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Date of stay: July 2023
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Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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amazingracechamp wrote a review Mar 2024
Montreal, Canada22 contributions3 helpful votes
No doubt the best safari lodge, from the accommodation, food and game drives. The entire staff is very friendly and make you feel welcomed. I would go back there without any hesitation. Definitely a unique experience. Thank you Pondoro Lodge
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Date of stay: March 2024
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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Austin H wrote a review Mar 2024
1 contribution
Words can't really convey how exquisite this experience was. The staff, chef, massage therapist, managers etc were amazing hosts. The highlight of the trip were our guide, Solly, and our tracker Exol. Every ride with them was it's own adventure, and they are a great team that really trusts each other. The accomodations are fantastic, the wildlife stunning, and the service exceptional. I would return in a heartbeat!
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Date of stay: March 2024
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Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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michaeltex09 wrote a review Mar 2024
Channel Islands, United Kingdom1 contribution
It’s hard to describe how amazing our stay was. Everything from start to finish was just perfect. The tree lodge that we stayed in was beautifully designed overlooking the river where we could watch the hippos and elephants walking by. The reserve is were just stunning, Solly our ranger was so knowledgeable and each drive was a stunning adventure. The food was very good as was the wine… and definitely book in for a massage. It feels like a dream now, would love to return.
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Date of stay: February 2024
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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marissacZ1554DF6 wrote a review Mar 2024
Cape Town, South Africa1 contribution
Saw all of the big 5 and many many more animals. The resort is beautiful and the personalization and service is next level. The suites are amazing. The food was also delicious made by their chefs on site. Can’t wait to go back one day!
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Date of stay: February 2024
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Kayla Lourens wrote a review Feb 2024
Stellenbosch, South Africa143 contributions32 helpful votes
+1
Pondoro Game Lodge is set on the banks of the Olifants River in Balule Private Game Reserve inside the greater Kruger National Park. The lodge is family-owned by Lize and Robbie and offers only 8 rooms, ensuring exclusivity and personalized service for every guest. They provide exceptional service, delicious food, and breathtaking natural surroundings. It Is the best way to experience the African bush. The lodge really felt intimate, and the staff made me feel at home as soon as I arrived. The staff had genuine smiles that lit up the whole room. I stayed in the “Buffalo” Suite, and it was nothing short of spectacular. The suite had a thatched roof, beautiful décor, and best of all, sweeping views of the Olifant’s River and surrounding wild. The owners perfectly blended African furnishings and modern amenities to create a comfortable and memorable stay. The suite did not have any fencing, so you are completely in nature. We were offered handmade bracelets as a welcome gift, they were made by their housekeeper Sindile (what a sweet touch). We were also gifted a lovely bottle of red wine upon arrival. The suite was spacious, and the king bed had the perfect view. The bathroom had a big open shower and a bathtub which also boasted views of the outdoors. On the outside deck there was a shower, and the main feature, the rock bathtub overlooking the river. The deck was the perfect place to relax and take in the sights and sounds of the surrounding nature. Every day I saw elephants bathing in the river, and monkeys swinging from the trees. The hippos also made sure I knew they were there with their loud noises coming from the river. The meals were brilliant, offering international cuisine with a South African touch. The lodge’s extensive wine list has won international awards, and their staff will recommend the best wines for each meal. I particularly liked the Stellenzicht Shiraz. For breakfast each morning, I had their signature iced coffee, some seasonal fruit and the eggs benedict. The breakfast is a la carte and has a great variety of hot and cold dishes. For lunch they offered a set menu which changed daily, and in addition to that, they offered a ‘high tea’ station with drinks and snacks to enjoy after the main lunch meal. For our first night we had dinner on the riverbank, with sounds of hippos in the background. It was quite a scary experience, but the staff made it so much fun.
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Date of stay: February 2024
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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Angela L wrote a review Feb 2024
Atlanta, United States5 contributions
If you're looking for an exceptional safari experience AND luxury accommodations, this is your place! The guides are amazing, we saw the Big 5 in just 2 days! The guides are very knowledgable and share animal locations with one another so there is more animal viewing that driving around. The hotel is 5-star, chalets are very luxurious (Ritz-Carlton of lodges)! Food and drinks were excellent, the hotel staff go out of their way to make you feel special (champagne and hot bubble bath waiting for us after a long day!). We did massages and really enjoyed the entire experience.
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Date of stay: February 2024
Value
Rooms
Location
Cleanliness
Service
Sleep Quality
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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Not the right property for you?
There are more places to choose from in the Balule Nature Reserve area.
PRICE RANGE
R 16,215 - R 19,550 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
ALSO KNOWN AS
pondoro game hotel balule private game reserve
LOCATION
South AfricaKruger National ParkBalule Nature Reserve
NUMBER OF ROOMS
8
Prices are provided by our partners, and reflect average nightly room rates, including taxes and fees that are fixed, known to our partners, and due at time of booking. Please see our partners for more details.
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PONDORO GAME LODGE - Reviews & Price Comparison (Balule Nature Reserve, South Africa) - Tripadvisor

Frequently Asked Questions about Pondoro Game Lodge
What are some of the property amenities at Pondoro Game Lodge?
Some of the more popular amenities offered include free wifi, free breakfast, and a pool.
Which room amenities are available at Pondoro Game Lodge?
Top room amenities include a minibar, air conditioning, and a mosquito net.
What food & drink options are available at Pondoro Game Lodge?
Guests can enjoy free breakfast, an on-site restaurant, and a lounge during their stay.
Is parking available at Pondoro Game Lodge?
Yes, free parking and secured parking are available to guests.
Are there opportunities to exercise at Pondoro Game Lodge?
Yes, guests have access to a pool and a fitness centre during their stay.
Does Pondoro Game Lodge have airport transportation?
Yes, Pondoro Game Lodge offers airport transportation for guests. We recommend calling ahead to confirm details.
Are any cleaning services offered at Pondoro Game Lodge?
Yes, dry cleaning and laundry service are offered to guests.
Which languages are spoken by the staff at Pondoro Game Lodge?
The staff speaks multiple languages, including English and Afrikaans.
Does Pondoro Game Lodge have any great views?
Yes, guests often enjoy the river view available here.