On arrival we were met by Bianca who was lovely and promised us that we wouldn’t lift a finger from this point onwards. She asked us about food preferences and noted that we were celebrating a birthday and anniversary whilst in South Africa and said she would arrange something special for us. We were transferred to our 2 bedroom family chalet at Msenge Bush Lodge where we were met by Paige. She said that the maintenance men had finished for the day and so she would take us to our room and offered to singlehandedly carry our 4 suitcases and 4 rucksacks to our room. We obviously offered to help her and between us and the children managed to carry our belongings there. Our rooms were amazing with freestanding baths and outdoor showers for each room as well as a well-stocked mini bar. It was, however, very cold and Paige told us that our fire would be lit when we returned from our safari drive. The safari was amazing – on the first drive there were 8 in our landrover (a bit crowded) and we saw white and tawny lions and a herd of elephants. On returning to our lodge the fire was not lit and it was freezing. When we mentioned this to Paige she said that there were less housekeeping staff on so perhaps they had not had time. We also reported that our safe was not working on the first day and it was not fixed when we left 3 days later. We did accidentally leave our wallet in our car at the entrance gate and the staff were brilliant – taking our keys and going to retrieve it for us, without us having to leave the lodge. All meals were chosen from a menu with generally 3 choices per course. Food was nice but portions were small. I have no idea why Bianca asked about our preferences as personal taste was never taken into account and our son struggled to choose between the basic kids menu and the slightly too sophisticated adults menu – personalised menus were not an option. The bar service was incredibly slow. Once I waited 15 minutes at the bar to be served and when sitting on the terrace drinks were not offered, despite Paige’s assurances that they would be. The gym was okay but a couple of machines not working. The game drives were all excellent, with between 4 and 6 people per drive going forward and our guide was great. On one day we saw rhino, elephant, buffalo, lion so were just needing the leopard to complete the big 5. That night, whilst eating dinner, it was announced that the leopard was in the vicinity and to stay in the main lodge for safety. We were then offered the chance to get in the landrover and drive the 50 metres down the drive to where the leopard was sitting. An amazing day! We also did the fishing with our ranger which gave us an opportunity to visit the Water Lodge and was a great way to spend a couple of hours. The anniversary/birthday treat promised by Bianca never materialised. All in all a great safari, great accommodation, but lacking in service.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Awake to the sounds of the African bushveld as the sun makes its appearance on the horizon, bringing with it the prospect of another perfect day. Eco friendly Pumba, a proud member of the Green Leaf Conservation Initiative, is set in the malaria-free Eastern Cape and provides an intimate African safari experience never to be forgotten. The reserve is home to Africa's Big Five as well as rare white lion, hippo, hyena, cheetah, giraffes, various antelope and more than 300 bird species. Feel the heartbeat of nature as you explore the reserve in custom landrovers or on guided walking safaris. Water Lodge offers 12 waterfront chalets overlooking Lake Cariega while Bush Lodge is set on a floodplain with scenic mountain views, offering 11 luxury thatch and glass chalets. All Chalets open onto private game-viewing decks boasting plunge pools and outdoor showers. The indulgent bathrooms offer free-standing tubs and double basins, and each room is fitted with an earthenware fireplace. Whether dining indoors or under the starlit sky, meals at Pumba are simply sublime. Enjoy African fusion cuisine with an Eastern Cape flair, complemented by a superb selection of local wines from our Director's Cellar. Revitalise body and mind in the Soul Spa or enjoy a workout in the glass-enclosed gym at Bush Lodge. Other activities include bird watching, bass fishing, stargazing, archery as well as nearby horse riding and golf. An hour from Port Elizabeth and 15 minutes from Grahamstown. WiFi. TGCSA 5-star Lodge. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Pumba Private Game Reserve Hotel Port Elizabeth