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All reviews no electricity safari camp bush experience game drives comfortable accommodation off grid dining table mosquito net high tea real africa enjoyed every minute from australia wild dogs made us feel at home whole team morning coffee south africa
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Reviewed 29 October 2017

We spent 3 nights at Pungwe Safari Lodge in Manyeleti Game reserve - Manyeleti shares a border with the World Famous Kruger National park and there are no fences so everything in Kruger Park is also able to move freely into Manyeleti. This was our first visit to Manyeleti and I did a lot of research before booking this camp. I am very happy with my choice. I have stayed at many other game reserves and lodges in the past.

It was fantastic. Firstly, we came to see the animals. We saw so many animals and good quality sightings - not just a leopard in tree 100 meters away etc, but we were able to drive right up to the tree and see the leopard close up. I love wildlife photography and we managed to get some good photos. The memory of our experiences will remain forever.

If you want to see the big five and all the other African animals and birds and get close to them, then Pungwe is where you need to go. The accomodation is comfortable and there are only 4 safari tent/chalets/rooms so I think they have a maximum of 8 people - which means the game drives are comfortable and everyone gets a prime position to see the sightings. We never had more than 6 people on a game drive.

The staff were great and very helpful, nothing was too much trouble. We had 1 small "technical issue" with our room which was fixed as soon as we pointed it out to the staff. The service was efficient and friendly. Never, and Wonder, our driver and guide are fantastic. The kitchen staff were great too and our meals were good.

The accomodation is comfortable for a "mid price range" safari lodge. The room is very spacious and has all the amenities you need - your own toilet and hot and cold shower and basin - our room also had a bath which my wife absolutely loved. The beds are as comfortable as any I have stayed in, at luxury 5 star star hotels (Hiltons, Conrad, Sheraton). The rooms are large - they are luxury tents with a solid tiled floor and thatch roof built over the outside of the tent. This gives a true African safari experience. We felt very safe in the rooms, but you are still in the bush and close enough to hear the animals in the night. The rooms are far enough away from other rooms so you won't hear your neighbours. We loved hearing the lions in the distance one night and the hyenas every night.

The main lodge area with communal dining table gave a true African safari lodge feel and we enjoyed the experience eating with other guests, who have now become friends and we are in regular contact. - we are originally South African now living in Australia, we met a French couple and two Dutch couples during our 3 wonderful nights. We had great conversations at the dinner table reliving our daily sightings.

There is an honesty bar fridge with drinks and you can help yourself to an adequate selection of cold drinks, beers and wine - prices were very reasonable. The main lounge area is a great place to relax and read or watch and listen to the birds at the small water feature during the day. We went on a game drive in the morning snd then again in the afternoon, when we stopped for sundowner drinks at sunset and then returned at night with spotlights to see night animals. One morning we also did a walk which is a great experience in the bush.

There is no electricity. -no problem for us, I did not want to see a TV we went for the bush experience but there are enough conveniences to make it a very comfortable experience. There is a fridge for drinks which I think is gas powered, there is a small solar system for those wanting to charge a camera battery or even a Cell phone - of course you only need the cell phone to take photos ;)?

We loved it so much, we are planning to return again in 2018. In the end we saw nearly 100 bird species, elephant, lion, buffalo, leopard, wild dogs, jackals, hyenas, all the antelope, warthog, and some great smaller animals at night. The game drives are very good, very professional guides who know where to find the best sightings. And when they do find a sighting, they will get you very close to the animals. This is the best way to see the wild animals. Having grown up in South Africa and traveled to almost all the South African game reserves, Pungwe in Manyeleti Game Reserve is now my top place to visit.

Cant wait to go back there in 2018.

Room tip: All the rooms are good
Date of stay: September 2017
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
1  Thank HappyMondayGary
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 October 2017

Janine at Inspired2Explore organised our SA trip and included a few days at Pungwe. This is a nice bush camp in a beautiful area with lots of game viewing opportunities. We liked that the bush camp is not fenced, which means you may see some animals within the camp itself. The seating/dining area is very pretty. We are vegetarian and they happily catered to us, with very yummy food. We found that there were more mosquitos/bugs here than other areas, which may have just been a coincidence, but the camp provides mosquito repellant. Recommended for a couple of days.

Date of stay: September 2017
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Laura P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 October 2017

Unfortunately we had only the chance to stay for one night in this fantastic camp, next time we will stay longer in any case.
The experience was very unique, no electricity, but full comfort and my best safari ever. Only 4 luxury, very spacious tents with excellents beds. Personal service is guaranteed. I also like to mention the candle light dinner, we all were sitting around a big table and enjoyed our delicious food and the great stories of Michel. Even my late request for a vegetarian food was met - and it was fantastic.
Last but not least I want also to mention the great team - service at its best (every wish was read from the guest's lips).
After several times in southern Africa, I can really recommend Pungwe Safari Camp - don't miss this unique experience with the real bush feeling.

Date of stay: October 2017
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Thank Monika_R75
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 October 2017

My wife and I stayed for 2 nights from the 22nd to 24th Sept at Pungwe Safari Camp.

Pungwe is in the best way an old fashioned tented camp. If possible, we prefer this type of accommodation on our safari vacations and that was the reason for us to choose Pungwe - and also because it is a small camp with only 4 accommodations.

The tents are very spacious and in addition to the wide and comfortable beds there is an armchair, a wardrobe and a chest as a storage.
In front of the tent there is also a covered seating area with two chairs and a table.
The bathroom also has plenty of space and includes a shower and a bathtub as well as the sink and toilet. The water for the bath is heated two times a day with an oven that stands outside the tent.

There is no electricity in the tents. For light there are paraffin lamps, which have already been lit in the evening after the return of the game drive and put the whole camp and the tents in a wonderful and very special mood.

The main building is open on all sides and includes the lounge area as well as the dining area and a small bar where solar power is available and cameras etc. can be charged.

Of course there is also a Boma where you can sit comfortably around the fire (which burns all day) and occasionally the food is prepared over the open flame - real classic safari-feeling.

The food must be highlighted at this point. Whether lunch or dinner - no frills, but home cooking from the very best. All the ingredients were fresh and of best quality. The braised lamb and the chicken we had for our dinners were cooked to perfection. All meals were plentiful and never could be eaten completely.
Also the breakfast must be mentioned. Eggs cooked to order with with sausages, bacon, baked beans … and also toast and cheese, marmelade, honey, Salami and many more. And for tea time freshly baked cake was served daily.

As usual during a safari vacation the days at Pungwe started with a Game-Drive at 6.00 am. After returning at 9.00 - 9.30 am the breakfast was served. Afterwards there was free time until lunch and then again up to teatime. At 4.00 pm the afternoon game drive began. Coming back to the camp depends on what was to see and can lasts more than the announced 3 hours because on both days we have been driving long distances to see a pride of 16 lions. During our Game-Drives there was much game around and we have seen the Big Five in Pungwe - thanks to our Guide Issac.

In summary, we had an excellent stay in Pungwe. But it was far more - it was simply memorable. And the reason for this is Michel, the owner, the manager and mostly the heart of the camp. You rarely meet such an interesting and intelligent person like him. The other guests and we have been talking and discussing with him for hours during the breaks between the Game-Drives and at dinner (and long after). He had incredibly interesting stories to tell from an amazing life that everyone loved to hear. We are glad to have met Michel. Without him, Pungwe would not be the same.

Pungwe Safari Camp is our absolute recommendation for a Safari-Vacation not only in the Manyeleti Game Reserve but throughout the Greater Kruger area.

Date of stay: September 2017
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank ralfcho
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 September 2017

We stayed four nights at Pungwe and loved every minute!!!
We arranged a transfer from Hoedspruit airport to the camp, which was only 1.5hr drive to the camp. When we arrived, we were greeted with a nice welcome drink and showed around the dining, lounge and bar area. The bar was an honor system, so you can help yourself to alcohol or non alcohol drinks at anytime and just write it down under your room/tent name! During the welcome drink time, the staff went over daily time table.
Our private bush tent/cabin with en-suite was very spacious and well appointed. The bed was extra large with rich linens, mosquito net draped around the bed! Our en-suite had a lovely claw foot tub and separate shower!!
But the unforgettable part of our time there was the animals!! We saw more game then we could have imagined!! We saw lions, leopards, cheetahs, elephants, giraffes, water buffaloes, hyenas, zebras, wildebeest, kudo, impala, and many birds, flora and fauna!
Pungwe Safari Camp is a true safari experience, an authentic bush feeling!!!
THANK YOU, to staff, guide and owners for our magical time at Pungwe!! We highly recommend Pungwe Safari Camp!

Date of stay: September 2017
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank cecilia b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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