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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 3 December 2017

My friend and I had the most memorable safari experience seeing 4 of the Big 5 during a 2-night stay :) We fell in love with the Pungwe Safari Camp and its staff, especially Robert who was our chef! We really enjoyed the intimate feel of the camp as it only accommodates small groups, and the authentic experience of a safari camp that takes seriously its impact on the environment and local community. I loved it so much, that I swear I will return someday in the future to relive the wonder and awe of the South African safari!

Date of stay: June 2017
  • Trip type: Travelled with friends
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank drb170
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Russell H, Owner at Pungwe Safari Camp, responded to this reviewResponded 4 December 2017

Thank you so much for your kind words, we too hope to see you back one day.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 November 2017

The minute we entered the gates for Manyeleti Game Reserve we knew this would be a great adventure. With smiles on our faces and the windows wound down within as little as ten minutes we were seeing the famous wildlife sights of Africa – elephants in the distance, giraffe and zebra on the side of the road and a lazy lion sleeping in the midday sun. Even as seasoned return travellers to South Africa we never get tired of the bush and the wildlife.

This was our first time in the 22,000 hectare community owned and managed private reserve. We love small, unfenced and authentic camps. Pungwe was the perfect destination, with only four tents and a maximum of eight guests. The tents are delightful - comfortable and spacious providing a feeling like your miles away from the outside world. With no electricity and wood fire heated hot water the bush camp is great for people who enjoy nature and a true African bush experience, with all the simple comforts you need. And you just never know what will wonder into the camp! We were fortunate enough to see a young Hyena take a nap in the shade of one of the tents.

A highlight of our stay was the morning walks. While these are weather dependant, exploring the bush on foot is a special experience and an opportunity to learn about the small things we often miss. Never was a wonderful walking guide, sharing his stories and knowledge of the bush. The afternoon game drives are always eventful. You never know what will be around the corner and we enjoyed some wonderful wildlife sightings including leopard, hyena in the camp, beautiful African birds including the striking European Rollers and Kingfishers, female lions with young feeding cubs, elephants, giraffe and more. The days are finished with sundowner drinks watching the beautiful sunset colours before heading back to camp for dinner.

Violet the chef prepared wholesome, home cooked meals with beautiful fresh baked bread and cakes. She always had a bright big smile on her face. The staff are always willing to help if you needed something.

Our only disappointment is that eventually you have to leave. If you are after a raw and unique bush experience which is more about the wildlife and the local people than the private plunge pool and five star rooms, then you will love Pungwe Bush Camp.

Date of stay: October 2017
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
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Thank naturewise
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Russell H, Owner at Pungwe Safari Camp, responded to this reviewResponded 4 December 2017

Thank you so much for your fantastic review, I will be sure to pass on your comments to our staff, they delight in all forms of feedback. Thank you for choosing Pungwe Safari Camp as part of your African safari, we hope that the experiences and memories will bring you back.

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Reviewed 9 November 2017

We enjoyed Pungwe very much. We have seen the Big 5, more than 25 lions within 2 days. The location is perfect, the whole team did a perfect job. It is simple without electricity but with love and patience.

Date of stay: November 2017
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank antje-frank2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
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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
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Thank Laura P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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