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Reviewed 18 December 2017 via mobile

Loved my stay at Pungwe. This small and private camp captures the essence of Africa.
Great game sightings, beautiful trees, abundance of birds and more all form part of a unspoilt natural eco-system.
Lovely tented accommodation with super comfortable beds made for a good night's rest while the sounds of Africa filled the night.
Thank You Michel and your lovely staff for being superb hosts.
I

Date of stay: December 2017
Trip type: Travelled with friends
Thank SharonHaussmann
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 December 2017

Under new highly experienced management since September 2016 (new investment), the "Camp" delivers a finely balanced experience of living in a game park (no fences); convivial dining hosted by the owner, while delivering unforgettable safari drives and bush walks from skilled guides. Your life is in their hands. It is their experience and knowledge which will protect you, and you will need to follow their instructions in order to be safe. You will come away with a new respect for all living creatures. The elephants and other game can, and do, wander right through the camp, even while you are sleeping there. This is not a place for young children. It is for those that want to experience Africa as it was in the days of "Born Free" but with a little more comfort (decent beds and running water). The Food was excellent for a camp. You are encouraged, when you want a hot drink, to visit the camp fire, and pour the hot water from the kettle suspended above the flames; sit on the log seats, and chat with others, as has been done for 1000s of years across Africa. Under the nearby thatched dining room and bar, modern more comfortable sofas and chairs provide another area for socialising.

I have given this 5 stars because the overall Safari experience is superb. The new owner has around half the concession for the Manyeletti game reserve, which has open fences to the Kruger Park. He invested because the entire ecosystem of the reserve from vegetation through birds of prey to the "big five" are all healthy. There are only room for 8 people in the single Safari Viewing Land Cruiser. That meant that in 2 days of Safaris we only met one vehicle. For example, when we were viewing a stalking lion at 10 meters distance (spotting the lame buffalo) our vehicle was the only one present. We saw on the drives all the game that we desired (I don't want to overset your expectations because you may not be as lucky as us. We were delighted). I also want to dwell for a moment on the Safari walk (from about 6.30am to 10am). The moment that you set out with your guides, your senses become more attuned to everything around you. There is no engine noise. The guides start to introduce to bush craft. They have time to talk and explain, as they begin to track the wild animals on foot. Here you start to learn so much more about the bush than just viewing the big game magnificence.

I am a cruising sailor. I have sailed the Atlantic. That was not risky for me because I was trained and experienced. The same is true here. I put myself under the experience and instruction of the staff, and the five of us had a safe and incredible experience of Africa that we will remember the rest of our life.

Date of stay: December 2017
  • Trip type: Travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
3  Thank Peter H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
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
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
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
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
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
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