Book your stay for as long as you can because once you check in you are not going to want to leave. The beautiful rooms are situated along the river and there is a nice separation between each so you feel very private and in nature. We stayed in a suite and took outdoor showers while elephants and giraffe walked past along the river and groups of monkeys hung out in the trees. At night, we took a Jacuzzi underneath the stars with the sounds of the bush all around -- truly magical. The food was great and I ate more than I think I've ever eaten in my life. Breakfast was my favorite. The dinner highlight was a communal table by lamp light with fires lit down by the river. I wish this was the dinner situation every night, since it was a great way to further get to know the other guests. It also would have been nice to be able to have a meal choice for dinner, since South Africans eat very meat heavy. Lize and the staff were all so sweet and accommodating--they truly made you feel at home. All this would have made for a great experience on its own, but the game drives were the highlight of course! Robbie and Sam were a great tracking team with an incredible knowledge of the animals who made sure we saw it all. Sam once followed tracks out into the bush on foot and temporarily scared a cheetah away from its Impala meal -- the cat was so close and we never would have known it was there without their expert knowhow and it allowed us to to get right up close to it while it digested its full belly. This was truly a once in a life time experience (or as many times as you can!) not to be missed and Pondoro makes sure every detail is taken care of so you can just relax and enjoy. My only regret that I was too tired from the early morning game drives to take full advantage of the extensive wine list, but it was a worthy trade-off. I did a lot of research before choosing Pondoro and this place did not disappoint on any level -- look no further than this place! A big thank you to Robbie and Lize as well as Sam and all of the staff for such a great trip!!!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- 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. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Pondoro Game Hotel Balule Private Game Reserve
- Pondoro Game Lodge South Africa/Balule Nature Reserve