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"Luxury game lodge in Greater Kruger National Park"

Need to know

    • 8 rooms
    • Greater Kruger, South Africa
    • Riverside game lodge in the African bush

We love

  • The five course breakfast after a morning game drive; sitting on the terrace looking out over panoramic views of the Olifants river
  • Trying the local delicacies – like buffalo and springbok steak
  • Breaks in evening drives for homemade snacks and gin and tonics at sunset
  • Private outdoor Jacuzzi’s on your own deck

Top Secret

Robbie originally trained as an accountant before realising his dream of becoming a ranger. He’s even been known to let the occasional mongoose cosy up under the duvet with him at night.


The Story Husband and wife team Robbie and Lize picked the location of the lodge perfectly – right on the edge of Olifants river, which not only affords beautiful views and sounds of rushing water, but the opportunity to see elephants walk right past your balcony as you sit in your private Jacuzzi.

The Review

Pondoro lodge is set within a private game reserve, but attached to the main Kruger national park, which affords guests the opportunity to see all the Big Five, while also being able to drive off-road.

Exploring the Balule reserve, guests can expect to see lion, buffalo, leopard, rhino and African elephant – plus big names like cheetah and the very rare black rhino. And with owner Robbie as your ranger behind the wheel, expect to see, and learn, more than you could imagine about your new bush-dwelling neighbours.

Daily morning and evening game drives are supplemented by nature walks, as well as evening star-gazing through the lodge’s telescope. And heated beanbags on the seat of every vehicle before a morning game drive are the norm, as is a glass of welcome home sherry after an evening’s drive.

Like the best of boutiques, Pondoro likes to mix it up at mealtime, and we loved a romantic candlelit wine cellar dinner for two, plus a surprise al fresco setup away from the lodge down by the riverbed – surrounded by bomas and tealights.

Chefs make use of local cuts so expect to enjoy an ostrich or buffalo steak, and portions are generous. Fresh, homemade and delicious is the mantra at this lodge. If you’re (un)lucky a monkey might jump down from the trees and steal your bread roll.

New to the lodge this year is a secluded and romantic treehouse lookout – perfect for a picnic lunch for two, or for more the more adventurous an overnight stay.



Pondoro Game Lodge

  • Address: Balule Nature Reserve, Greater Kruger National Park, Hoedspruit, 1380, South Africa
  • Travel info: 1 hour taxi drive from Hoedspruit local airport

Key Features

  • Free Wifi

  • Airport Shuttle

  • Car Parking

  • Bar

  • Restaurant

  • Spa