Guest Reviews

Simply amazing

Could not fault our stay here. Absolutely amazing from start to finish, despite shocking, unseasonal weather!! We saw plenty of animals, 4 of the big 5 and our driver (Zee) was just superb. Incredible views of the lions every day and even the elusive rhinos came out in the rain. Rooms were spectacular, we had a 2 bedroom lodge overlooking the hippo pod so listened to their groaning early hours, just lovely. Food was of high quality and varied, catering overall very well for our food intolerances. Spa treatments were lovely and very welcome, although worth booking in advance of your trip. Excellent and would highly recommend.

May 2024

Lifetime memories made. Unforgettable adventure.

Where to begin!
From the moment you arrive at Pumba lodge the warmth from every member of staff you meet shines through.
You're then taken your room which feels like something out of a dream. I miss sitting on our balcony watching the animals come to the watering hole!
Our experience wouldn't have been so special without our guide Mzi. He not only ensured we saw as much as possible - lions, hippos, rhinos, elephants, giraffes, cheetahs (I could go on. But he also shared an immense amount of knowledge on everything from tracking, animal behaviour, conservation efforts, astronomy. His love for the animals and environment were infectious and his jokes put a smile on our face every day. We miss him and our "elephant milk" hot chocolates every morning.
We also had the pleasure of doing a bush walk with Cleo. We learned so much about the tracking of prints, the vegetation and stories of how Cleo grew up in the area.
To close off, a thank you yo every one of the lodge staff. From the housekeeping who would leave hot water bottles in your bed at night and the fire on. To the friendly front of house staff who were always happy to help.
We can't wait to return to Pumba one day.

May 2024

Experience of a lifetime

This place is so remarkable, we stayed two but should have done at least 3 nights. Food, room and the staff were so incredible. Would stay here again. The game drives are fantastic you really get to see the animals up close and you never know where they will be

Angela W

Amazing stay

We were treated to a fantastic stay in the reserve, where we spent 3 nights as part of our honeymoon back in November 2022 (had to include November 2023 as our stay date in review).

The food, staff, service and lodges were all second to none, while all of the reserve’s employees made us feel right at home. We did a total of 6 game drives, which we felt was the ideal amount to see a wide variety of animals, including a number of sightings of the reserve’s famous white lions.

Our ranger, Avela, was very informative. His light-hearted nature, storytelling and vast array of knowledge about the animals, all contributed to unforgettable drives, and overall an amazing stay.


Safari hoilday

How trip was amazing. Can't fault anything. The lodge was amazing and clean.everything we could have wished for. The food was absolutely amazing. The staff were so lovely and friendly and couldn't do enough for you.the safari was amazing our driver was brilliant mzi was amazing. We saw all what we wanted to see.and more. Thankyou for such a amazing trip.would love to return one day .thankyou .Happy memories xx


Memorable end to a great trip.

Memorable end to a great trip.
We were recommended this game reserve from a friend. Even then it exceeded all our expectations from arrival and seeing a lioness, giraffe and elephants on our way to the amazing bush lodge. Accommodation, food, staff and game drives were all 5 star and amazing.Rangers were so knowledgeable and it’s wonderful to see the animals in their natural habitat and obviously thriving.


Just fabulous!!

We had the most incredible stay at the Water Lodge. The accommodation was stunning the staff were amazing and the game drives were just fantastic, especially our ranger Wesley!! We will definitely be returning to Pumba without a doubt!


Animal Magic!

Back in London and I guess I am going to have to get used to not seeing Zebras, Wildebeest and Elephants walking past my back door, but it's going to be hard!
What a magical place Pumba is and what an exceptional time we had there.
Having been on safari some 30 years before in Kenya, I was expecting a "safari-lite" experience at what is a private Game Reserve, but Pumba exceeeded our expectations by a distance.
First off the accomodation, which was truly spectacular. We stayed in Bush Lodge "K" at the very edge of that particualr part of the reserve and were blown-away. A huge room, and huge bathroom (plus a wonderful and often-used outdoor shower) plus our own terrace and plunge pool, with quite literally, the most wonderful views. The photos on TA really don't do them justice and the thrill of seeing two elephants feedng 20 yards from where you are sitting is quite unrivalled.
The reserve is all inclusive, which means all meals, snacks, drinks plus two "drives" each day, one at 6:30am and one at 4:30pm are included and there are some other activities offered too, some free some extra plus a spa, none of which in our two nights we experienced.
We were privileged to be paired with a wonderful and knowledgeable ranger called Mabhuti (I do hope I spelt that correctly!) who was one of THE reasons this part of the holiday was so special. His warmth, passion, and enthusiasm for what he does, shines through in every drive and he really cared about showing us the wildlife so that all 6 of us on his jeep had the best experience and saw all we could. He went above-and-beyond and we cannot praise him highly enough.
Outside of the drives and relaxing by the plunge pool, there are some minor issues. As some have reported, the food is a little average and as South Africa had treated us to two weeks of exceptional meals, the drop in standards was perhaps even more noticeable than it might have been had this been our first stop. Also, arriving at the reserve after a 3 and a half hour car journey and being asked to unload our cases from the car ourselves (we had 6 bags/cases!) was a little disappointing, but I highlight both these minor (overly-fussy!) moans not to be difficult, but as a nudge to management to up their game slightly and make this THE premier destination.
So to conclude, this is a two-night stay that we will remember and cherish all our lives and I would not hesitate in recommending Pumba to anyone.


Amazing experience!!!

We stayed at the Water Lodge and had a holiday which we will never forget. I would highly recommend staying at the Pumba Safari Reserve.
All staff made us feel very welcome throughout our stay, The lodge we stayed in was clean and comfy, just be careful of the monkeys! The bathroom is huge with a large bath and a separate shower. The mini bar is constantly restocked of soft and alcoholic drinks along with personal touches which make you feel right at home!
The food served at the lodge was of a high quality and there was always something on the menu which we all liked.
Whilst on Safari was lucky enough to be looked after Pumlani, whos knowledge of the animals was excellent. He was able to spot and locate whichever animals we requested and got us up close to capture some amazing views, whilst always feeling safe. We had encounters with elephants which were so close you have touched them. He made sure we kept warm with our own hot water bottles and stopping off for refreshments.
Whilst back at the lodge all the staff were friendly and very knowledgeable. Hannes was an excellent host and shared great stories with us regarding the monkeys.
This was a holiday of a lifetime and I would recommend the Pumba Reserve to anyone wishing to go on a Safari trip with their family.


Amazing trip

What a great experience, amazing safari experience with good food good wine, who could ask for more. Up early for the first excursion managed to see Lions, Elephants, Rhinos and Hippos, Giraffes and Zebras. Coffee and a snack on the range then back for a great breakfast. The room was beautiful. Highly recommend


Pumba is amazing

Went to Pumba water lodge on safari and can’t praise this place highly enough. From the moment we arrived everything was flawless. We saw lots of wild animals which was the main purpose but also the accommodation, the food, the service, the star gazing, it was all out of this world. Thank you everyone!


Absolute Paradise

Fabulous location with amazing game drives. Incredibly comfortable, clean and beautiful accommodation. Wonderful food and the most friendly and professional staff you could possibly wish for. Highly recommended. Don’t miss the star gazing.


A slice of heaven.

From the minute we arrived at Punba Game Reserve we were ‘blown away’ with the absolute top quality service we received and the amazing accommodation. Everyone were so friendly and helpful. Every aspect of the accommodation was spotlessly clean and our room was serviced twice a day. The food was extremely good and we had no difficulty with vegan options. The game drives were spectacular. We had all types of animals including lions and elephants walking within a few foot of us. This was an experience of a live time.

Evan G

Magical experience

Wonderful experience from beginning to the end of our 3 night trip, the accommodation was very clean and well equipped with a five star feel. It was also serviced twice a day. There was a good range of food offered daily, served by the fabulous staff who couldn’t have been friendlier.
On to the game drives, on our first night we didn’t really see a variety of animals and I have to say we we’re a little anxious, but the following trips out we’re just magical. Cleo, our ranger was exceptional and was very informative.
If we’re fortunate enough to do another safari, we would definitely return to the Pumba lodge .

Ev O

Excellent Sensational spot ….

Great staff, wonderful food, good service, stunning accommodation …. And that’s before the game reserve …. Which is fantastic. We enjoyed a wonderful & most memorable stay at Pemba and can recommend it highly - thanks to all the team at Puma :)


What a place...

Well, where do you start. This was a bucket list trip for my wife's 60th birthday and what a trip. Firstly, top marks to Trailfinders who organised an exceptional trip, which literally went without fault, from start to finish with many parts to organise, thank you to the team in Belfast.

Pumba... it's magical ! Its more than what you expect.. .... luxurious, private, personal... more like moving in to your own world of luxury. The pictures on their web site do it justice, the staff are without exception, wonderful. The accommodation is.... breathtaking... the food divine... but the main reason you come here is to see the wildlife.. and boy... do you see it! Lions, lion cubs, white lions, elephants, rhino, hippo, giraffe, cheetah, monkeys and of course, Zebra and Impala. But what makes the safari special is your driver...Mzi was ours, what a gentleman, so much knowledge, expertly delivered as he drove our Land Rover around to places that I didn't think even Land Rovers could go.... and then in the middle of nowhere, he produces a bar and serves a mean G&T and aperitifs (hot chocolate, coffee and muffins on the morning drive). Back at the lodge you relax on your own balcony, with plunge pool and outside shower while you look down on the lake and the elephants and Hippos.

A special thank you also to the ladies in the restaurant and reception who are expertly guided by Hannes, a real life Safari star.

We hope to see you all soon again.

Peter N

from Lancashire

This was a special trip for us to celebrate our ruby wedding,the whole experience was awesome,we’ve been on safari before in Botswana in canvas huts which was nice but to have all the 5 star luxury at Puma was on another level,superb!

Anthony and Sue

First Class

The best game viewing we have had in the Eastern Cape. Close views of white lion, cheetah, elephant, rhino, buffalo, new born giraffe and others. Great accommodation with bush/game views (Bush Lodge).

Evison D

There is good, there's great and then there is Pumba!

This far exceeded our wildest dreams. Our game guide, Cleo was absolutely fantastic. He explained everything in a way we could understand. He spotted animals we couldn't make out with binoculars. In our opinion he is the GOAT of game guides. When we asked him to seek out lions, just around the corner were lions. The same for elephants, wilderbeast, buffalo and giraffes. He even found the cheetehs that no-one had seen in 10 days. We had the time of our lives here and i hope to come back one day. Also, the lodges, food, drink and service were excellent.

Richie Goodhouse

Wow - what an amazing place and holiday.

I had always wanted to do a safari but didn’t want to go where there was a risk of malaria. After looking at many game reserves in the Eastern Cape decided on Pumba after seeing their videos on YouTube. The reserve didn’t disappoint.
From arrival to departure we were made to feel special by all the staff. We stayed at the water lodge where all the rooms have views over the lake. Luxurious accommodation in such a beautiful wild setting with the noises of Hippos in the water & monkeys running over the roof just added to the ambience.
The game drives never failed to impress with sightings of lions, including their cubs, elephants, rhinos, giraffes, warthogs, zebras, impalas, buffalo, baboons, and cheetahs. A huge thanks must go to our rangers Cam and Q who made the game drives interesting and fun sharing their knowledge of the wildlife and never failing to find animals of interest. On making a special request on our final game drive to see if we could find the cheetahs again, they searched them out and found them feeding after making a kill - amazing.
The breakfasts and lunches were excellent. However there was the odd evening meal which wasn’t quite up to 5 star standard which is a shame as everything else about Pumba is top notch.
That said I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Pumba for a safari as the staff make this place special, always there to make sure you are having a good time and have everything you need. And of course there are the animals 😊

Helen T

You must experience Pumba!

We loved absolutely everything about our stay!
It far exceeded our expectations - location, room, food, game drives, staff professionalism and friendliness were all absolutely outstanding.
The fact that we are already booking another stay with our daughters and partners in December says it all!
We couldn't make any higher recommendation - you have to experience Pumba!

Rick F


We stayed at The Water Lodge for a couple of nights at the end of February. Our whole experience at Pumba was just fabulous. The accommodation was beautiful, with a terrace overlooking the lake, just stunning. The staff were so friendly and efficient and we have to give a special mention to our ranger Mzi who was exceptional and made our game drive experiences so memorable with his knowledge, charm and love for the animals.
We would definitely recommend!

Donna B

Perfection in the Wild

I’ve just returned from my fourth time staying at Pumba Water Lodge and as usual it never fails to impress. Thomas our ranger was superb and I cannot praise him enough for his tracking and information of animals, birdlife and flora. Dining is a delight with an excellent choice on the menus each day. I also cannot praise the staff running this lodge enough, they’re so helpful and always happy and friendly. I’m already planning my next visit.

Peta Piper

Good times at this friendly and welcoming game reserve

We had a great time at this reserve. It was our first time on safari, everything was well managed, we felt totally relaxed and taken care of. We didn’t manage to see all of the big 5 but appreciated that they limit the amount of animals in a responsible way. We would definitely recommend this reserve, especially as a first time safari. The lodges are stunning and the service excellent.


What an amazing time we’ve had! Pumba is absolutely stunning ❤️

We stayed in a Lake lodge which was beautiful and spacious. The dining areas & food is excellent. The staff are amazing and attentive. And Q!! our safari guide was just THE BEST. He is new to Pumba and we were his first guests. He did a fabulous job and made our safari experience just perfect. He’s super knowledgeable, good fun and a true gentleman. We couldn’t believe his knowledge! We will always remember our interesting chats, laughs, and of course morning coffee and sunset drinks! Thank you Q and to all Pumba staff for making our stay such an amazing memory we will always treasure. Helen & Kenny from no.5 xxx

Kenny Helen

Perfect Pumba

We stayed for 3 nights & experienced 5 game drives with our brilliant guide Mbuti. The Chalet accommodation was gorgeous with an awesome view of the lake, everything was wonderful, the staff were all kind,helpful,polite and happy to look after us. I would not hesitate in returning.

Ian G

Fantastic Safari

Excellent service, clean and comfortable accommodation, Thomas our Ranger was absolutely amazing! He ensured we our comfort at all times that we would see as many animals as possible. His knowledge was endless. Absolutely loved our time there. Would thoroughly recommend it


Cape Town, South Africa

Fantastic experience

We had a wonderful experience at pumba.The warm welcome on arrival and tour of the lodge was excellent and staff were so friendly and accommodating The reserve has lots of different animals, fauna and floral . Our guide was excellent and extremely knowledgeable and was happy to answer all the questions us and the children had. Our children age 10 and 12 thoroughly enjoyed their game drives and learnt so much from it.


Our Msenge Lodge was excellent,clean and comfortable - the bathroom was huge and the views from the lodge and plunge pool area were stunning - we frequently saw warthogs and zebras . The food was good with plenty of choice and an extensive wine list. The staff were highly attentive and service was excellent nothing was too much trouble. The little extras of welcome drinks, snacks and goodnight treats were lovely . There is a pool and gym and spa on site as well as a range of other activities to do. Pumba is a great game reserve for children and adults with plenty of space and children are well catered for. Pumba truly is a 5 star experience


Fantastic, we want to come back!

Fantastic experience from as soon as you arrive. Very high levels of customer service and attention to detail in rooms. Excellent food throughout our stay. Staff couldn't do enough to make your time at Pumba special. Fun and informative game drives twice per day. Our ranger was so passionate about all nature and extremely knowledgable. Really peaceful snd restful environment..being woken by hippos outside the room in the mornings was just great! We loved this place! Special mention and thanks to our ranger Philip, archery with Thomas and super helpful Ryan, thanks guys


Cape Town, South Africa

Unforgettable experience

Beautiful accommodation, exquisite food, amazing animals but the best thing about Pumba is the staff! They’re all so friendly, welcoming and incredibly knowledgable! I can’t wait to come back! Thank you to everyone at Pumba for an unforgettable experience!


Superb Private Game Reserve

Fantastic place!! Beautiful lodge and rooms with great views over the water hole or bush.
Very good staff and game drives, lots to see.

Food also very good and wines likewise.

Ideally the guests would mix more before dinner for a drink, which would make it a more social experience. The Lodge needs to proactively encourage that.


Market Harborough, United Kingdom

Luxurious...beautiful animals!

What a fantastic four night stay we had at Pumba, absolutely faultless. Our Bush Lode accommodation was fantastic, absolute luxury with its own private outside plunge pool overlooking the watering hole and the wildlife that where regular visitors...Elephants, Zebras, Monkeys, Antelope, Buffalo etc. The housekeeping and room service did a fantastic job of servicing our lodge.

We had 2 game drives, morning and afternoon followed by a delicious evening meal under the stars. Our guide was Pumi, very knowledgeable and a nice chap. We saw too many animals to mention but included were the magnificent white lions, Rhino, Hippo, Elephant, Giraffe, Zebra, Various Antelope, Monkeys. Up close and personal with the animals which made for great photos.

If you are pondering about which game reserve to visit when in S Africa then don't hesitate with Pumba, its fabulous. The type of place which would make a perfect honeymoon destination.

Thank you to all the wonderful staff at Pumba for making our stay so brilliant.


Loved it!

We stayed here for two nights during our honeymoon. This was our first safari and we are so glad we picked Pumba! The room was very spacious and clean and had beautiful views of the lake and the hippos. The food was fantastic, beautifully presented.

Our driver Denise was brilliant, we learnt so much and were lucky to spot so many animals! We could hear the hippos in the morning and found the velvet monkeys so entertaining!

Pumba is also perfect for star gazing, the sky was so clear in the night!

Wonderful place, we hope to return one day, thank you for making our honeymoon so special! 🥰


Oxford, United Kingdom