Guest Reviews

Words cannot do Pumba justice. You have stolen my heart - we WILL be back

I have travelled widely, and have never had such an authentic, professional and surreal experience! Out of Ritz-Carlton’s, St Regis’s, Four Seasons - 7 nights at Pumba was by far the best experience of my life. I fear words can do no justice to the incredible staff and lodge, but I will try.

We were greeted by Siwe and welcomed with the warmest smile I have ever received in my life. This set the tone for the entire trip. Checkin was smooth and she explained the formalities/admin well, as well as her distrust for poor little One-Tusk

The moment I bid farewell to my car was when we disconnected from the real world. Pumba is a luxurious escape from life that words cannot describe.

We were escorted by “Ranger B” to Bush Lodge - more on this later.

Bush Lodge: as I said earlier, I have stayed in suites in proper 5 stars around the world, but none come close to the gorgeous rooms of Bush Lodge. Friendly welcoming and tour (with a refreshing drink in hand). So many little touches that we felt right at home

Staff: Boy, where to begin. Pumba has the absolute best staff I have ever have the privilege of meeting. Discreet, yet always available. They seem to know what you want before you ask. The amount of little touches is astonishing:
- warm/cold towels (weather dependant) upon every arrival to the lodge from game drives.
- ponchos and water provided on game drives to keep dry/warm
- room cleaned immaculately, with a beautiful turn down service every night (bedtime story and fudge on your pillow included!)
- professional but so welcoming and friendly - always smiling
- we were the only guests one night and staff, on their own accord, set up a cozy fireside dinner at the bar!
- staff were always around to wave goodbye and light the way at night with a great smile upon returns from game drives - hot chocolate in hand on cold nights
- seriously, these staff know how to communicate. How was everything ready just before we arrived anywhere?! We never once saw a cleaning lady, yet the room was serviced and turned down every day, with everything we needed?!

You really get the feeling that Pumba staff are proud of their product. It’s something most lodges could never have. We cannot wait to see them all again.

Food: Food was DIVINE every single meal. Bush snacks on every morning drive, a divine breakfast, lunch, high tea, bush sundowners and dinner! Food was prepared with love, beautifully plated and perfectly prepared. Potions were good. We never tired of the menu after 7 days! Plenty of veg options. Desserts were to die for. The sorbets between starters and main at dinner was always so exciting. The cheese boards were lovely, too.

Game drives: what you come for - Ranger B was THE BEST. We learnt so much from you. Your passion for the bush is contagious. He knows the answer to every question, and will research if he doesn’t. You created memories we will cherish forever. Animals were always respected, but we got close enough for some wonderful sightings. The leopard was too elusive for us (not for lack for Ranger B trying - he even organised a later drive to try and spot the cat). We saw everything else that we wanted to see, including some cool jackal sightings, secretary birds, eland, foxes. Sundowners and morning coffees were so fun! To think that we walked in as safari virgins and left with so much knowledge makes the experience so worthwhile. We are looking forward to your beautiful pictures!

Water lodge: stunning view, again, the best staff ever. Great food, great pool. A very small point for management: room 1 could do with a bit of a paint job as the room is showing it’s age around the corners. Again, nothing that even distracted us, but for a 5 star lodge it could be noteworthy.

Evening fires created such a great atmosphere after the drives. Ample wood supplied in the room to keep a roaring fire during cold nights. Almost everything is included - you will want for absolutely nothing.

Pumba is truly the most special place - Beryl (seriously - your service and professionalism exceeds Emirates First Class), Pearl (you were so sweet and thoughtful!), Nandi (such a queen!), Hannes (so professional and friendly), Siwe (my instant best friend), all of you are the best! ❤️ You have stolen my heart Pumba!

I was brought to tears as we drove away, but I am so grateful for this experience.

Thank you again Pumba, WE WILL BE BACK


Cape Town, South Africa

Fantastic family safari

My wife and I and our two daughters decided to go on a family safari and spend 2 nights at Pumba Private Game Reserve. As my wife and I had previously stayed in a Msenge Chalet at Bush Lodge and in an Impala Chalet at Water lodge, we opted to stay together in a Msenge Family Chalet at Bush Lodge.
The family chalet is located in a secluded area in the bushveld, with two separate private bedrooms, each with their own air-conditioning, fan, private en-suite bathroom, outside shower, mini bar fridge and fireplace. The rooms were spacious and clean with a king size bed in one room and two twin beds in the other room, all of which were extremely comfortable. Each of the rooms also has a relaxing lounge area leading out onto a private deck with a refreshing plunge pool and magnificent view of the bushveld and a watering hole which is visited by many animals, including elephant.
The main lodge itself has lovely open plan lounge, dining and bar areas, with a beautiful deck area with wonderful views of the plain below the lodge, and of the watering hole where plenty animals come to drink.
The manager Paige, and all the staff were extremely attentive, efficient and friendly, and went out of their way to ensure that at all times we were well looked after. The food was superb, and our specific dietary needs were extremely well catered for.
Our ranger Gladman was professional, knowledgeable and entertaining. During our stay we had the exclusive use of our own game vehicle for our two daily game drives which was a real bonus. We had fantastic sightings and saw plenty of game, including tawny and white lion, elephant, rhino, buffalo, giraffe, zebra, warthog, wildebeest, mongoose, jackal, bat eared fox and hippo. We were also fortunate to observe fascinating and interesting animal interactions, including an elephant chasing a lion away from a giraffe kill, as well as an interaction between a male lion and lion cubs feeding at another giraffe kill. We also saw lots of antelope, including kudu, impala, nyala, waterbuck and blesbok.
Overall, we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and had an absolutely fantastic family safari at Pumba and definitely hope to be back.


Exceeded expectations

We have been on many safari trips but normally in Kruger or Botswana, we didn't think that the eastern cape could offer an equivalent wrong we were ! We saw so much game, white lion which was a special treat. This resort quality and service is up there with any of the top Kruger or Botswana lodges. The food was really fantastic and so nice that the drinks were included in the price


Cape Town, South Africa

Loved it!

We spent 2 nights here as part of our honeymoon trip and I’m so pleased we chose it. We arrived at reception at about 3.30pm and the next safari was at 4.30. The drive to our lodge was quite far and we had loads of luggage but the staff were great in transporting us quickly so that we could make the safari in time. Our ranger then was the ranger for the rest of our stay, which is great because you build a rapport and relationship with them - important because you end up spending quite a lot of time with them (2 safaris a day, 2.5 hours each). Sia, our ranger, was great and made loads of effort to find us animals to see. There was a lot of respect shown to the animals as well as trying to allow us to watch natural animal behaviour.

We stayed at the Bush lodge and our room was beautiful. On a sunny day, it was such a sight! During your morning safari (6.30am to 9am) your room is refreshed and the blinds are pulled up which means you have a 360 degree view of your surroundings. Basically the walls of your room are window doors so you could even open them up if you wanted and feel like you were sleeping right in the Bush! Mosquito net doors allowed you to do this and there was mosquito netting around the bed which was surprising pretty. It was super private too.
One day we were there, the weather was cold and wet but it didn’t ruin my stay at all - we had a fire built in our room and I had a little snooze. Just a nice cosy lodge day by the fire! They provide lovely lavender bath salts - I’m not a bath person BUT I couldn’t resist given the atmosphere and view.

Staff were friendly and helpful and although you have to pay for laundry, it was extremely reasonable and done really quickly and effectively.
Food was good and they were able to accommodate for me being lactose free.
If you like being friendly and having that group feel on holiday with other holiday makers, then Pumba definitely has this in mind too. You spend the safaris with the same people for the duration of your stay (so that was 10 hours for us). This can be a bit tricky if you’ve got people who you find a bit annoying. There is a campfire at the lodge with seats set up in a circle so you kind of have to face each other. I just mention it because I can be quite introvert so it wasn’t really my bag. This had no impact on my enjoyment at all however. I loved the place and wished we had more time there.

Perfect end to our SA adventure along the garden route for our honeymoon!

We stayed In the water lodge, looking over the river, being able to watch the elephants, hippos and excessive bird wild life from our balcony and even the bath! The food was flawless, the room was clean, well decorated and attention to detail and quality was apparent. The staff couldn’t do more for you and the rangers were so incredibly knowledgable. A massive thank you goes out to Brandin our ranger who went above and beyond, his enthusiasm, his energy and passion for his job and the wildlife lead us to be seeing the big 5 during our 2 night stay.

Thank again to all at Pumba Lodge, we were sad to leave and will cherish the memories for a lifetime. We have already discussed returning on our 10th year anniversary.


North Baddesley, 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