History of the Land

To alleviate unemployment and crippling poverty after the Napoleonic Wars, the British Government encouraged emigration to South Africa. This resulted in 4 000 English Settlers arriving in Algoa Bay (Port Elizabeth) in 1820.

These Settlers were allocated farms in the adjacent interior, neighbours to Kariega, making the area less isolated. In the course of time, Kariega was subdivided into several smaller properties, a practice commonly used to provide a son with his own farm. The remainder of the original Kariega Farm is included in what is known today as Pumba Private Game Reserve. The owners are acquiring and reincorporating those smaller subdivided farms and restoring the indigenous fauna & flora ensuring the preservation of the area’s historical and ecological heritage.

The idea which led to the formation of Pumba Private Game Reserve & Spa was conceived by Hotelier Trevor Lombard and wildlife enthusiast, Dale Howarth. This culminated in the creation of the reserve in July 2004. Both Trevor & Dale were born and bred in the Eastern Cape and their respective backgrounds complemented each other perfectly in establishing what Pumba Private Game Reserved & Spa is today.

Immediately after its creation, steps were taken to rehabilitate and restore the indigenous fauna, some of which had not been present since 1825. These steps ranged from the removal of all traces of previous farming activities to the reintroduction of a variety of game, the most exciting being the Big Five, as well as Hippos, Hyenas, Cheetahs and White Lions. Lastly, various species of antelope were released onto the reserve to complete the re-stocking process.

Experienced and well-known interior designer, Alison van Zijl, who was passionate about African wildlife and indigenous flora, was appointed to do the concept planning and interior design for the lodges and their accommodation. Her inspiration was drawn from many features integral to the sites of the lodges; the magnificent East Cape valley and riverine bush surrounding the lodge; the reflection in the water of the Kariega Lake overlooked by the lodge and finally the colours and style of the traditional dress of the Xhosa people to whom the Eastern Cape is home.

Friendly and efficient staff ensure that excellent service and plenty of personal attention is given to all guests visiting this very beautiful piece of wildest Africa. As a result, Pumba is now well on its way to achieving Trevor and Dale’s objective of creating the perfect environment in which the ultimate African Safari may be experienced.

From our guests