Pumba Game Reserve consists of 6000 hectares of mainly dense Eastern Cape valley bushveld, favoured by elephants, and grassland. Game is plentiful here, and warthog are the most visible, hence the name. There are 45 species of mammal, including white lion and wild dog, plus 280 species of bird. You would expect to see the big five here, with the exception of leopard which is very hard to find in the Eastern Cape.
Although Pumba is surrounded by farmland once inside the reserve, it feels like a huge expanse of wilderness, with hills on the horizon. There are two lodges, Water Lodge, set by Lake Kariega, and Bush Lodge (Msenge). Both are very comfortable. We can recommend Pumba as a luxurious and professionally-run lodge, set on an attractive reserve, with good quality guiding and plenty of wildlife.
Water Lodge has twelve stone-walled thatched chalets, set by a lake. Each chalet is in a private setting with timber deck, plunge pool and outdoor shower. The fabulous Kudu suite has two interleading rooms and is ideal either for families or two couples travelling together.
Msenge, or Bush Lodge, has eleven glass-enclosed chalets, each with a private deck, a plunge pool and outdoor shower. Both lodges have comfortable, spacious and well-designed communal areas, but Water Lodge has the edge as its communal area is larger and overlooks the lake. However, Msenge overlooks a plain so you are more likely to see game wandering past.
Apart from the game drives, Pumba offers bush walks and specialist bird-watching and star-gazing. A health spa and mini gym at Msenge can be used by both lodgers, and a variety of treatments are available at extra cost. Other activities in the area include a visit to historic Grahamstown (we can arrange a historical tour), golf - a Gary Player designed course just 30 minutes away - and a fabulous beach of rolling sand dunes at nearby Kenton-on-Sea.
At Water Lodge the Gemsbock (superior) chalets have a third bed; the Impala chalets can take a stretcher bed. There is also the Kudu suite with interleading rooms. All the rooms at Bush Lodge can take a stretcher bed.
Children under 8 cannot go on open game drives.
Pumba is easy to get to, and easy to find, if self-driving. It is just off the N2, an hour’s drive from Port Elizabeth and 15 minutes west of Grahamstown.