Pakamisa Lodge provides world-class stays near Pongola

Pakamisa Lodge Pongola

During my recent trip throughout the northern KwaZulu Natal, I stayed at a number of top establishments, but none can compete with the all-round excellence that I witnessed at the Pakamisa Lodge.

This 5-Star lodge is located west of the town of Pongola. We were driving in a Toyota Fortuna and that turned out to be a wise decision as we had to drive up the gravel D429 road up to our stay for the night.

We immediately noticed the abundance of wildlife that can be found on the Pakamisa Private Game Reserve.

Once we made our way to the top of the hill, we found the reception area where we were greeted by the owner, Isabella Stepski. She also advised us on what activities we could immerse ourselves in during our stay.

Chatting with Isabella, it was clear to see her passion for Pakamisa as it was her that transformed the area from a cattle ranch to the game reserve we see today.

The team helped us with our luggage and showed my friend and me to our room. We spent the night in the Elephant Room. I had never seen such a well-ordained key for a room in my life.

El Prado Restaurant at Pakamisa Lodge

The team had prepared lunch for us, which I enjoyed at their El Prado Restaurant. My meal was perfectly cooked and the overlooking views left me in awe.

After chatting with a number of employees, it was evident that they love what they do. Many of them have worked at the reserve for longer than 10 years and some have been there from the very start.

Isabella arranged for us to enjoy an afternoon horse ride. I have had very little experience with horse riding, but the on-site horse trainer assured me that all will be fine.

We made our way down to the stables and she selected horses for us. It was clear to see that the team at Pakamisa take great care of their animals and their horses are no exception. We rode through the game reserve and stopped to enjoy viewing the animals and the local natural environment. The overall knowledge of our guide was impeccable and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

After our horse riding excursion, we were famished and looking forward to dinner. We enjoyed a starter of tempura prawns and grilled ostrich was served as the main course. The evening concluded with a hazelnut parfait that was served for desert. Each of the courses was delicious and it is up the standard of any top restaurant.

We embarked on a game drive throughout the reserve in the morning. We saw a number of game including nyala, giraffe, wildebeest, monkeys and many more. Our guide was very thorough with his knowledge of the animals and of the area as a whole. We thoroughly enjoyed our morning drive.

It is clear to see why the Pakamisa Lodge is a very popular retreat for Europeans, who wish to enjoy a luxurious bush excursion. I highly recommend that you stay at and experience this top establishment!

Accommodation and Dining at the Pakamisa Lodge

Pakamisa is a private, exclusive reserve that is open to residents only.

Visitors can look forward to spectacular views of the game reserve as the lodge is situated at the top of the hill. Sundowners can be enjoyed overlooking the landscape at the comfort of your own private patio area.

The Pakamisa Lodge has eight luxury suites available to choose from, each within walking distance of both the reception and restaurant areas. The rooms have a strong sense of local South African culture and allow for tourists to enjoy a luxury excursion.

Meals can be enjoyed at their El Prado Restaurant. The outdoor verandah area is the perfect romantic setting. Views of the lower escarpment can be enjoyed while tucking into your meal. The indoor area of the restaurant is decorated with fine art and meals can be enjoyed by candlelight.

The quality and presentation of the food is of an exceptional standard.

Activities and Game Drives at Pakamisa

For those that wish for an all-round top getaway, the Pakamisa Lodge is the place to visit.

A number of activities are on offer for visitors to choose from such as horseback safaris, bush walks, archery and target shooting.

A trip to the Pakamisa Private Game Reserve is not complete until you enjoy their game drives. I went on one during the early hours of the morning and saw a number of game. The tour guides are very knowledgeable and happy to ask any question that one might have.  

Reviews from previous Pakamisa Lodge guests

“We had an incredible stay at Pakamisa . The lodge is stunning, the views even more. And on top of that, the food was great and Isabella welcomed us very warmly. A lot of activities were provided: sundowner walks, sundowner horse riding, safari’s, shooting” wrote Fam Anteunis on their TripAdvisor page.

The Kwalala Lodge added; “Well run as expected from the Owner, really worth seeing and the restaurant is top class.”

“Beautiful, the room was super, nice view, lots of light, very neat, very large, just great! The food was super tasty and great service. Everyone was so friendly! You should definitely do horse riding,” said Jet38067157311

The Pakamisa Lodge is located on the Pakamisa Private Game Reserve, Road D429, Pongola. Call 083 229 1811 or email You can book your stay Here.  Here is their location on Google Maps.


Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

About us

Actually, Home Food and Travel offers a lot more than just reviews of accommodation, restaurants, spas and adventure activities.  We also visit great destinations, receive advice from interior designers and stop to smell the roses and taste the coffee.

Our team of journalists are seasoned travels and love visiting the myriad of exciting places around South Africa.  Whether it is off the beaten track or in the heart of the top attractions of the country, we’ll be there,

Home Food and Travel advice on finding the right accommodation

So what is the right accommodation?  Well more often than not, it’s your travel budget that dictates the type of accommodation that you choose. 

Expensive is not always better.  Our team at Home Food and Travel will tell you that they have camped in areas with limited ablutions and had a wonderful holiday.  They have also spent a night in a five star hotel only to be disappointed because their expectations exceeded the experience.

The reason for your travels will also affect your choice.  A business trip requires different amenities to a beach holiday. 

Our articles, reviews and experiences can certainly help you make your decision.

Restaurants with a good mix of service, food and ambiance

To my mind a great restaurant offers three things – excellent service, great food and a wonderful ambiance.  Of these, service is the most important. 

No matter that the food is delicious and the setting delightful, poor service can ruin the occasion.  However, great service combined with mediocre meal and a plane jane restaurant can still be a pleasant night out.

We’ve eaten in restaurants that are really dirty but with incredible food and couldn’t help but give a rave review.  We’ve also hardly noticed what we ate because the setting was just amazing.

However, the best restaurants come with the best of service, food and ambiance.

Spas are the ultimate relaxation aid

How do you know when you have had a great spa experience?  The answer, of course, is when you doze off on the treatment table. 

Well that’s our theory anyway.  It also doesn’t take a grand location with enormous facilities for a spa to be really good

A small, personal spa that is owner run can result in the best massage you have ever experienced.  However, the grand spas in five star hotels offer unsurpassed facilities in an environment that just makes the stress in your shoulders and neck melt away before you even finish checking in.


You don’t have to be an adrenaline junky to enjoy an exciting experience.  In fact, what are commonly termed adventure activities usually have incredibly high safety standards and unblemished safety records.

Ziplining, bungy jumping and shark cage diving are all very safe.  It’s just that our mind tells us we are craaazzzzyyyy to be doing this.

On the road to great places of accommodation, restaurants, spas and adventure activities

If you’re driving, be safe and make use of all the wonderful farm stalls that populate South Africa’s open roads.

If you overhear somebody asking a lot of questions or see someone taking photos of empty bedrooms chances are it’s one of our Home Food and Travel team members.

We’re out looking or those great places of accommodation, restaurants, spas and adventure activities.

See you on the road!


Recent Posts