Excellent 125 Reviews
Jetsetter Approved
This Hotel meets our standards
This hotel meets our standards, but we haven't stayed yet

What We Love

  • All meals, local beer and house wines included
  • Luxury tents redefine the concept of glamping
  • Sunset boat cruises, fishing and canoeing on Lake Jozini
  • Exceptional bird life with more than 350 recorded species

What To Know

  • Abundant game—giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, hippo, leopard, 350 species of birds—but no lions
  • Strict gate hours of 6 am to 6 pm; make arrangements for late arrival. Gate fee ($2) not included
  • Transfers to and from camp not included
  • Non-local beers, all spirits, select premium wines cost extra
  • Children under 12 years of age aren't allowed


  •  Adults Only
  •  All-Inclusive
  •  Bar
  •  Free WiFi
  •  Handicap-accessible
  •  Parking On Site
  •  Pool
  •  Restaurant
  •  Room Service
Disclaimer: This content was accurate at the time the hotel was reviewed. Please check our partner sites when booking to verify that details are still correct.
Adventure Mountains Nature Outdoors Wildlife grass sky mountain herd elephant field mammal wilderness grassland natural environment fauna ecosystem dry plain steppe grazing prairie savanna cattle like mammal elephants and mammoths Safari group grassy tall wild


Luxury tented safari lodge channeling Out of Africa romance beside a lake just south of Swaziland

The Lowdown

A former cattle ranch in the Pongola Game Reserve, White Elephant sits in the foothills of the Lebombo Mountains on the shore of Lake Jozini and at the forefront of the area’s conservation efforts. Eight private rooms offer the seclusion and romance of the traditional tented safari experience: private verandahs with lake views, open-air bath tubs, mini-bar and fridge, full board including high tea (premium wine/spirits extra), and two eco activities per day such as game drives, guided walks and boat cruises. Fun fact: Previously known as Mphafa Lodge, the restored property was renamed in honor of a large elephant bull that pushed it over on a misty morning in 1999.

In the Area

Although a lack of lions in the lush 30,000-hectare Pongola Game Reserve — one of South Africa’s oldest — may turn off some tourists, the proximity to Lake Jozini adds a unique dimension to a safari at White Elephant. You’ll have access to year-round water-based activities such as tiger fishing and boat cruises past hippo, crocodiles and aquatic birds. Game drives and excursions, including Elephant and Black Rhino walks with a staff researcher in the bush, emphasize the behind-the-scenes challenges of wildlife management instead of merely ticking off (four of) the “Big Five.”

How to Get There

White Elephant Safari Lodge
Pongola Game Reserve
Pongola, 3170 South Africa


5.0 Excellent 125 Reviews
A great experence
Reviewed 2 days ago

the safari was excellent boat cruise was good went fishing caught a couple tiger fish staff was excellent all round would visit again in future food was excellent look out was amazing lots of different bird Ostridge and chicks rhino and hippos accom was very clean out side shower watching the stars excellent

Amazing stay - lots of relaxation and special treats
Reviewed 1 week ago

We recently stayed with my husband for 2 nights for my birthday, and from beginning to end we had a amazing experience. The tents are beautifully decorated and the bed was very comfortable - we slept really well! The food was delicious, the game drives were very interesting (I even got to walk with giraffes!) but the cherry on the top was the incredible service and attention to details. For my birthday I got flowers, a delicious cheesecake made by Agnes, and a beautiful morning spent on an animal hide out beautifully decorated for the occasion by our very clever, knowledgeable and super friendly ranger Kerri. Then the team even sang Happy birthday at breakfast. The whole team really goes out of their way to make you feel at home and they spoil you to bits. Add this to great giraffe, rhino, birds and all sort of antelope viewing and a sky full of stars by night and you have a recipe for a perfect weekend get away. Thanks so much to Philippine, Kerri, Jen and the whole team for an unforgettable experience.

Excellent stay at white elephant Bush camp
Reviewed 2 months ago

We were 7 friends with one couple traveling with their 16 month old baby. The staff were truly excellent and very accommodating. We had two excellent game drives with Adrian and Nathan who are very knowledgeable and enthusiastic and ready to answer any questions. The accommodation and facilities were excellent and we really enjoyed the comfort and amenities very much! I was really really impressed with this stay and will definitely come back again! The cleaning and grounds staff were great too.

Extraordinarily awesome!!!
Reviewed 2 months ago

We stayed for three nights in White Elephant Lodge, a peaceful place within nature and one of the most intense experiences we‘ve ever made. Sleeping in big luxuriously equipped tents the lodge provides everything to be happy.
During the day we spotted lots of animals while being on different high informative safaris (walks, drives and boat cruises). During the night we listened to the sound of the wild roaming in the dark.
In between we got spoiled by the always good-humored staff who made this stay extraordinary!

We will never forget the memories we experienced here!! Thank you so much!!!

And special thanks to

Nathan and Adriaan for not only making us see but also experience all the flora and fauna around us,

Philippine, Jen, Pretty, Agnes and Londiwe for their caring and hospitality and especially for Londiwe‘s random singing performances somewhere in the house we secretly rejoiced every time,

and last but not least Busi for one of the most delicious food we ever had!

Annika and Toby
from Germany

Established and well managed
Reviewed 4 months ago

The White Elephant Safari Lodge is a quality destination. Their victorian style service and contribution to conservation in the area is remarkable. The beautiful views around the lodge makes them unique in the area.