The Big Five performing live at the Pumba Theatre just outside Grahamstown

A few years ago I was fortunate enough to do the Pumba Private Game Reserve Tour 22 kms outside Grahamstown.

page_33_62_Pumba Map NEW

I was collected from Grahamstown and driven to Pumba Reserve where I experienced a 5 star luxury safari experience with a knowledgeable guide.  We set off and I saw all the Big Five and lots of other little things, learning about the indigenous flora and the smaller fauna while I was about it.  As a South African, I find the Big Five (excluding the cats) a bit “ho hum”.


I landed up getting far more than I bargained for, because as we were setting off back for the gourmet lunch at the lodge, we effectively became trapped in a herd of elephants with elephants ahead of us, and on trying to reverse discovering that elephants had moved in behind us.  We were left with no alternative but to relax, watch the elephants and birds, listen to the sound of the bush and chat quietly until the elephants were ready to move on.  As a result the promised lunch was delayed until supper time.  It was delicious.  I then got a night drive into the bargain.

Fortunately I had put the day aside and had no performances for which I was running late back at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown and I was able to enjoy seeing the night jars and the spring hares, and a special bonus, a long and leisurely sighting of the white lions enjoying family time.

Rare White Lions at Pumba Private Game Reserve

Rare White Lions at Pumba Private Game Reserve

This may not be a high priority event for most South Africans attending the National Arts Festival, but for those visiting from other countries I cannot recommend this adventure highly enough.  If you have never done a safari before and this may be a one-off opportunity it will certainly be worth every cent and every minute.  The Big Five are part and parcel of any trip to South Africa and this is a perfect outing likely to deliver in every respect … if the actors (the animals) and the audience (you) all arrive at the same place in the road, and there never are any guarantees where wild animals are concerned.

R750 plus R180 for transfers.  09:30 for 10:00 any day.

On a slight tangent, after the National Arts Festival I will be spending a few days in the Addo Elephant National Park just unwinding in the quiet tranquility of nature.  South Africa’s wild, including its flowers, trees and small animals are all wonderful to observe and well worth seeing.


About moirads

Clergy person, theatre and music lover, avid reader, foodie. Basically, I write about what I do, where I go and things I love (or hate).
This entry was posted in Ecology, Festivals, National Arts Festival 2014, South African Culture, Travel. Bookmark the permalink.

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