The privately owned Kariega Game Reserve lies in the Eastern Cape.
Kariega Game Reserve: Our full report
Kariega Game Reserve is located 141 km east of Port Elizabeth and 10 minutes from the beaches at Kenton-on-Sea.
It covers nearly 9 000 hectares of African bush incorporating the Kariega and Bushman's Rivers.
There are four separate lodges on the reserve, set apart from each other, some with their own private entrances.
Kariega Main Lodge and Ukhozi Lodge are located close to one another whilst 20 minutes down the road you will come to the entrance of the luxurious River Lodge. The fourth lodge is a private house called the Homestead which is suitable for families or groups of friends traveling together.
Kariega Main Lodge consists of 15 log chalets. Each chalet is air-conditioned and consists of three bedrooms (2 double and 1 twin) each with en-suite bathrooms and a large living area. Outside is a private deck – affording amazing views of the rolling countryside below the lodge. Every second chalet has a private pool so make sure that you put in your request for a chalet with a pool!
The main area of the lodge consists of a large restaurant which can accommodate up to about 80 people. There is also a bar, outside boma and a swimming pool.
There is also an internet café here which is free of charge for guests staying at both Main Lodge and Ukhozi Lodge..
Ukhozi Lodge has 10 suites with a more African contemporary feel, decorated in oranges and browns. These are also in the style of log chalets with lots of wood paneling inside.
Each suite is large and spacious with its own living room and outdoor deck and private pool. In each suite you will find a minibar – drinks are included here but not at the Main Lodge.
There are mountain bikes available from both the Main Lodge and Ukhozi Lodge for guests to use. Guided walks are also on offer here. There are no predators in this part of the reserve so it is quite safe.
Kariega River Lodge is the latest addition to the Kariega portfolio (opened September 2006) and also the most luxurious. On arrival you will be asked to leave your car at the main reception and taken with a 4 wheel drive vehicle on the 15 minute drive to River Lodge.
River Lodge has a modern contemporary feel to it with a lovely location on the banks of the Bushman's River.
Here you will find 10 large, spacious thatched suites each with air-conditioning and private patios where you can sit and enjoy the local scenery.
The main area is thatched with a high vaulted roof and consists of a lounge with comfy sofas and chairs and a couple of large leather ottomans. A large fireplace dominates the room.
The dining room has large picture windows and sliding doors leading out onto the deck overlooking the Bushman's River and the hills beyond. Meals can be taken inside or outside on the deck perched over the river.
To the one side of the deck is a long narrow swimming pool beside the river.
Upstairs is a small library with comfortable leather armchairs and a selection of wildlife books to read. There is also a satellite television for those who wish to stay in touch with the outside world.
Activities at River Lodge include guided morning and evening game drives in open 4 wheel drive vehicles as well as boat trips to the river mouth at Kenton-on-Sea. Canoes are also available for a leisurely paddle down the river and its also possible to do some fishing here – all the equipment is provided.
This lodge has the unusual benefit of being a safari lodge that connects a game reserve to the ocean – one minute you can be viewing game and within the next you can be walking along the beach!
The last property at Kariega is The Homestead which is an historic farmhouse dating back to 1908. It has been restored to offer exclusive-use accommodation for small groups of travelers. It has five en-suite rooms accommodating a maximum of 10 guests. There are two rooms in the main house and the other three rooms are in the new extension.
There is a large open-plan lounge and dining room with fire place and a separate playroom for children. Outside is a swimming pool in the gardens.
The Homestead is fenced in and children are welcome, however children under 6 years of age are not allowed out on game drives. The Homestead has a dedicated game ranger as well as chef.
The game on the Kariega Reserve is varied and you will have a good chance to view lion, rhino, elephant, buffalo and leopard amongst other more general game. The bird life is good here along the rivers as is the fishing. Because the reserve has a few main roads cutting across it, it has been divided into separate areas allowing for good walking as there are no predators in these areas.
Ideal length of stay: 2 - 3 nights
Food & drink
Usual board basis: Full Board
Dining style: Individual Tables
Dining locations: Indoor and Outdoor Dining
Attitude towards children: Children over 10 years old are welcome at River Lodge and Ukhozi Lodge. Children of all ages are welcome at Kariega Main Lodge.
Power supply: Mains Electricity
Health & safety
Malarial protection recommended: No
Disabled access: On Request