Kariega Game Reserve - Main Lodge

Eastern Cape, South Africa

The hotel

Family owned and managed, it would be accurate to say that the gradual growth and development of the now expansive 10,000 hectare malaria-free 'Big Five' reserve is one of the most accomplished conservation projects in the Eastern Cape to date. Kariega’s landscape spans across five different eco-systems, offering an exceptional game viewing and birding experience. Having two major rivers incorporated into the reserve (the Kariega and Bushmans rivers) adds enormous beauty and value. With a choice of lodges; Ukhozi and River Lodge offer a more intimate atmosphere, and the Main lodge is ideal for families; so whatever the occasion, Kariega Game reserve has something to suit your needs and create lasting memories.

Amenities

Where is it

On 10,000 hectares of natural bushveld in the Eastern Cape. Transfer time from Port Elizabeth Airport: 1 hour 30 minutes.

Hotel information

There are 5 different lodges: Main Lodge – has been expertly integrated with the surrounding bush offering stunning views of the reserve. The 24 log chalets enjoy complete privacy with large private viewing decks (some with private pools) and stunning views of the Kariega River valley. All chalets with air-conditioning, en-suite bedrooms, fire place and satellite TV, tea/coffee-making facilities and hairdryer. Sleeping maximum 3 adults or 2 adults and 1 child.

All Inclusive of: all meals and selected beverages (bottled water, soft drinks, local beers, wines brandy, whiskey, gin etc). Two game-drives per day, river cruises, guided bush walks and canoeing. 

 

Newly rebuilt Ukhozi Lodge – truly captures the romance and intimacy of Africa and offers 10 luxury suites crafted from log, each with a private plunge pool and deck offering panoramic views of the valley. Sleeping maximum 3 adults or 2 adults and 1 child (over 10 years old).

The River Lodge – is uniquely situated on the banks of the Bushmans River and comprises 10 luxury thatched suites. Special activities include daily boat trips to the Kenton beaches and river fishing. Sleeping maximum 3 adults or 2 adults and 1 child (over 10 years old).

Settlers Drift – is a 5-star luxury tented lodge, located in an untouched part of the Kariega wilderness, featuring 9 luxurious tented suites.

At each lodge – indoor and outdoor (boma) dining, lounges and bar, swimming pool, spacious decks, curio shop and spa treatments. Wine cellar (Settlers Drift and Ukhozi Lodge only). Activities include morning and evening game-drives, guided bush walks, river cruises, canoeing and fishing*. Activity programme for kids. Wellness Centre* at the Main Lodge and Ukhozi Lodge. Sala's at Settlers Drift and River Lodge. Complimentary WiFi is available at all lodges. Private laundry facilities.

* Denotes local charge.

Please note: all children are welcome at the Main Lodge. Children under 10 years are not permitted at River Lodge and Ukhozi Lodge.

Rating summary

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Traveller rating

  • Excellent (197)
  • Very good (30)
  • Average (3)
  • Poor (1)
  • Terrible (0)
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Excellent Birthday Celebration

Oct 24, 2021 westonc Gonubie, South Africa

My wife and I decided to celebrate my birthday by spending a weekend at Ukhozi Lodge as our previous stay at Kariega Main Lodge was so memorable. The lodge itself is modern, consisting of a good blend of stone, wood and glass with lovely panoramic views of the valley plains below. Complementing the lodge is a rim flow pool which is stunning. Our… Read more
My wife and I decided to celebrate my birthday by spending a weekend at Ukhozi Lodge as our previous stay at Kariega Main Lodge was so memorable. The lodge itself is modern, consisting of a good blend of stone, wood and glass with lovely panoramic views of the valley plains below. Complementing the lodge is a rim flow pool which is stunning. Our suite was extremely spacious, comfortable and clean with its own private plunge pool and deck with beautiful views. The bottle of bubbly in the room was a nice touch and much appreciated. The food was superb and the boma evening was extremely enjoyable. The manager Rosie and all the staff were very friendly and efficient, and the covid protocols were well managed. Our ranger Nick was professional and knowledgeable, and we had fantastic sightings of four of the big five, including lion, two large herds of elephants with babies, a large herd of buffalo, and many rhinos including Thandi and her calf, as well as Thandi’s elder daughter and two-week-old granddaughter. We also saw lots of other game including many types of antelope, many giraffe, wildebeest, warthog, zebra, mongoose, a leopard tortoise, and plenty of hippos with babies which we were able to observe up close from an elated viewing deck right next to the river. The bird viewing was also very good and we were fortunate to see four secretary birds. Overall, we had an excellent 2-night stay at Ukhozi and definitely hope to be back. Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Amazing experience

Jul 26, 2021 laurenm355 Macassar, South Africa

First game reserve holiday - perfect for a family with youngish kids (11 and 8). The reserve is big enough to feel like the 'proper' bush but small enough that we saw pretty much everything we could have hoped for! The special we booked was amazing value. Food, staff, service and facilities were excellent. We had our own vehicle and field guide,… Read more
First game reserve holiday - perfect for a family with youngish kids (11 and 8). The reserve is big enough to feel like the 'proper' bush but small enough that we saw pretty much everything we could have hoped for! The special we booked was amazing value. Food, staff, service and facilities were excellent. We had our own vehicle and field guide, Nick Swanepoel, who was fun, friendly, knowledgeable and so good with the kids. They (and we) absolutely loved it. Many thanks to all involved. Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Stunning Family Safari Experience!

Jul 20, 2021 saukwill

We had the most amazing experience at Kariega, the accommodation, game viewing and food was simply outstanding. Nothing was too much trouble for the wonderful team there, we are a family of vegetarians with young children and couldn't have been looked after better, the lodge accommodates families perfectly. In particular, our two young daughters… Read more
We had the most amazing experience at Kariega, the accommodation, game viewing and food was simply outstanding. Nothing was too much trouble for the wonderful team there, we are a family of vegetarians with young children and couldn't have been looked after better, the lodge accommodates families perfectly. In particular, our two young daughters enjoyed the array of food presented to them, they have never been treated to anything so fancy before! We were very lucky to see a range of wildlife including the pride of lions, who were very busy playing and feeding! The reserve is amazing, the scenery is breath taking, it has incredible birdlife and it was great that our guide Monde could take us far and wide to experience different things. His knowledge of the reserve, flora and fauna is immense, it was a pleasure and an education to be guided by Monde! Special thanks also to the lovely team who sang and danced so beautifully during dinner! Rosie's positivity and caring nature also runs through the lodge, creating a very relaxed and bubbly environment. Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Kariega Game Reserve

May 17, 2021 katiebY1578AQ Doha, Qatar

We stayed for 3 nights and 4 days at Ukhozi Lodge, just long enough to enjoy the full experience. Would highly recommend, the accommodation is very private, meals were delicious with a lovely variety, early morning and afternoon safari trips and animals sightings were incredible. Real up close and personal experience with the animals.
Image of the Tripadvisor rating First ever bush holiday!

May 17, 2021 lindybelman Protaras, Cyprus

So happy my first bush holiday was spent at Kariega Game Reserve. We experienced some amazing game viewings! The staff were waiting for us on arrival after every drive with a warm cloth and beverage. Our beds were made every morning and every evening. The décor in the Ukhozi lodge was absolutely beautiful! They had fires burning every morning… Read more
So happy my first bush holiday was spent at Kariega Game Reserve. We experienced some amazing game viewings! The staff were waiting for us on arrival after every drive with a warm cloth and beverage. Our beds were made every morning and every evening. The décor in the Ukhozi lodge was absolutely beautiful! They had fires burning every morning and evening for warmth. A variety of wines and beverages to choose from. The food menu was incredible and changed every day. The boma experience, on our last night, was the perfect ending to a wonderful trip. Great overall experience and would recommend it to anyone!! Read less