Kariega Game Reserve

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.

Amenities

  • Bar
  • Safari
  • Spa
  • Swimming Pool
  • Kids Club
  • Fitness Centre/Gym
  • Laundry Service
  • Internet Access
  • Close to Beach
  • Bicycle Rental
  • Restaurant

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, canoeing and fishing. 

All Inclusive basis for the Main Lodge is exclusive to Virgin Holidays guests.


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 offering nine luxurious tented suites, each 110 sq m.

  • Honeymooners: Couples recieve a bottle of sparkling wine in their room on arrival. Couples staying 3 nights or more also receive a spa treatment to the value of ZAR500.00 per person. 

  • Free night offer: stay 4 nights, pay for 3 nights when travelling between 1 May–30 Jun '20. 

    Any applicable offers have been calculated into the prices shown. 

  • 2020 Honeymooners: Couples recieve a bottle of sparkling wine in their room on arrival. Couples staying 3 nights or more also receive a spa treatment to the value of ZAR500.00 per person. 

  • Exclusive Spa offer: Stay 2 nights or more in Settlers Drift, River Lodge or Ukhozi Lodge and receive a complimentary spa treatment per person per stay. Valid for travel between 22 Aug–17 Dec '19 and 11 Jan–17 Dec '20.  

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

  • Location Image of the Tripadvisor rating
  • Sleep Quality Image of the Tripadvisor rating
  • Rooms Image of the Tripadvisor rating
  • Service Image of the Tripadvisor rating
  • Value Image of the Tripadvisor rating
  • Cleanliness Image of the Tripadvisor rating

Traveller rating

  • Excellent (155)
  • Very good (28)
  • Average (3)
  • Poor (1)
  • Terrible (0)
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Stunning lodges

Sep 16, 2019 768garethb Bottesford, United Kingdom

Our stay here was an amazing experience. It was our first safari and couldn't believe the dedication of our ranger Zolani or Zoltan as we referred to him. He made our safari experience very special. The lodges we stayed in were first class and the food and facilities in the main lodge at Ukhozi were second to none. All the staff were very… Read more
Our stay here was an amazing experience. It was our first safari and couldn't believe the dedication of our ranger Zolani or Zoltan as we referred to him. He made our safari experience very special. The lodges we stayed in were first class and the food and facilities in the main lodge at Ukhozi were second to none. All the staff were very professional and nothing was too much trouble. Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Amazing again!

Sep 9, 2019 Cats_N_Cats_2 Windsor, Canada

We returned to Kariega but stayed at the Ukhozi lodge rather than the River Lodge. The drives cover the same property. Allen our guide was fantastic. We had a very close experience with the big bull elephant walking beside the vehicle that was humbling yet we felt safe. We had amazing experiences viewing giraffe, rhino and lions in addition to… Read more
We returned to Kariega but stayed at the Ukhozi lodge rather than the River Lodge. The drives cover the same property. Allen our guide was fantastic. We had a very close experience with the big bull elephant walking beside the vehicle that was humbling yet we felt safe. We had amazing experiences viewing giraffe, rhino and lions in addition to elephants. We were lucky to be there with one of the female lions in oestrus so we were able to see numerous mating sessions with one of the males. Very unique experience. The food and hospitality were also amazing. The staff are all very friendly. Obviously since we returned to the same reserve we enjoyed the first experience and wanted to repeat it. We definitely were not disappointed. Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating 5 stars is not enough

Aug 23, 2019 maria k Ireland

I dont know where to start. We have travelled to a great number of countries and different accommodations but Kariega has blown us out of the water. We arrived and was meet by Rosie who explained everything to us. The accommodation was over and above what we expected. It was my husband's 50th birthday present. I emailed, they upgraded us and a… Read more
I dont know where to start. We have travelled to a great number of countries and different accommodations but Kariega has blown us out of the water. We arrived and was meet by Rosie who explained everything to us. The accommodation was over and above what we expected. It was my husband's 50th birthday present. I emailed, they upgraded us and a bottle of champagne was in the room. On our last night Rosie had organised for us to have a private table with champagne looking out onto the reserve. We felt like celebs. Food was fantastic breakfast l, lunch and dinner and cater for everyone's taste. The staff where outstanding and so kind couldn't do enough for everyone. JJ was our ranger his knowledge was outstanding and his love for his job. We where very lucky we got to see the lions twice in our six trips. Got to see all the other animals very trip. After very trip when we got back we where meet with hot towels and refreshments. I could go on and on. All I can say I cant wait to return to Kariega and cant thank Rosie enough for everything. Cant recommend enough. 😃😁😁 Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Kariega is mind blowing

Aug 21, 2019 benirving2019

Our 3 days we're amazing we virtually everything kariega had to offer. We stayed in the Ukozi lodge which is stunning, the staff and service were great. Our guide Zolani was amazing his knowledge and expertise was second to none.
Image of the Tripadvisor rating What a Honeymoon location.

Aug 12, 2019 8KimB Derbyshire, United Kingdom

We simply cannot put into words how phenomenal this part of our honeymoon was. The location and viewing experience, the room and all the little (and big) extras, the standard of food (the quality and quantity was more than we could of wished for - a choice of meat, fish and vegetarian each afternoon and evening plus extra). The lodge stocked an… Read more
We simply cannot put into words how phenomenal this part of our honeymoon was. The location and viewing experience, the room and all the little (and big) extras, the standard of food (the quality and quantity was more than we could of wished for - a choice of meat, fish and vegetarian each afternoon and evening plus extra). The lodge stocked an excellent selection of wines and the quality of our ranger (Alan) was just simply outstanding. From the moment we arrived every member of staff went out of their way to make you feel special and that nothing (and I mean nothing) was too much trouble. There are 2 drives each day - for us at this time of year we went a little later at 7am (it is very chilly in the morning - bring layers/hats/gloves). Your guide will offer you a blanket (take it on first offer - you will need it). The afternoon drive sets off around 3pm. Each drive lasts about 3 hours - the viewing is amazing - we had lovely close ups with lions, elephants and white rhinos (along with all other animals at the park). We didn’t see any leopards. A previous review said that there were not any - from what we were told there are leopards but as they travel from reserve to reserve and are very elusive sightings are few so if you do see them you are very lucky (this is our 2nd safari and we saw just one leopard in the Masai Mara - in a bush! We were very lucky to have that sighting). The quality of our guide - Alan - was excellent. He got the balance of our group absolutely spot on - from informative points to quiet moments, timings and positioning of the jeep to allow everyone a good view of the animals as well as a healthy bit of banter. He really was fantastic, professional and caring throughout our 3 days. Many thanks also to Rosie who helped to add some lovely touches to our honeymoon and again made every second of our stay a most memorable and unforgettable experience. Could not recommend this place more highly. Thank you so much for such a heart filling holiday. Read less