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.

  • Free night offer: Pay 3, stay 4. Valid for stays completed between 1 May→30 Jun '19 in Main Lodge, River Lodge and Ukhozi Lodge. 

  • 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. 

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 (127)
  • Very good (27)
  • Average (3)
  • Poor (1)
  • Terrible (0)
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Incredible

May 22, 2019 Paul N Dublin, Ireland

From the moment we arrived until getting in our car to depart, the level of hospitality and service really isnt something I had experienced before. During our ten night stay in South Africa, I found the service very good but this game reserve is a few steps up again. The Ukhozi Lodge itself is stunning for on the inside and out. Everything seems… Read more
From the moment we arrived until getting in our car to depart, the level of hospitality and service really isnt something I had experienced before. During our ten night stay in South Africa, I found the service very good but this game reserve is a few steps up again. The Ukhozi Lodge itself is stunning for on the inside and out. Everything seems brand new with a bar and full self service wine selection. The rooms were very large and well appointed. They are paired together but the way they are built, you would think you are on your own in the wilderness. The meals were also great, your day starts ar 05:00 with coffee and muffins and after your first drive, you return to a cooked to order breakfast with plenty to choose from. As it was our Honeymoon, we had a private dinner on the first night and sat with the group on the second night. Everything prepared and cooked to perfection. Out guide was JJ, its hard to compare him to other drivers as we only had the one for the duration, but he was extremely knowledgeable. so much so we started to realize he was often the one who found the Lionesses etc by tracking them, then the other groups would come after he called them in. Overall, it was an amazing experience and wouldn't look anywhere else if I was to do it again. Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating The most amazing experience ever

May 18, 2019 joannekerr414 Belfast, United Kingdom

We recently stayed in the Ukhozi Lodge at the Kariega Game Reserve. This lodge had me lost for words to how amazing it was. We were warmly greeted on arrival by Lauren who checked us in and showed us around the property and brought us to our room. Our room was absolutely amazing, it was clean and spacious with stunning views and our own private… Read more
We recently stayed in the Ukhozi Lodge at the Kariega Game Reserve. This lodge had me lost for words to how amazing it was. We were warmly greeted on arrival by Lauren who checked us in and showed us around the property and brought us to our room. Our room was absolutely amazing, it was clean and spacious with stunning views and our own private plunge pool. High tea is served from 2-3 normally but by the time we got settled in to our room and over to lunch it was nearly 245, despite there still being plenty of food at the buffet the kitchen staff cooked us fresh noodles and calamari which was beautiful food. We then headed off on our game drive with the amazing Alan. The game drives did not disappoint, Alan’s knowledge of the area and the animals is second to none, he made the trip for us and we were so impressed by him. We loved the game drives and seen some really cool animals. After our game drives we were met by Rosie who provided us with hot towels to warm up our hands after being out on safari. Rosie and Lauren were brilliant the whole duration of our visit as were the catering staff. All the food was beautifully prepared and I genuinely think you would struggle to get as good a hotel meal anywhere else. To top it off we had an early flight to Mauritius and the lodge sent us on our way with breakfast packs with plenty of food for our journey. This was one of my most favourite experience and I really hope to get back again soon, the only criticism I have is that we did not stay long enough ourselves. I would recommend at least 3 nights here to ensure you get the full experience :) Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating A welcome return

May 8, 2019 Jeepers3 Bristol, United Kingdom

My Partner and I stayed at the River Lodge 13 years ago and had a magical experience. Although we were trepidatious about returning and not finding it the same we needn’t have been. It was superb. JJ our guide was attentive, funny, knowledgeable and great company. The staff couldn’t do enough to make your stay perfect. The food was good and… Read more
My Partner and I stayed at the River Lodge 13 years ago and had a magical experience. Although we were trepidatious about returning and not finding it the same we needn’t have been. It was superb. JJ our guide was attentive, funny, knowledgeable and great company. The staff couldn’t do enough to make your stay perfect. The food was good and plentiful. The suite was of generous proportions, comfy big bed, shower and bath and everything that you need when away from home. I would wholeheartedly recommend this reserve to anyone that wants a little bit of luxury while having the safari experience. Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Beautiful Game Reserve

Apr 14, 2019 Aviator24 Vienna, Austria

The Lodge itself is roughly 1,5h drive from Port Elizabeth or East London. The Game Reserve features a variety of Lodges. The Lodge has 10 Double Suites so it is not getting too crowded here. SPA and Shop of the nearby "Main Lodge" can be used. The suites are modern and feature free wifi, a safe, a plunge pool (cold), a bath tub, a shower, free… Read more
The Lodge itself is roughly 1,5h drive from Port Elizabeth or East London. The Game Reserve features a variety of Lodges. The Lodge has 10 Double Suites so it is not getting too crowded here. SPA and Shop of the nearby "Main Lodge" can be used. The suites are modern and feature free wifi, a safe, a plunge pool (cold), a bath tub, a shower, free minibar, free coffee. Food is excellent at anytimes but not very different, e.g. we spent 2 nights and always had a greek salad or had Kudu both nights. I think there could be some improvement. Game Drives are awesome, you see at least 4 out of the Big 5 and much more. The scenery is breath taking and reminds me a bit of Jurassic Park. If you are offered to substitute one drive by a boat trip I would recommend to decline. Nothing exciting to see on the river. Overall, like all game reserves in ZA, I personally find the prices quite high. However at Kariega they also deliver a good service and I can life with that. Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Wow, what an incredible place!!

Mar 8, 2019 SarahK6679

I should probably include the negatives, so I will start by saying, there are no negatives!! We have stayed at some unbelievable resorts but this is up there with our favourites. From the minute we arrived we were treated like royalty and it really does have an exclusive feel. Always so relaxed and never busy, but at the same time there was a… Read more
I should probably include the negatives, so I will start by saying, there are no negatives!! We have stayed at some unbelievable resorts but this is up there with our favourites. From the minute we arrived we were treated like royalty and it really does have an exclusive feel. Always so relaxed and never busy, but at the same time there was a really nice lively atmosphere in the evenings. Rooms are spacious and clean and the plunge pools are a lovely addition. The games drives are unbelievable, you will not be disappointed with what you see. Every member of staff were amazing, but we have to give a special mention to our driver Zolani who was knowledgeable, friendly and made our game drives unforgettable. If you want to see animals, but also want luxury, look no further!!! Exceeded all our expectations Read less