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“Superb!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Kariega Ukhozi Lodge

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Kariega Ukhozi Lodge
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R343 | Between Kenton on Sea and Grahamstown, Kenton-on-Sea 6191, South Africa   |  
Hotel amenities
england
Top Contributor
85 reviews 85 reviews
47 hotel reviews
Reviews in 57 cities Reviews in 57 cities
202 helpful votes 202 helpful votes
“Superb!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 5, 2010

We stayed in an Ukhozi Lodge and it was really lovely with fabulous views across the valley and a luxury to have our own pool on the deck. Food and drinks were all included and we were happy with the choices available and the quality. The reason I have marked 4 rather than 5 for my overall score was the fact that after dinner it became difficult to get more than one drink as staff seemed to make themselves scarce. Admittedly, with 5.30am starts we were quite tired and probably needed the earlier nights this resulted in but frankly, I'd like to be the judge of this rather than have it decided for me! Especially when the board was meant to be All Inclusive!
That said, the location was gorgeous, staff efficient, the drives fantastic - we saw all except those dratted elusive leopards ;-( - and our ranger, Albert, was fantastic; so knowledgable, friendly and professional, he made the trip in many ways and nothing was too much trouble.
Kenton on sea is a very small town and hardly worth a visit except for the totally stunning beach: won best in SA several times!
Kariega was our first Safari experience but I can't imagine there are many better.

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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68 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (12)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Yorkshire, UK
Top Contributor
70 reviews 70 reviews
37 hotel reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
64 helpful votes 64 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 19, 2010

Having researched various different game reserves, we finally settled on the Ukhozi Lodge at Kariega game reserve just North of Kenton on Sea and how glad we were that we did. The drive along the dirt road from the entrance gate to the reception showed just how much in the open you actually are. We encountered various animals just doing this drive and that was before we even checked in.

We stayed for 2 nights at the Ukhozi lodges on an all inclusive basis. You need to arrive by 1pm to enjoy the lunch and get yourself ready for the first of the game drives at 4pm. We met up with Phil, our ranger, and the other members of our "team" - at first we were a bit apprehensive as we didnt want our holiday to feel like a works team building exercise but the group we had was brilliant.

You have two drives a day, one at 6am and the other 4pm - both can last up to 4 hours. We saw everything bar the leopard. This included hippos, elephants, lions, rhino's, buffalo, wildebeest and warthogs were the highlights to us. Not to mention the various types of birds plus loads of other animals as well.

The food and drink were plentiful, service exceptional and they really went out of their way to make you feel at home.

The lodges are very well maintained, cleaned and we even had our very own plunge pool - watched by the monkeys!!!

A very good place to both experience safari and Africa.

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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southport
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2010

we had 2 nights at kareiga, which to be honest was enough but an extra night would have been a bit more relaxed.
we arrived on 26th boxing day morning very excited, jo our ranger met us at reception and introduced herself and showed us around and gave us useful info.
we had suite 6 at ukhozi lodge execellent very clean comfortable and lovely view from veranda with a plunge pool.
at ukhozi its all inclusive and an execellent choice, i think there are only 12 suites, so you are well looked after by all the staff and stefan the chef is cooking for approx 20-30 people.
the restaurant area is fantastic comfy furniture a hugh fire place with roaring fire and of course lovely views and you really feel secluded as the main hotel and river lodges are spaced apart.
we had lunch, then at 4pm met for our 1st game drive, met the others on our jeep 3 other english couples and one german couple, so had a full jeep ten of us.
bit cool and windy on our 1st drive but jo supplied blankets!
the drives last approx 3 hours and the elephants were the 1st we saw of the big 5 and then the lions awesome, saw load of other animals and birds too many to mention.
in the evening drive you stop for drinks and snacks which is a nice touch and enjoyed the vino!
back to lodge and staff are waiting to hand you hot towels and a drink.
then dinner which jo hosts and we all sat on one long table together (if you wish you can have a table for 2) but we thought it was very nice getting to know each other and chatting about the drive. food is fantastic just too much.

day 2
early morning call from jo, weather a lot warmer today. saw giraffe zebras monkeys and lots of other animals.
boat trip this morning got about half a mile down river and broke down, jo's husband who is also a ranger was on the boat, so phoned back to lodge to report we had broken down and they sent other rangers down to help, they decided to get into the water jo as well and push the boat back to the jetty! we all had a bit of a laugh about it no ones fault and no one was hurt, however the german couple were not amused and cancelled the rest of there stay.
eventually got back to jeep and jo who had been up to her neck in water dried off and carried on with the drive which i thought was very professional.
saw rinhos and hippos and many others.
back to lodge for brekki which again was execellent choice and quality.
relaxed around pool area did'nt bother with lunch still too full from brekki.
evening drive only 8 of us now more comfortable on jeep with 8 rather than 10!
seen most animals now not leopard though.
male lion has just a a kill and we arrived just after as he was finishing his meal and we were so close you could here him crunching
stopped for vino and snacks again not by the lions though!
back to lodge for evening meal another nice evening lovely food, company and wine.

last morning
very tired, alarm call from jo, if you had longer than 2 days you could do it more leisurely prehaps miss a morning! beautiful sunrise
we found the elephants and lions again but still no leopard, plus as said before loads of other animals,birds.
back to lodge for brekki and said goodbye to everyone, out of our party only one couple had the extra day, so they were on there own now with jo!

so we had a fantastic couple of days at kareiga staff that were execellent were of course jo our ranger, stefan the chef and nastacha.
we would throughly reccommend ukhozi lodge at kariega.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Solihull, UK
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 20, 2010

Ukhozi Lodge is beautiful. Your own cabin, with private plunge pool and decking overlooking the spectacular scenery. The food served at the main lodge is outstanding and the staff friendly. The two game drives a day are expertly guided by knowledgable rangers and the size of the reserve means that your chance of seeing the wildlife is very good.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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east coast
1 review
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 22, 2010

Slept in main lodge and woke up to bed bugs crawling around on the mattress........disgusting. The staff went to great lengths to convince me it must have been some other insect but, upon my return to the U.S., i saw a Dr. who pretty much confirmed that my numerous wels and bites were in fact caused by bed bugs. Find other accomodations.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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England
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 26, 2009

We had a fabulous time. Our drives were great and we saw loads, our ranger Jo was really informative and good fun too. Our room was lovely and spacious, big bath, shower, plunge pool and views over the plains. Food was also super. Would recommend this to everyone.

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Melbourne, Australia
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 11, 2009

My fiance and I have just returned from an 17 day holiday in SA, of which 3 nights were spent @ Kariega Game Reserve (Ukhozi Lodge).

Ukhozi Lodge Rooms:
Absolutely huge, with king size bed (you could easily fit 3 people VERY comfortably in that bed), private plunge pool, deck with gorgeous views of the game reserve "savannah" area below. There is a lounger area (2 seater, x2 single seater, and table), jacuzzi, separate shower, and separate toilet. Fully stocked (and re-stocked) mini bar with alcoholic/non alcoholic drinks, safe, telephone, and wardrobe.

Spa:
I only managed to fit in a manicure/pedicure and for the price it was TOTALLY worth it. The girls at the spa are both professional and make you feel very relaxed.

Kariega Game Drives (all game drives last 3 hours each):
-> Morning (6am departure from the Main Ukhozi Reception/Restaurant area - your ranger also gives you a wake up call at around 5:30am should you require one).
-> Afternoon (4pm departure and includes some sundowner snacks along the way). The sundowner consists of non/alcoholic drink and some nibblies (very very yummy).
-> The specially designed "van/truck" sits a maximum of 10 people + ranger. The majority of our time there we were 3 couples + ranger so it was extremely comfortable (they also provide wool blankets and ponchos should you need one)
-> During our time there we saw almost all of the BIG 5 (lion, buffalo, rhino, elephant, but unfortunately we missed out on the leopard). Our ranger also managed to find us some hippos - swimming in the river on our last afternoon game drive. It was the highlight of the drive! We were also lucky to view the entire herd of elephants, and one of the drives we watched (@ very close proximity) a lion drinking water and playing with one of the tree branches (truly spectacular sight)!
-> We also saw plenty of Eland, Bushpig, Giraffe, Ostrich, various kinds of antelope, fish eagle, crowned eagle, water monitor, zebra, wildebeest (and soooo many more animals & birds)
-> Our ranger (Daniel P) was an absolute fountain of knowlege, and was very informative and tenacious (especially in his successful attempt in finding us our hippos that we so wanted to see - we ended up having a mini "night game drive" at one point, and I must say that was a great experience on its own)

Food/Beverages:
Breakfast and dinner are spent dining with the rest of the people that join you in the game drives (although you can choose to dine separately) and lunch is taken at your leisure. All meals are varied each time, lunch/dinner 3 course feasts, with unstoppable beverages through all meals. Plenty of opportunity to taste some game (during our stay there the Eland and Ostrich was to die for).

After dinner guests retire to a huge open fire to enjoy after dinner drinks and discuss the game rides with fellow guests.

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Kariega Ukhozi Lodge

Address: R343 | Between Kenton on Sea and Grahamstown, Kenton-on-Sea 6191, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Eastern Cape > Greater Addo > Kenton-on-Sea
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 5 Specialty Lodging in Kenton-on-Sea
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Ukhozi Lodge truly captures the romance and intimacy of Africa. Nestled in the bush you will discover 10 superbly appointed air-conditioned luxury suites crafted from log, each with a private plunge pool and deck offering panoramic views of the valley. The Lodge boasts unique African-style lounges, restaurant and boma with an outdoor pool. ... more   less 

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