We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Not so good in winter, Good but not Very Good” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Kariega Game Reserve

Best prices for your stay
Enter dates for best prices
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 2 more sites!
Save
You added Kariega Game Reserve to your Saves list
Kariega Game Reserve
4.0 of 5 Lodge   |   R343 | Between Kenton On Sea and Grahamstown, Kenton-on-Sea 6191, South Africa   |  
Hotel amenities
Cambridge
Top Contributor
101 reviews 101 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 59 cities Reviews in 59 cities
94 helpful votes 94 helpful votes
“Not so good in winter, Good but not Very Good”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 28, 2013

Family of 3 (one 8yr old), we stayed here for our first safari experience in SA. We then also stayed up near Botswana at another lodge, so this is basically a comparison review. In Winter it can be very cold here, which is not a fault of the lodge but does affect your stay. We had a fire going most of the days inside the very nice accomodation. No problems with our chalet, large, comfortable and well tended. Meal times were rather regimented and of a canteen style in delivery. Queue up and help yourself to the mostly good and plentiful food - you can help yourself as much as you like. Waiter/ress service limited only to drinks, but friendly. Food not always hot, and plates never hot, so in winter it was virtually cold by the time you sat back down. Game drives here are limited by the weather, so most were 2 1/2 hours max, which was enough in the cold, but further North in the sun these drives were 3 1/2 hrs and warm. Plenty to see on the wildlife front, and very knowledgeable guides, so worth the stay for that. The river cruise was fairly pointless when we went..saw a kingfisher or two but not worth the effort (maybe in winter), so a drive would have been better.

Overall, a good experience,but there is no 'good' rating. Certainly professional, but if you can get further north it's a more pleasurable experience. However, some sort of non-canteen type of meal would have been nice, as would hotter food/plates. Although the lodge takes children, there are no facilites or activities that are specifically child-focussed

Room Tip: Ours was fine, none in the main lodge seemed any better than ours. If you don't like walking get...
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bronwen d, Manager at Kariega Game Reserve, responded to this review, September 16, 2013
Thank you for posting your review. We are disappointed that you choose to review your stay with us as average based on the warmer weather that you experienced during your stay in Botswana. The temperatures in Botswana in August are in fact very similar to those in the Eastern Cape. Our average maximum temperatures in winter are 21C and doesn't often reach below 0C as it can in Botswana. We know that the mornings and evenings can be cooler, especially while on game drives and so we always recommend that guests bring warm clothes and we provide blankets.

We're glad that you loved the wildlife experience at Kariega. We are so lucky to be able to view such a variety of wild animals from so close.

Thank you for the feedback regarding providing hot plates, We have taken this up with our kitchen manager to ensure that warm plates are always available. We're sorry that you did not experience our Kids on Safari activities which are available every day with your ranger. Please can you email our General Manager, alan@kariega.co.za, to provide him with more information so that he can follow up on this? The kids activities are enjoyed by so many of our guests.

We do appreciate that the weather does influence your stay but you could have just as easily had cold spell during your Botswana stay.

Kind regards,
Bronwen & the Kariega team
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

400 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    284
    78
    24
    9
    5
See reviews for
97
210
8
7
Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 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 (65)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Swindon, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 26, 2013

Brilliant. We stayed three nights. Lovely accommodation - excellent food and lovely staff at every level. We had a brilliant Ranger (Chelee). She made sure that we got to see all the animals we hoped and gave us a special trip to a most amazing view of the reserve, at sundown (and we had a sun downer to sup as we took in the view.) The reserve was the crowning glory on our first trip to South Africa - Capetown and surrounding area was very good - Kariega was exceptional.

A must do.
Paul, Fiona, Olly, Toby

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Simon's Town, South Africa
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 22, 2013

My husband and I took a break while our kids visited Granny and stayed at Kariega Game Reserve for 2 days. We were welcomed with the news that we had been upgraded from Main Lodge to the Superior Ukhozi Lodge. "Superior" it definitely was with our own private guide for game drives, fantastic meals and the peace and quiet of our very spacious Suite with private balcony and plunge pool. The game viewing was amazing with elephants passing right by our game viewing vehicle and lions a stone throw away. I enjoyed a Spa Treatment while my husband went on a hike through the camp. We'll definitely visit Kariega again sometime and this time take the kids with since we discovered that the Main Lodge caters for families with lots to keep the kids busy while parents can relax. Thanks to all at Kariega for a wonderful Luxury Getaway!

Room Tip: Stay longer to have time to experience all Kariega has to offer.
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2013, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bronwen d, Manager at Kariega Game Reserve, responded to this review, August 22, 2013
We are so pleased that you and your husband enjoyed a relaxing and luxurious getaway with us at Kariega. It's not easy to take a break from your kids and we're so happy that your two precious days were so enjoyable. Thank your sharing your review with us and we look forward to welcoming you back to Kariega with your family.

Kind regards,
Bronwen & the Kariega team
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Durham
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 20, 2013

Three days of amazing safari trips, fabulous accommodation and great food. Brendan our guide was very knowledgeable and gave us some amazing opportunities to get close to lions, rhinos, giraffes and elephants. Just remember to wrap up warm if visiting in winter.. Fantastic experience and can't recommend enough.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bronwen d, Manager at Kariega Game Reserve, responded to this review, August 22, 2013
Thank you so much for your review and recommendation. It makes us so happy to see that our guests really enjoy their stay with us. We've passed on your thanks to Brendon too.

We hope to see you at Kariega to make some more memories!

Kind regards,
Bronwen & the Kariega team
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2013

This could not have been a better safari! Having gone on safari before this has definitely been the best so far. We managed to see four of the big five - only missed the elusive leopard. Our guide Alethia was lovely and extremely accommodating especially when my husband declared he would like to see termites in more detail! Food was aplenty with choices for everybody. Quality excellent. Would also highly recommend the massages, not included in the price but definitely worth it! The view from our accommodation was one of best in our tour of South Africa, can not praise enough.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kettering
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 18, 2013

We had a magical three days at this reserve. All of the staff are very helpful and wanted to make our stay comfortable. Our game drives were with Matt, he provided us with some life long memories. His knowledge of the animals were second to none and he did his utmost to find the animals we particularly wanted to see. The children,aged 8 & 10, didn't want to leave when it was time to go. The food is plentiful and the accommodation is comfortable. We saw 4 out of the big 5, there have been no sightings/indications of leopard in the reserve for over 6 months so if you specifically want to see this you may be disappointed. I would have no problems recommending this reserve especially if you are taking children along. Special thanks to Matt, he made our stay unforgettable.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 16, 2013

We totally enjoyed our two nights here. Everyone was friendly, helpful, knowledgeable. The animals were outstanding. We packed a lifetime of experience into two days. The food was very good, not foodie great--solid. Eating with the ranger each night was a delight. Being able to get face-to-face time in a relaxed atmosphere where we could ask questions about the reserve and life in South Africa was delightful and informative. The countryside was amazing and the worldwide base of travelers just enhanced the experience.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
Hotels you might also like...
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
Price Your Stay

Been to Kariega Game Reserve? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Kariega Game Reserve

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 Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 5 Specialty Lodging in Kenton-on-Sea
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Kariega Game Reserve 4*
Number of rooms: 21
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Kariega Main Lodge is located in Kariega Game Reserve, a 10,000 hectare malaria-free private game reserve in the Eastern Cape region of South Africa. The safari experience combines close up Big 5 game viewing, an expansive variety of fauna, flora and birdlife, a landscape spanning 5 eco-systems and dramatic views and vistas. Kariega Main Lodge offers families, friends and couples a relaxed and friendly environment to enjoy the African bush. All 21 log chalets are air conditioned, with en-suite bedrooms, and large private viewing decks (some have private pools). Each has a spacious lounge and living area. The lodge has been expertly integrated with the surrounding bush to create a natural environment where guests can enjoy traditional meals in the restaurant or boma, a drink at the bar or a quiet a swim in the pool. All children welcome. Ideal for couples, families and groups (with special group rates). Rate is full board including all meals, morning and evening game drives and activities (excluding drinks). ... more   less 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Hotels.com, Tingo and Venere so you can book your Kariega Game Reserve reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Kariega Game Reserve Hotel Kenton-On-Sea
Kariega Lodge

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Kariega Game Reserve, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.