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“Highlight of our honeymoon” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Kariega Game Reserve

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Kariega Game Reserve
4.0 of 5 Lodge   |   R343 | Between Kenton On Sea and Grahamstown, 6191, South Africa   |  
Hotel amenities
N.Ireland
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“Highlight of our honeymoon”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 10, 2013

We stayed in the Ukhozi Lodge in Kariega for 3 nights in August and it was the most amazing experience ever. We had 6 game drives with our ranger Louie who was very knowledgeable and very easy to get on with, which made our trips much more relaxed and enjoyable. Your ranger also joins you for breakfast and evening meals which was really nice. Staff were very friendly and helpful, lodges were spacious and clean, if only the weather had been better we would have taken advantage of the plunge pool on the deck and also the main pool. The food was really good and plenty of choice and also a really good selection of drinks. Kariega really made our honeymoon special with a added surprise during a game drive, we won't ever forget it. So thanks so much louie and all the staff. Myself and my husband could hardly speak when we were leaving Kariega as we were so sad, but also very happy to have had the opportunity to experience the safari.

  • Stayed August 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
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    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 (54)
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English first
Gansbaai, South Africa
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 9, 2013

My boyfriend and I were lucky enough to stay at Kariega in August for 2 nights. We fell in love with the place! If you are a nature enthusiast- this is the place to go to. We stayed in Jackal Buzzard (love the names!!) at Ukhozi Lodge. The rooms are cosy and comfortable with stunning decks overlooking the reserve. The game drives were the best!!! We arrived late in the evening and were greeted by our guide (Louise) who discussed the activities with us, trying to ensure that we see as much as possible. In the morning we went on a long game drive, viewing animals and LOTS of birds! This was fantastic! The walk we did in the afternoon with the giraffes blew us away; Louise was amazing, very friendly and super knowledgeable! We learned a lot from him! Being in the hospitality industry myself, you automatically look for flaws, but I can honestly say, I could NOT find any. We hope we can visit Kariega again, and this time stay for much longer, there is just so much to see, you need a lot of time!!!

Thank you to all the friendly and warm staff members for making this an unforgettable experience for us.
Keep up the GREAT work!!!

  • Stayed August 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
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Horley, United Kingdom
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2013

This was a first time safari for us (family 3) and we have a fantastic time. We stayed in Main Lodge for 5 nights which was great, yes cool in their winter (Aug) but great to light a fire in the evening to keep warm. Our Lodge had three bedrooms, 1 double, two twin, all with ensuite bathrooms and/or shower and an electric heater in each if needed. Well maintained and cleaned daily. We arrived just in time for our first game drive, bit rushed after checking in but we didn't want to miss it and glad we didn't. The park is divided into two, West side has mainly non predatory animals then you cross road to the East side where you can see the lions, elephants, etc. Our ranger Temba was great, very knowledgeable and we managed to see 17 different species on the first game drive including a herd of elephants. For our final drive we went on foot looking at foot prints etc before a shorter jeep drive. Each drive lasted around 2.5 to 3 hrs, maybe a bit longer in summer. The food was fine, served buffet style so you can help yourself to as much or as little as you like. OK so it is a bit canteen style but all perfectly edible. You maybe lucky enough to see the ladies sing and dance. You tend to eat with your ranger for most meals which is a great opportunity to get to know them and for them to share some of their experiences with you. Afterwards you could sit round the open fire and have a drink or two or retire to your lodge, maybe a bit different in Summer. All the staff are very friendly and happy to chat to you. Tips are left at your choice although it is suggested you tip your ranger a min 100R per person per day. Didn't try the spa but always seemed busy. There is a room for the kids which had a tv, video, pin pong table. Beach at Kenton on Sea is lovely with a mass of sand dunes, water was too cold to swim when we went and tide came in quiet quickly but great beach for kids to run around on. Five nights is enough time for you to see most things although the water buffalo eluded us despite Temba's best efforts. We will always remember my 8 year old saying “ On the left you can see Impala and on the right you can see more Impala.” Fab place, great experience. Thanks Temba for making it so good. Rob, Rita & Iain

  • 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stratford-upon-Avon, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 31, 2013 via mobile

I arrived in June 2012 and had a luxury lodge to myself for 3 days. The whole experience was fantastic. My wife had stayed here a few years ago and enthused about the game reserve and accommodation. I flew across from Cape Town where I had been presenting Lukhanyo primary school in Hermanus with a minibus which my school in Warwick had raised money for. This extra bit of holiday was a treat from my wife and it completely lived up to and beyond my expectations. The company of the other guests, the fabulous food, the attentive staff, the exciting game drives with knowledgeable rangers and the amazing sights of a huge variety of animals was completely memorable. My lodge with huge bed, sofas galore and the views across the forests was to die for. I had an outside plunge pool which a large giraffe splashed his head about in during the night! That was a sight - me and him -our heads at the same level looking at each other! Brilliant -you do not need to look anywhere else for your perfect Game Reserve holiday, I have 1000 photos to prove it!

Stayed September 2012, traveled solo
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Cambridge
Top Contributor
88 reviews 88 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 54 cities Reviews in 54 cities
84 helpful votes 84 helpful votes
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...
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  • 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
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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
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Swindon, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
7 helpful votes 7 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
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Simon's Town, South Africa
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 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.
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  • 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
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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
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Additional Information about Kariega Game Reserve

Address: R343 | Between Kenton On Sea and Grahamstown, 6191, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Eastern Cape > Greater Addo
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 #8 of 38 Specialty lodging in Greater Addo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Kariega Game Reserve 4*
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 
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Also Known As:
Kariega Game Reserve Hotel Kenton-On-Sea
Kariega Lodge

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