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“Great BIG 5 safari experience” 4 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
Cape Town
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Great BIG 5 safari experience”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 5, 2013

We stayed at Ukozi Lodge (4*) and visisted River Lodge (4*) as well as main Lodge (3*).
Ukozi offers private plunge pools and beautiful viewes whereas if you stay at River Lodge, you can exchange a game driver for a cruise along the river. Great game sigtings with ranger Louis who was very professional and assisted in finding our favorite game. Lovely sundower experience.
Lovely food choices for dinner prepared to order, good wine selection.

Room Tip: Main Lodge best for budget travellers and families. Ukozi Lodge best for honeymooners (most privacy...
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled on business
    • 4 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
    • 4 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, December 20, 2013
Hi Miriam,
Thank you so much for your review of your stay. We are really pleased that you enjoyed your stay at Ukhozi Lodge. We're sorry you didn't allocate us 5 stars as by the sounds of things you had a fabulous time! Next time perhaps! We hope to see you again!

PS. Main Lodge is also graded 4 star :)

Kind regards,
Bronwen & the Kariega team
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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398 reviews from our community

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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)
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Cape Town Central, South Africa
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 3, 2013

I have been a Tour Guide for 10 year's and have visited a couple of game reserves but I would rate Kariega as the best such experience I have had to date ! All categories of staff at Kariga are quite exceptionable - very professional, friendly and most of all very accommodating. The Game Ranger I had was out of this world - very knowlegdable, enthusiatic and friendly ! ( an all-in-one perfect package!!) Thanks Taylor - you are great ! I would recommend KARIGA to any concerned traveller and tourist !

Room Tip: River view rooms are great
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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.
Ridgefield, CT
Top Contributor
505 reviews 505 reviews
89 hotel reviews
Reviews in 181 cities Reviews in 181 cities
299 helpful votes 299 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 18, 2013

The lodges at Kariega are basically cabins either for families or for groups of friends traveling together. We were in chalet 7 and there were 3 good sized bedrooms, each with a bath and we were traveling with some friends. Each cabin had a parking area, a large kitchen with small fridge and a bottle of water for each, coffee, tea etc. the living area was large and very open with views out from the deck. There was a wood burning stove but the cabin also has heat in each bedroom. The bedrooms are a nice size and the beds have a wonderful down comforter. The shower was large and there was also a tub.Some chalets actually had a small pool on their side deck. We were close to the restaurant, bar, pool and massage, workout area. The food was local and excellent. The eggs in the morning were made to order or served up scrambled. there were meats, fruits, yogurts, breads, tea and coffee and juice. Each meal was a treat . Drinks other than coffee or tea are paid for at each meal. the game preserve has two distinct areas; one with the larger animals and preditors and the other with the antelope, giraffe, zebra ,rhino etc The entire preserve is surrounded by an electric fence to keep both the animals and visitors safe. there is a resident giraffe that wanders the grounds munching on the trees and seeing him when you arrive is a real thrill.
Kariega is not a Disney World.....if children come, you need to bring some things for them to do if they need to be entertained. Perhaps, this may not be the best experience for a young child because it is structured and geared for adults. There are 2 game drives a day. The first one begins @ 5:30-6am and lasts for about 4 plus hours. You return for breakfast and have some time to yourself...there is a pool, a gift shop, a ping pong table and a walk you can take until lunch time . After lunch @ 4 there is another game drive that ends with wine and sunset views before returning to the lodge for dinner @ 7:30pm. The game drives are wonderful and the drivers do their best to show you all of the animals. You are guaranteed to see some amazing things because the animals roam freely in the enclosed 24 acres. You travel in open rovers and should be sure to bring a raincoat in case of a shower and sun glasses and sun screen because the sun is intense. The roads are often bumpy and rough and muddy if it has rained. Each driver has blankets in case it gets really cold once the sun disappears. I was so impressed by the drivers...They offered the best experience and pursued animals that you wanted to see but they were knowledgeable about everything! Plants, birds, animal behavior.... etc. even the lovely night sky and the stars! They referred to many of the animals by name and told of the terrible poachers and the trauma that the rhino Thandi had endured.
One night we had a lovely barbecue outside in an area set up with picnic tables and a large fire. The women from the kitchen did the entertainment and it was wonderful. I definitely recommend this for anyone wanting to have an African experience but not a safari....I have done both and the game drives are much more relaxed and a lot less violent and you SEE so much, guaranteed!

Room Tip: If you want your own small pool; ask for it when making your reservation. Most of the chalets that h...
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  • Stayed November 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hungerford, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 16, 2013

We not only stayed here but also got married at Kariega in October. This place is pretty much perfect. The reason we picked the lodge is due to the attitude of the people we spoke to when enquiring, the service was well above the others we spoke to. We had 35 guests fly over and every single one has said how perfect not only the lodge was but also the staff.
The rangers are very very friendly and also extremely knowledge, we were made to feel welcome by them all and can not wait to return to see them again.
The food was perfect and varied throughout the stay. Everything was freshly cooked and even for me (a picky eater) I never struggled to find something I liked. I must also add that a previous review on here I would question when they say the lodge it not child friendly. The staff were amazing with my 4year old son. They made the stay as much about him as us, catered for him and even went out shopping especially for his favourite food! He had the time of his life so please ignore the rather inaccurate review from the cape town guy on here as it is the opposite of what we found.
We went on to stay at another lodge as part of our honeymoon which was not half as good as kariega yet charged the same rates. If you are still reading my review at this point please book to go here as you will have the time of your life.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, Canada
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 15, 2013

We stayed in Main Lodge at the Kariega Game reserve for three nights in November 2013. Our lodge was large and well presented, we had our own swimming pool which overlooked the valley below where the smaller animals roamed freely. Our guide/ranger was Johan who greeted us on our first day. he took us out to the reserve for 6 drives (2 per day one from 6.30am until 9.30am and then again 4pm until 7pm) He could not have been any more helpful with finding the larger animals, we saw all the big 5 as well as lots of other animals, birds and plants. he even took us on a river cruise. We were offered tea, coffee or hot chocolate on our morning drive and a drink and snacks during our evening drive. Dinner at the lodge was either at the open Boma with log fire or in the restaurant overlooking the reserve. The food was the best ever food I have had on holiday. All the staff were so helpful and put themselves out just to make our stay extra special. Thankyou so much Johan for making our safari experience the best ever.

Room Tip: All lodges had an excellent view so no matter where you stay is great
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  • Stayed November 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nottinghamshire, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 11, 2013

I loved this place. We had Matt as our ranger who is really into his photography and knows his stuff. He also had a wicked sense of humour.

Finding out about Thandi and the damage done by poachers bought me to tears and has reinstated my interest in conservation.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled solo
    • 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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Godalming, United Kingdom
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 7, 2013

We stayed at Ukhozi Lodge and could not fault the facilities, food or service. The safaris were brilliant and, well organised especially with our guide Louis who was superb. We learned so much about animals, flora, fauna and birds. Staff could not do enough for us. I would not suggest taking young children on any safari, so would point out to Stuart H that he had completely unrealistic expectations. He should read the widely avaiable guidance on recommended ages for children on safaris!

All the staff including the well being staff were excellent, There was a wide variety of wines and food avaiable at every meal and additional activities were offered free of charge if required.

I would highly recommend this venue to any adult.

Room Tip: All the suites at Ukhozi Lodge have wonderful views, are spacious and are in keeping with the ambien...
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
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 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 #6 of 37 Specialty Lodging in Greater Addo
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 
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Also Known As:
Kariega Game Reserve Hotel Kenton-On-Sea
Kariega Lodge

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