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Kariega Ukhozi Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Burton upon Trent, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
155 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
“Perfect!”
Reviewed May 24, 2013

This place sets the standard on how to provide a first class experience in South African Game Reserve Management.
From the moment we arrived we were hosted by friendly staff, nothing was too much trouble but without being suffocating or smothering. I truly felt like a welcome friend in someone's beautiful home.
The lodge area where the meals are served is great, lots of natural wood and stone.
You eat with your fellow jeep mates and guide so you can chat over the days adventures and wildlife siting's. If you want privacy though, you only have to ask and they will make it happen.
The food was fab, wine plentiful. Make yourself comfortable after dinner on the comfy sofas in front of the welcoming open fire (if it's cooler) and enjoy an after dinner drink.
One night we had a boma night, BBQ south African style...fab food under the stars with a camp fire burning.
The cabins are beautifully finished. Massive bed, lovely seating area and the outside deck with plunge pool just puts the cherry on the cake.
Now for the game drives, our host, Tayla was fabulous. So knowledgeable and handled the jeep with comfortable ease. Close up viewing of animals in their natural habitat made for a magical experience over the 3 nights/4 days we were there. Too many animal highlights to mention and obviously every trip will be different.
I so hope we get to go back one day, this is now one of my favourite places I have stayed at so far.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank SKBritt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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119 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (18)
Date | Rating
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English first
eastbourne
Level Contributor
120 reviews
65 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 83 helpful votes
Reviewed May 2, 2013

went here for 3 nights in april 2013. the lodge was beautiful...Jacuzzi bath...huge bed and a plunge pool. furnished well and clean. the food was delicious and the wine good too. our guide Thomas was excellent. I would recommend this place to anyone.3 days is enough as you've seen more or less everything by then.

Room Tip: anyone is good...but rooms 6 to 9 have a Jacuzzi bath...lower number rooms don't.
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank alanaspinall33
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bangkok, Thailand
Level Contributor
41 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed April 28, 2013

Kariega Game Reserve is a private reserve of Round 9,000 hectares, of which we have heard on our last visit that the owner has added on another 4-6,000 hectares. Anyway, the beauty of the lodges set up on the hill overlooking the valley , the 3 bedroom lodges suitable for a big family as well as a few friends, very well set up, although the management could do better with certain insects in the rooms. The main game drives that we did in 3 different jeeps due the size of our group left all of us thoroughly amazed and dazzled at the raw beauty and close up to the big 4 of the 5 animals one would love to see on any wild life reserve. The herd of 20 Elephants moving around without any care in the world. That was our highlight and would definitely recommend this place to all. Fantastic trip.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank RonSachathep
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bronwen d, Manager at Kariega Ukhozi Lodge, responded to this review, May 22, 2013
Great to hear that you had a great stay with us at Main Lodge. We have indeed been fortunate to have recently added more land to the reserve. We are continually working with our neighbours to bring down fences and increase the amount of free-roaming land for the animals. Keep an eye on our website and Facebook page for updates.

Thank you for reminding us that we need to be more vigilant about keeping insects out - as you can imagine, a never ending job here in Africa!

Thank you for your recommendation and also for taking the time to post a review. Much appreciated.

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.
Alresford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed April 15, 2013

I was dubious before going but it was the most heavenly three days. Arriving after a long drive we were checked in very quickly and informed our lunch was waiting for us. Our guide, Brendon was extremely knowledgable and patient resulting in us being the first to see four recently born lion cubs emerging into the open. We experienced viewing many animals in close proximity and the park was extremely well managed and yet wild. Our rooms were excellent with wonderful views and food and drink were in abundance. I would have loved to have stayed longer and hope to revisit one day. I would recommend this place to anyone.

Room Tip: They are all good
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Diana P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bronwen d, Manager at Kariega Ukhozi Lodge, responded to this review, April 15, 2013
Lucky you seeing the new lion cubs! Please feel welcome to post any pictures on our Facebook page. We're so pleased that you enjoyed your stay and have passed on your compliments to Brendon and the team at Ukhozi.
Thank you for recommending us and we hope to see you again on the reserve.
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.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
64 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed January 19, 2013

This was our first time on a safari and we loved it.

The Ukhozi lodge offers accomodation in individual cabins with plunge pools and verandas that have great views over the park. The beds are huge and very comfortable and the power showers are welcome after a hot drive; rooms have fridge full of cold drinks including wine and beer, there are also coffee machines.

At Kareiga there is also the main lodge - where the bulk of the families stay, which does mean Ukhozi is quiet and child free - which is really nice if you are looking for a couples get away.

The highlight of our trip were the game drives, our ranger was Matt who was fantastically knowledgeable and has a real passion and respect for the wildlife. We did four drives during our stay and each was a different adventure. The most memorable was when we viewing the lions, who not surprisingly sleeping with huge full bellies, they then awoke and walked across the plane to retrieve the rest of their kill - we have fantastic photos of the lioness delicately eating a wilderbeast leg and a cub retrieving a rack of ribs. We manged to get close and I felt confident that Matt had expertise and knowledge of when to move back. We also had to sit tight whilst a pack of 20 elephants walked either side of the truck - amazing experience and we go home with fantastic memories.

The only downside of our trip was the food in the lodge. The lodge by the way is lovely with open fires, sofas, outside deck and an open area in the middle where you will spot monkeys.. The unlimited wine and drinks are very welcome and there is a lovely wine list. However the food was really average - and below the standard I had expected. It was not unedible just low quality and a bit bland. As we were only here for two nights it was fine, if this element of the experience could be improved this hotel would be amazing.

My top tip would be bring your camera (making sure you have tons of space on the memory card - photos of moving animals are tricky !), and binoculars. Relax, chill out and have a great time.

Room Tip: Stay in Ukozi and not main lodge.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank JJB2_13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bronwen d, Manager at Kariega Ukhozi Lodge, responded to this review, January 21, 2013
Thank you so much for your review about your stay with us at Ukhozi Lodge. We are so pleased that you had a good time and have passed on your compliments to Matt.

We are really sorry that you did not enjoy the food. We have taken your comments to heart and have placed a "foodie" at the lodge to ensure that our meals are inspired and delicious. Thank you for taking the time to give us your feedback about this.

Thanks again for your review and please come back and stay again - anytime!

Kind regards,
Bronwen and the Kariega team
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Galway, Ireland
Level Contributor
39 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed January 3, 2013

I'm only sorry it's taken me so long to write this review. We went to kariega at the end of April for 3 nights. From the moment we arrived we LOVED IT. We drove from Knysna so it was a long drive and we were pretty tired and cranky when we arrived at Kariega. Got checked in very quickly, our guide (i'm so sorry for the life of me now i can't think of his name) was there to meet us, as we were driving up to our cabin, just at the side of the road was a giraffe, we couldn't stop laughing and this really cheered us up. Got to the cabin (we stayed at Ukhozi) and oh my god it was fab, couldn't believe it. Beautiful cabin, huge bed, nice sitting area, hugh bath,nice little balcony, well stocked fridge and a bottle of champagne waiting for us. It was just such a great start to our stay. Headed up and had lunch which was lovely and we were offered a drink (which of course we took), went out of our first safari and it was just brilliant, had a nice group, saw the elephant, lion (who was lying down) and rhino. Just a great start. Headed back and got ready for dinner which was a BBQ and it's was just lovely been outside chatting away to everyone and having drinks (there's no really late nights of partying as everyone is up early the next morning). There's no shortage of food and drinks, we were constantly been asked what they could get us.
The next morning we were up at about 6.30, we had a coffee and muffin and out again for about 2 hours or more. Saw lots again the next day, actually ended up seeing the Buffalo and got a glimpse of the hippo's head. You go back and have a huge breakfast, there's plenty on the menu to decide from, i'm a veggie and had no trouble at all. Then you are free for a few hours, you can you back for a sleep, go for a walk or sit by the little pool (and again more drinks on offer). You go out again in the evening, One evening, things seemed to be a little slow, got to see the elephants again, which are always amazing, we were driving around for awhile looking for the lions, we were just about to give up and head back when our guide spotted (out of god know's where) a tail, we went over and there were the lions, male, female and cubs, next minute theirs heads popped up as if something was coming and they started to move away, out arrived the black rhino who decided to chase them around the trees. It was so funny to see, the cubs were having great fun. I will never forget that moment, it was the highlight of the trip. Headed up on one of the hills after that and had a glass of vino/beer while watching the sun set. The only thing we didn't get to see was the leopard.
I couldn't highly recommend this place enough, we were so well looked after. While it may sound expensive when you are looking to book, it's worth every penny. You don't need any money once you arrive in there, everything is supplied for you. All the staff were amazing and went out of there way. A couple that were in our group had been to Kruger and said they much preferred Kariega. I would go back again in the morning.
Thanks to all the staff

Room Tip: Warm clothes for morning and evening safari. And batteries for you camera.
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Nicola D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
51 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed September 27, 2012

This was our first ever safari type place! And I think it's the perfect place to do it! First off, the game drives are great there for the most part. You see all the animals ( bar the leopard and black rhino) and you see them more than once (over 3 days) and up close. It's very breezy up there, so bring fleece, jeans and shoes, and if u have a bad back, don't sit at the back of it! Shaun was very expert - our ranger. Ukhozi means everything is inclusive, incl mini-bar in room. Rooms are nice, no tv, and u need to bring connector cable for ur iPod to work with the stereo in room. Jacuzzi bath lovely, bring your own bubble bah and maybe even a candle. Bed is huuuuge. V private. In the lodge, lovely big log fire, which smells amazing and is solo cozy. We found the food pretty poor to be honest, especially @ lunch, when it was often cold. Dinner was the best usually. Coming here is like a little break from the real world, but you're not roughing it. Bring ur best camera, but u won't usually need a v long lens. Put ur valuables in safe @ reception. Relax and enjoy.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank DeirdreIrish
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bronwen d, Manager at Kariega Ukhozi Lodge, responded to this review, October 10, 2012
Hi Deidre,

Thank you so much for posting your review. We are so pleased that you had a good time with us and especially enjoyed the game drives on your first safari. Thank you for adding the advice to remind others to bring warm gear for the drives, as you know the early mornings and evenings can be cool.

We have noted your comments about the food and discussed these with the chef. Our apologies that you did not enjoy the food.

We have also passed on your compliment to Shaun.

Kind regards,
Bronwen and the Kariega team
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Kariega Ukhozi Lodge

Property: 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 #3 of 9 Specialty Lodging in Kenton-on-Sea
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Kariega Ukhozi Lodge 4*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Kariega 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. Located in the 10,000 hectare private game reserve with close-up viewing of rhino, elephant, lion, buffalo, zebra, giraffe, hippo and other incredible African wildlife. Bird lovers will enjoy sighings of some of the 280 species recorded on the reserve. The safari experience includes twice daily safari drives with qualified guides, guided walks and a river trip as well as all meals, local beverages and accommodation. ... more   less 
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