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“Didn't want to come home!”

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Kariega Game Reserve - Ukhozi Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed May 31, 2013

This was the best vacation ever. Stayed for for three nights and went on 6 game drives. Our ranger was Louis, and he was great! Genuinely friendly and accommodating. He also kept us five girls amused and entertained the whole time! Unreal how close we got to the animals, absolutely astonishing. The food was delicious, and the staff made you feel like royalty. The Ukhozi lodge rooms were very big and nice. I shared the room with my two sisters, the bed was big enough for all three of us! By the 4th day, I didn't want to go back home. Wish I was still there now. Vacation of a lifetime and memories were made here that will never be forgotten. The bar has been set very high, it will be hard to top this vacation!

Room Tip: We stayed in chalet 1 and 2 at Ukhozi lodge, which was super convenient because they are the closest...
  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Alicia P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviews (128)
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71 - 77 of 128 reviews

Reviewed May 30, 2013

stayed here for 3 nights as part of our tour of South Africa.An unbelievable experience.The quality of the accomodation,food,ranger Thomas,animals seen,all staff,in fact everything about this place is exquisite.I fully recommend this place without exception.3 nights(6 safari outings) is a perfect combination for a 2 week capelands tour.

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank jockhaggis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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Thank SKBritt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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.
  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank alanaspinall33
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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Thank RonSachathep
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bronwen d, Manager at Kariega Game Reserve - Ukhozi Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 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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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
  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank Diana P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bronwen d, Manager at Kariega Game Reserve - Ukhozi Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 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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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.
  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank JJB2_13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bronwen d, Manager at Kariega Game Reserve - Ukhozi Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 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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Additional Information about Kariega Game Reserve - Ukhozi Lodge

Address: | Near rural route 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 8 Specialty Lodging in Kenton-on-Sea
Price Range: $644 - $988 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Kariega Game Reserve - 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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