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“Safari of a life time!”

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Kariega Game Reserve - Ukhozi Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed November 11, 2009

My fiance and I have just returned from an 17 day holiday in SA, of which 3 nights were spent @ Kariega Game Reserve (Ukhozi Lodge).

Ukhozi Lodge Rooms:
Absolutely huge, with king size bed (you could easily fit 3 people VERY comfortably in that bed), private plunge pool, deck with gorgeous views of the game reserve "savannah" area below. There is a lounger area (2 seater, x2 single seater, and table), jacuzzi, separate shower, and separate toilet. Fully stocked (and re-stocked) mini bar with alcoholic/non alcoholic drinks, safe, telephone, and wardrobe.

Spa:
I only managed to fit in a manicure/pedicure and for the price it was TOTALLY worth it. The girls at the spa are both professional and make you feel very relaxed.

Kariega Game Drives (all game drives last 3 hours each):
-> Morning (6am departure from the Main Ukhozi Reception/Restaurant area - your ranger also gives you a wake up call at around 5:30am should you require one).
-> Afternoon (4pm departure and includes some sundowner snacks along the way). The sundowner consists of non/alcoholic drink and some nibblies (very very yummy).
-> The specially designed "van/truck" sits a maximum of 10 people + ranger. The majority of our time there we were 3 couples + ranger so it was extremely comfortable (they also provide wool blankets and ponchos should you need one)
-> During our time there we saw almost all of the BIG 5 (lion, buffalo, rhino, elephant, but unfortunately we missed out on the leopard). Our ranger also managed to find us some hippos - swimming in the river on our last afternoon game drive. It was the highlight of the drive! We were also lucky to view the entire herd of elephants, and one of the drives we watched (@ very close proximity) a lion drinking water and playing with one of the tree branches (truly spectacular sight)!
-> We also saw plenty of Eland, Bushpig, Giraffe, Ostrich, various kinds of antelope, fish eagle, crowned eagle, water monitor, zebra, wildebeest (and soooo many more animals & birds)
-> Our ranger (Daniel P) was an absolute fountain of knowlege, and was very informative and tenacious (especially in his successful attempt in finding us our hippos that we so wanted to see - we ended up having a mini "night game drive" at one point, and I must say that was a great experience on its own)

Food/Beverages:
Breakfast and dinner are spent dining with the rest of the people that join you in the game drives (although you can choose to dine separately) and lunch is taken at your leisure. All meals are varied each time, lunch/dinner 3 course feasts, with unstoppable beverages through all meals. Plenty of opportunity to taste some game (during our stay there the Eland and Ostrich was to die for).

After dinner guests retire to a huge open fire to enjoy after dinner drinks and discuss the game rides with fellow guests.

  • Stayed: November 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank MONTY78
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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Reviewed November 5, 2009

I have just returned from an 11 day holiday in SA which ended with a 2 night stay in the Ukhozi lodge, Kariega Game Park. It was truly a fantastic end to a super holiday. The standard of food,wine accomodation and company was top class and that's without mentioning the 4 game drives we went on and the incredible knowledge that our game warden Daniel had. We wet on 2 (v early) morning drives and 2 evening drives and saw a huge amount of wildlife. The standard of accomodation in these lodges are very high, with a large jacuzzi bath,extremely comfortable beds, a fully stocked minibar, your own personal plunge pool on your own viewing deck which overlooked the most fantastic vista. All of the group eat breakfast and dinner together and lunch is taken at your leisure. The guests retire to a huge open fire to enjoy after dinner drinks and discuss the game rides!
The icing on the cake for this trip was as we left the game park, we noticed one of the couples pulled in on the dirt track out to the main road. They waved us down. We pulled over and had the unique experience of seeing a giraffe give birth. Wow!

  • Stayed: October 2009, traveled with friends
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Thank Eimear99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 19, 2009

Our first time on Safari and without knowing what to expect, I was more than pleasantly surprised with Ukhozi Lodge. The actual lodges are very cozy and romantic with beautiful views of miles and miles of open 'bush'. A great standard of accomodation and your own plunge pool.

The main Ukhozi lodge is where everyone eats and has open fires and an authentic rustic feel.

The food's wonderful, the staff are lovely, the Rangers can't do enough to make your stay enjoyable and although the drives start at 6am, it's been one of the most relaxing stays I've ever had.

Would definitely recommend - I missed it as soon as I left!

  • Stayed: September 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank Pippa15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 16, 2009

I Cannot describe the experience we had here it was unbelievable. My Husband and I went on our honeymoon two weeks in South Africia and 1 week in Mauritius and this was definitely the highlight of the whole trip. We had a wonderful time and a lot of that was down to our safari guide ANTON, he was just fantastic. We were meant to be booked into the 5 star river lodges, but as we had just arrived befor a safari was going we jouned a group from the Ukhozi lodge(4 star) and Anton was the leader. We got on so well with everyone we asked could we stay with that group when we got back and in the Ukhozi lodges and I am so glad we did. The lodge was gorgeous , a massive bed, living area, Gorgeous bathroom , mini bar and your own private plunge pool out on a deck overlooking the game reserve!! Unbelievable views. We were even greeted to the lodge by a little monkey on the roof. You go on two safaris each day one in the morning at 6.30am! and and evening one at around 4PM. You have breakfast, lunch and dinner, each accomadation had its own restaraunt and the food is amazing and wine superb. You have breakfast and dinner with your group and leader and you can take lunch when you want. There is also a lovely pool off the restaraunt and on one night the local chef and waiters come out and do a traditional dance. we were there in October when it was a bit nippy in the nights so they had roaring fires and a hot drink for you when you came in from evening drive. the afternoons are yours to do what you want , there are bicyles there so used to go for a short cycle around, there are guided paths so you don t end up near the lions!!. We saw amazing animals, even two lions on the kill and getting a antelope. I know gruesome but unbelevable to watch form only a few metres but I will wdmit a bit scarry. I could not recommend this place enough, and you will meet lovely people. all the Rangers are really nice but ask for Anton if you can!!. Our friend went in 2008 and stayed at the River Lodge and said it was also amazing. I love South Africa we had the best time ever there.

  • Stayed: October 2007, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank SuzMor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 24, 2009

Spent 3 days as part of our honeymoon in ukhozi and loved every minute of it. The log cabins are fabulous, loads of space, huge bed, seating areas, balcony..just gorgeous. Arrived at 1pm in time for lunch and also for the 4pm game drive. Got 5 game drives in all and were delighted at all the animals we saw...lions, elephants, giraffes, rhino, hippo, all antelope etc. Was so much fun heading off in our jeep looking for the animals. Gets very cold at night so bring lots of warm gear. Food was just fabulous, every meal consistently lovely! it was all-inclusive and so had all the food and drink included. Went cycling one afternoon and conoeing another. Lovely to chill too! all in all just brill!

  • Stayed: April 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank KilkennyDuo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 20, 2009

IWehave just arrived back from spending three nights in Ukhosi Lodge in Kariega and what a time I had. We went on five game drives and was lucky enough on one of the mornings to get an excellent sighting of the lions - it was so great I don't think it gets any better. They were litterally a few feet away from us. There are two male, two female and four cubs of about 8 months. Over the five drives we saw elephants a few times, all the herd together including a few gorgeous babies, rhino, giraffes, zebras, all types of antelope, buffalo, zebras etc. Our guide Jason could not have been better. He is so passionate about his work and very informative. My partner was interested not only in the animals but in the plant life and birds etc. and Jason was well able to give detailed answers to any complicated questions he came up with. He is excellent at his work! We had a great time and loved every minute of the trip. The staff are lovely and so friendly. Stephen the chef provided us with some excellent meals. Jason's company at dinner and breakfast was always enjoyable and entertaining as he is very friendly with a great sense of humour. I have never been on safari before so I cannot compare but I certainly felt this was a beautiful reserve and I would not hesitate to go back.

  • Stayed: April 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank clarepd2003
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 14, 2008

Stayed in Ukhozi Lodge which is exactly as advertised on Kariega's website. Massive bed (more than 6 foot wide), large suite. Private plunge pool is a novelty but probably a bit too cold to get much use. Great for dipping your feet.

Warm, friendly, personal welcome.

Personal welcome also extended to game drives as you are allocated the same ranger for your entire stay. Ranger was knowledgable and encouraged plenty of questions. Great variety of animals to be seen - up close and personal. Kariega game reserve is so vast the animals appear totally free and wild as you would expect on safari and not contrived (as is the case on some other reserves).

Would definitely recommend Kariega for the experience of a lifetime.

Thank Couple-from-Ireland
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 - 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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