Kariega Game Reserve is a 9000-hectare private game reserve in the Kariega River Valley in the malaria-free Eastern Cape, close to Grahamstown and only 15 minutes from the beautiful ‘Sunshine Coast’ beaches at Kenton-on-Sea. The drive from Port Elizabeth takes about 1½ hours, so a safari at Kariega can be a natural extension to your Garden Route holiday.
The reserve is split in two by a road, with dangerous game confined to the west side. On the east side of the reserve, where Ukhozi Lodge and Main Lodge are situated, guided bush walks are offered amongst the game, including giraffe, zebra, eland, wildebeest, vervet monkeys, many other species of antelope and over 250 bird species. On the west side are the Big-Five - lion, leopard, elephant, rhino, buffalo - as well as hippo, hyena, and a variety of buck. This part of the reserve is only accessible on escorted game drives.
Other activities on the reserve include game drives, river cruises, canoeing and fishing. You can swim in Kariega's main pool or in the Kariega River, amidst the forest - there are no crocodiles. The expansive, sandy beaches of Kenton-on-Sea, on the 'Sunshine Coast', are just a fifteen-minute drive.
The three properties
There are three different lodges on the Kariega Reserve. Main Lodge is ideal for families. It has spacious, well-equipped and air-conditioned wooden chalets nestling in the bush. The larger chalets have four bedrooms. All chalets have private viewing decks and many have a private pool.
Ukhozi Lodge is a luxury lodge with just ten spacious suites, each with a private viewing deck and plunge pool. There is a very comfortable central lounge and dining area. Children over 10 are welcome here.
River Lodge, a 5-star quality lodge, is the newest addition. Its ten thatched air-conditioned suites enjoy a fabulous setting on the banks of the Bushman’s River. Apart from the usual game drives, guests can enjoy river activities such as boating and canoeing, fishing and crabbing. The river is tidal, and it is just a short boat trip from River Lodge to the beautiful beaches of Kenton-on-Sea. Children over 10 are welcome.