Kariega Game Reserve

Location: Eastern Cape | South Africa

Price guide: £££££ £200-£350 per person per night

Kariega Game Reserve sits on a vast, private malaria-free reserve of pristine wilderness on the Garden Route, where you can see the Big Five and much more, before retreating to a slice of luxury in the heart of some of the country's most stunning landscapes. It is family-owned and run, and you are guaranteed an elevated safari experience here.
Perfect forHoneymooners looking for an extra-special touch of exclusivity and luxury, while Main Lodge is perfect for families with young children, thanks to this area being malaria-free.
In the knowYour stay supports the Kariega Foundation, which aims to improve the wellbeing of local communities through education and enterprise, as well as protect and conserve the natural heritage of the Kariega wilderness and the Eastern Cape.

Recommended for...

  • Wildlife & Nature
  • Setting & Views
  • Seriously special
  • Landscapes & Scenery

Hotel Overview

Sense of Place

Kariega Game Reserve is in the Eastern Cape, at the end of the iconic Garden Route. It spans 10,000 hectares of pristine wilderness and five different wildlife and bird-rich eco-systems (riverine forest, valley bushveld, savannah grasslands and acacia woodlands), and incorporates the Kariega and Bushmans rivers. 

The reserve is home to more than 25 species of game from the Big Five to wildebeest and antelopes, as well as nearly 300 species of birds, such as fish eagles, which nest in the reserve.

Rooms at Kariega Game Reserve

Kariega has five individual luxury lodges to choose from.

Main Lodge
The Main Lodge has 24 luxurious and spacious wooden-log chalets, all with private viewing decks overlooking the river valley and perfect for wildlife spotting. Some also have private pools. The award-winning pub and restaurant is an architectural showcase, and the food is no less spectacular: enjoy tasty traditional South African cuisine in the restaurant or al fresco around the boma. The lodge also has a pool and gym.

River Lodge
River Lodge sits on the banks of Bushmans River and has 10 spacious thatched suites which offer exclusivity and comfort alongside spectacular river views, as well as a pool and a sala for spa treatments. Guests at River Lodge can take daily boat trips to the Kenton beaches and enjoy excellent fishing on the river.

Ukhozi Lodge
The stylish and uniquely-designed Ukhozi Lodge has 10 luxurious suites sculpted from stone, wood and glass. They are connected via meandering bush paths, which offer complete privacy, gorgeous views and private plunge pools as well as a beautiful rim-flow pool on the edge of the valley and a wellness centre.

The Homestead
The Homestead is a private and luxurious as well as convenient safari residence, with seven spacious and comfortable bedrooms, all with private bathrooms, as well as a bar, a pool and a playroom for children. The Homestead also comes with its own 4x4 safari vehicle, game ranger and chef, making it an ideal choice for a group or family looking for an exclusive and unique safari experience which they can tailor to their needs.

Settlers Drift
For a superior glamping option, Settlers Drift, nestled in a remote and untouched part of the Kariega wilderness, has nine luxurious, spacious tented suites with opulent bedrooms and living areas, indoor/outdoor bathrooms and private decks looking out over the bushveld. There's a lovely outdoor pool, and a sala offering blissful spa treatments, a restaurant and bar, and you can relax with a glass of wine from the wine cellar.

Food & Drink

Wherever you stay at Kariega, you are guaranteed exceptional South African food and drink in a range of spectacular settings.


Each accommodation option offers its own facilities, from pools to spa treatments, with plenty on offer for everyone, from couples to families. Take a refreshing dip in between game drives, or unwind with an indulgent visit to the spa.

Activities at Kariega Game Reserve

Go on fantastic morning and afternoon game drives with expert guides to get up close to a wide range of wildlife and take in the valleys, grassy plains and bushveld. You may see lions hunting or a herd of elephants interacting. Budding photographers can go on photographic safaris accompanied by expert photographers in a vehicle specially adapted for photographic equipment.

Aside from wildlife, also on offer are river cruises and canoe expeditions and guided bush walks. 

Best time to go

Best time to travel

Good time to travel (but some limitations)

Travel is possible (but it’s not the best time)

Travel is not recommended

  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
Best time to go

Hotel location

Depending on which accommodation option you are staying in, Kariega Game Reserve is approximately a drive of 1 hour and 20 minutes from Port Elizabeth airport.

More places to stay in Eastern Cape


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