• Kariega Ukhozi Lodge Swimming Pool

Kariega Private Game Reserve

Kariega Private Game Reserve

Kariega Private Game Reserve, located within the Eastern Cape region of South Africa, is a family-owned and operated Big 5, malaria-free, game reserve incorporating 10,000 hectares of idyllic African wilderness as well as the Kariega and Bushman's river's.  The safari experience combines close up Big 5 game viewing across a landscape spanning 5 eco-systems and dramatic views and vistas,plus, an expansive variety of fauna, flora and birdlife.

Kariega accommodates five safari lodges, each with it's own appeal. The Main Lodge consists of 24 separate log chalets, each with en-suite bathrooms, lounge and private balcony, and is perfect for families. River Lodge, a much smaller lodge with just 10 suites, is situated right on the Bushman's River. Settlers Drift boasts modern and intimate suites amongst natural surroundings and picturesque views over the Busman's River. Ukhozi Lodge offers 10 spacious suites, each with private pools and breathtaking views. Or for those seeking a more authentic and exclusive stay, Homestead is a private lodge perfectly suited for families or groups of friends of up to 14 people.

Hayes & Jarvis Rating
Average: 4.5 (1 vote)
Hotel Category
Luxury
Location Type
National park
TripAdvisor Review
Tripadvisor rating 196 Reviews
a brown and white cow lying on top of a grass covered field

Hotel highlights

  • Stylish and luxurious accommodation
  • Spa treatments available at the wellness centre
  • Guided bush walks and game drives available

Hotel Features

General Information

  • Check-in Time:
    14:00
  • Check-out Time:
    10:00
  • Transfer duration: Approx. 90 minutes from Port Elizabeth Airport

Main Facilities

  • Free parking
  • Outdoor pool
  • Wifi

Accommodation Type

  • Lodge

Board Basis Options

  • All Inclusive

Hotel Location

Location Highlights

Kariega Private Game Reserve

  • National park
  • Approx. 90 minutes from Port Elizabeth Airport
  • The Eastern Cape is a malaria-free destination, so ideal for families
196 Reviews % of travellers recommended this hotel

Traveller ratings

  • Excellent 191
  • Very Good 4
  • Average 0
  • Poor 1
  • Terrible 1

What to Expect

  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness

Reviews

Jan 24, 2020

The most wonderful place on this planet

Cairns

I was sitting here 3 months after my trip when I suddenly realised that I hadn’t given a review! I never normally write reviews unless I have had an exceptional experience. The four of us (two couples) spent 4 days, 3 nights at Settler’s Drift and from the moment you arrive at the gates the excitement begins. From this moment you feel like you have walked into heaven and have the most luxurious few days. I felt like I was in a dream the whole time I was there and cannot fault a single thing. They have thought of everything!!! The tents are like no other tents I’ve seen and have some amazing features. The staff go above and beyond to make you feel like you’re at home. They cannot stop feeding you, there is always food when you need it and the food is of an amazing standard. All the little touches such as the personalised water bottles to the choice between cold or room temperature water. They really do try to accommodate everybody. The safari itself is out of this world. The game drive is small enough that you can cover all of the ground in the 4 days but big enough that you feel like you are in the middle of nowhere and away from society. The sunsets, sundowners, bush walk, boat trip and the truck rides them self we’re fab! But seeing the animals in their natural environment is just wonderful! The guides are so experienced, knowledgeable and passionate about their job and they do everything they can to get you to see as much as you can. I will never ever forget the four days I spent here and would recommend it to everybody and anybody. It honestly was the best 3 days of my life and I don’t think anywhere will top it! You have to go to Kariega and you have to stay at Settler’s Drift!
Jan 20, 2020

Dangerous! No Emergency Call possible and we were locked out !

Bremen, Germany

My husband and I spent 3 nights at the Kariega Settlers Drift last week. It was the (costly) highlight at the end of a delightful journey through beautiful Garden Route. The Settlers Drift is located inside of the Kariega Game reserve. The luxury 5star lodge offers a big main tent with a Reception/Welcomehall/Bar/Restaurant and 9 big and firm private guest-tents to be reached via wooden bridges through the bush, distances can be rather far from the main tent. The tents are well designed and offer the privacy and luxury that we were looking for. Food and general service was good, our Field-Guide Wayne an excellent companion who showed us the wild life in the huge game resort by car, by boat and on foot, also presenting us 4 of the Big5 animals. On our last evening (Saturday 18th January) we came back to the Settlers Drift from a Night Safari at around 10.30 p.m., it was dark and heavily raining. Field-Guy Wayne led us to the foot-bridges through a totally empty main tent, which felt already quite strange to me. He asked if we would need a torch for our walk to our tent! To our surprise the lighting to show us the way over the bridge to our quite remote located tent was completely turned off and we were happy to have the torch to lead us through the darkness over the slippery bridge. When arriving at our tent (number 9) my husband noticed, that he had lost the key! After a short shock we rushed back to the main tent to find us locked out alone in the rain! With no one inside to attract attention! At this side of the main tent are only 3 guest tents and we were lucky that one tent of the 3 was occupied besides our own and we woke up the sleeping couple to ask them for the phone numbers out of the guest’s-directory to call for assistance. We all tried to call the night line: no one answered. The couple complained, that this was the same case the night before, when they tried to reach someone. We left the couple to try to walk to the staff houses: BUT: we were not only locked out of the main building, we were also locked in on its terrace side because we could not walk around it to reach the frontdoor of the lodge or the other guest tents nor staff accommodations. We tried numerous phone numbers besides the night line to reach someone in the whole Kariega Game Reserve but there was NO answer. Also Airtours Travel Agency in Germany, (who we could reach!) tried their best to help us! They called all their available phone numbers but could not reach anyone either. We were completely locked out of shelter and isolated in the game reserve at night. It was hard to believe! So finally we sat down all wet on a wet chair on the terrace in the rain, waiting for the minutes and hours to pass and it was absolutely miserable. Jackals were howling and very big black beetles buzzing and falling on us, attracted by a light on the terrace that we tried to sit close to. By a big surprise and unexpectedly we found the lost key at 2.00 a.m. in the morning (!) Yes, we were stupid to loose the key in the beginning. Right. These things happen. In ANY accommodation assistance would be available. But not in the plus 1000.- Euro a night 5star resort Kariega Settlers Drift. Just imagine anyone slips out on the wet bridge and breaks the leg. Or worse: has a heart attack or suffers anything else of major relevance during the early night until morning: you are in true danger and trouble because you might find yourself rescued only many hours later and it could be too late.... For us it was the last night of our vacation and pure horror. The person in charge said: ‚I am deeply sorry‘ the next morning. And also sent an excuse E-Mail afterwards repeating how very sorry she is. Well. So are we. Katrin and Christoph Foerster
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Kariega Private Game Reserve

Facilities

a group of people in a field with a mountain in the background

Guided Bush Walks

Safari walks can be enjoyed with one of the experienced rangers on a variety of well-marked trails which are predator-free. You'll experience walking safely among over 25 species of game and a variety of birdlife.

a couple of giraffe standing on top of a lush green field

Safari Game Drives & River Cruises

Have your camera at the ready for close-up viewing of the Big Five as well as many other species. Game drives are offered in the early morning and late afternoon/evening in open safari vehicles. Cruises can also be enjoyed along the Bushman's River to the village of Kenton-on-Sea.

a person in a green boat on a body of water

Canoeing & River Fishing

Take one of the canoes and paddle peacefully down the Kariega or Bushman's River while having the opportunity to spot animals in their natural habitat. You can also enjoy a spot of river fishing.

Library

Relax and enjoy quiet time in the library after a busy day on safari.

Swimming Pool

Cool off in the lodges pools and enjoy a relaxing swim in between game viewings.

Kariega Spa

Wellness Centre and Gym

Situated at the Kariega Main Lodge, guests from all the lodges can enjoy the wellness centre which has two treatment rooms and a gym.

Kariega Private Game Reserve

Room Types

Settlers Drift 5*

Settlers Drift is a luxury tented lodge, situated in the ruggedly beautiful wilderness of the Kariega Game Reserve. Named after the 1820 settlers who guided their wagons through valleys and across Bushmans River here, the unspoilt beauty of Kariega will make you feel as though time has stood still. Nestled in the riverine forest, the lodge offers just nine spacious tented suites with stylish bedroom and living areas featuring atmospheric billowing ceilings; en suite bathrooms with freestanding bathtubs; and indoor/outdoor showers and secluded viewing decks. The sides of the suites can easily be raised to reveal panornamic views over the verdant valley.

  • Air Conditioning
  • Bath
  • Hairdryer
  • Minibar
  • Safe
  • Separate Shower
  • Telephone
  • Towels included

Ukhozi Lodge 4+*

An atmosphere of intimate seclusion has been created here. Accommodation takes the form of just ten deluxe suites – crafted from rustic logs – each with its own private deck and plunge pool, providing you with panoramic views of the surrounding scenery. At the end of your day, unwind in front of the log fire as you relive your experiences of the African bush.

  • Air Conditioning
  • Bath
  • Hairdryer
  • Private Pool
  • Separate Shower
  • Telephone
  • Towels included

River Lodge 4+*

With just ten thatched suites, you'll enjoy an atmosphere of intimacy and seclusion at this sumptuously comfortable lodge. After a long day, packed full of game viewing activities, retreat to the peace of the library or lounge and curl up with a good book; take a cooling swim in the pool; book in for a soothing spa treatment; or pad over to the deck, overhanging the river, for a cool drink and sensational views over the tranquil river. 

Due to the River Lodge's unique riverbank position, the lodge offers a daily boat cruise along the river to the charming village of Kenton-on-Sea and the golden coast.

  • Air Conditioning
  • Bath
  • Hairdryer
  • Safe
  • Separate Shower
  • Telephone
  • Towels included

Main Lodge 4*

The Main Lodge's 24 air conditioned log chalets blend harmoniously into their forest environment and feature large private viewing decks with far-reaching views over the Kariega River Valley. Relax in the homely comfort of your lounge or your spacious and well-appointed bedroom. Alternatively take a refreshing dip in the enticing swimming pool; enjoy an invigorating treatment at the spa; or borrow a canoe and paddle down the tranquil river.

With plenty of communal areas, the lodge has a relaxed and sociable atmosphere and is an ideal base for couples and groups. 

  • Air Conditioning
  • Balcony or Terrace
  • Hairdryer
  • Safe
  • Satellite/Cable TV
  • Separate Shower
  • Tea & Coffee Facilities
  • Towels included
  • TV

The Homestead 4*

A private lodge set in a private and remote area of the reserve, The Homestead, is ideal for families and small groups of up to 14. With your own dedicated hosts, game ranger and cook, plus, seven spacious bedrooms, all en-suite, a bar, swimming pool, lounge, large garden, boma and spectacular views. 

Activities, such as game drives, river cruises, and bushwalks are all included too.

  • Air Conditioning
  • Balcony or Terrace
  • Bath
  • Butler Service
  • Fridge
  • Hairdryer
  • Private Pool
  • Safe
  • Satellite/Cable TV
  • Separate Shower
  • Tea & Coffee Facilities
  • Telephone
  • Towels included
Kariega Private Game Reserve

Food & Drink

Bar

Relax and enjoy a refreshing drink at the lodge's bar after a day of game viewing.

Restaurant

Guests can enjoy local African cuisine at the lodge's restaurant.

Boma

Enjoy a well-deserved drink at your lodge's boma, as you relax and take in the outstanding views as the sun sets.

Board Basis Options

Full Board

Board basis includes all meals and twice daily safari game drives. Beverages are excluded.