Kariega Game Reserve - Main Lodge

Kariega Game Reserve - Main Lodge

Traveller (1180)
one of the bedrooms
Room & Suite (251)
Indoor Restaurant
Dining (42)
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About

5.0
#2 of 7 lodges in Kenton-on-Sea
4.8 of 5 bubbles
Location
4.7 of 5 bubbles
Cleanliness
4.8 of 5 bubbles
Service
4.6 of 5 bubbles
Value
This award is our highest recognition and is presented annually to the top 1% of businesses across select categories.
Kariega Game Reserve is a 10,000 hectare Big 5 malaria-free private game reserve in the Eastern Cape region of South Africa. The safari experience combines close up Big 5 game viewing, an expansive variety of fauna, flora & birdlife, a landscape spanning 5 eco-systems and dramatic views and vistas. Kariega has five safari lodges. Main Lodge consists of 24 separate log chalets, each with en-suite bathrooms, lounge & private balcony; River Lodge has 10 suites and is located on the Bushman's River; Ukhozi Lodge has 10 spacious suites, each with private pools and great views; Settlers Drift has 9 modern but intimate suites surrounded by natural bush and overlooking the Bushman's River wilderness area and lastly the Homestead private lodge is perfectly suited for families or groups of friends of up to 14 people. Rates include accommodation, meals, morning and evening game drives with an experienced guide, guided bush walks and a river cruise. Fishing & canoeing can also be arranged.
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Property amenities
Free parking
Free internet
Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room
Pool
Free breakfast
Boating
Canoeing
Airport transportation
Secured parking
Public wifi
Pool with view
Outdoor pool
Bar / lounge
Restaurant
Breakfast buffet
Complimentary welcome drink
Kid-friendly buffet
Outdoor dining area
Special diet menus
Hiking
Walking tours
Spa
Massage
Gift shop
Non-smoking hotel
Outdoor fireplace
Outdoor furniture
Shops
Sun terrace
Private check-in / check-out
Laundry service
Room features
Air conditioning
Housekeeping
Interconnected rooms available
Private balcony
Coffee / tea maker
Refrigerator
Complimentary toiletries
Hair dryer
Seating area
Telephone
Clothes rack
Private bathrooms
Wake-up service / alarm clock
Room types
Landmark view
Non-smoking rooms
Family rooms
Good to know
HOTEL CLASS
Star ratings are intended to indicate the general level of features, amenities, and services to expect. This property is classified according to Giata.
4.0 of 5 stars
HOTEL STYLE
Mountain View
Romantic
Languages Spoken
English, Afrikaans

Location

Kenton-on-Sea 6191 South Africa
5.0
5.0 of 5 bubbles2,775 reviews
Reviews summary
This summary was created by AI, based on recent reviews.
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Kariega Game Reserve's Main Lodge has earned accolades for its immaculate chalets and facilities, with guests often commenting on the inviting atmosphere and the exceptional wildlife encounters right at their doorstep. While some guests feel the prices are steep, many find the diverse amenities, which include comfortable lodgings and delightful African barbecue evenings, to provide good value. The service at the lodge stands out, with staff and guides receiving high marks for their knowledge and attentiveness. However, a few reviewers have mentioned that the rooms, despite being spacious and generally well-appointed, occasionally fall short on cleanliness.
Location
Picturesque
Atmosphere
Inviting
Rooms
Comfortable
Value
Expensive
Cleanliness
Immaculate
Service
Attentive
Amenities
Top-notch

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2,775Reviews42Q+A100Room tips
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Detailed Reviews
izzylaw8 wrote a review Jan 2020
Bradford, United Kingdom
+1
5.0 of 5 bubbles
From the amazing staff, incredible hospitality and breathtaking scenery this trip was absolutely perfect. We arrived early evening and were quickly shown to our table for tea with another family and our amazing guide Melissa. The food was always excellent. Generally it was traditional dishes with a couple of meat options and a veggie options and an array of desserts. At teatime you eat with your guide and group which is always amazing to hear stories from what your guide has seen and done. We were then driven to our chalet where our bags were already waiting. The chalet was well equipped, lovely decoration and comfortable beds. There was a log burner for the cold nights and a balcony with a table looking out into the South African bush. It was only when we awoke at 6.30 that we realised how special this place was. The sun peaked over the valley in a beautiful sunrise - absolutely breathtaking. Breakfast was always excellent with a full range of hot and cold options, tea, coffee, fruit, bakery items etc. It was always fun to be joined by a monkey or two. Our guide joined us for breakfast and told us the plan for the day and then we set off on the open top safari game drive. In just 4 safari drives we saw 4/5 of the big five and lots of other amazing wildlife. Melissa was so knowledgable about everything on the reserve and we certainly learnt a lot too. We also had a boat trip on the river which was incredible and we tried fishing which the kids enjoyed. We were also offered a night safari but our flight was just a little too early the next day. There was also a spa which was lovely for a treatment and kayaking on offer. The pool and games area were very well maintained and the bar overlooking the entire valley was just incredible to watch the sun go down. One night we also had a boma (outdoor BBQ) with dancing from students from a local school which was amazing. We felt so at home here and would absolutely love to return. A magical place , you will love it !!!
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Date of stay: July 2019Trip type: Travelled with family
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from Bronwen d, Manager at Kariega Game Reserve - Main Lodge
Responded 23 Jan 2020
We are delighted that you enjoyed your safari and stay on our reserve. We think it is a pretty special and magical part of the world too! Kind regards from the Kariega team.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
daveo128 wrote a review Feb 2020
Poole, United Kingdom
5.0 of 5 bubbles
We stayed at the main lodge for 3 nights, and went on 6 game drives spread over 4 days. It appears designed to fit in with the natural environment, and chalets are principally of timber construction. Our chalet was relatively small, but had a comfortable bed, TV, fridge, power points and a shower in the bathroom. Crucially, it also had avery effective air conditioning unit; important, because the weather was hot. Meals were of a buffet style, while waitresses served drinks to guests at their tables. The choice and quality of food was excellent, and drinks were good and affordable. There was a barbeque evening, with song and dance from local performers, who did a great job of entertaining guests. The most important feature was access to game drives, which were wonderful. Great to get so close to such a large range of animals in their natural environment, safely facilitated by a helpful, informative ranger who took her job very seriously. Overall, a marvellous experience!
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Date of stay: February 2020
4.0 of 5 bubblesValue
4.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
4.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
4.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from Bronwen d, Manager at Kariega Game Reserve - Main Lodge
Responded 01 Mar 2020
Fantastic! We are delighted you enjoyed your safari and stay. Thank you for adding this lovely review.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
A lot to digest? Read an AI-generated summary of recent traveller reviews.
Shaan W wrote a review Jan 2020
5.0 of 5 bubbles
We only did a quick overnight visit here but it was a great experience still. We arrived to the reception where we were warmly greeted and our game driver Nathan met us to welcome us. Lunch was served and was very nice with lots of options from the buffet.

The chalets at the Main Lodge were modern, contemporary and spacious with fantastic large windows giving you a view into the bush.

Nathan collected us from our villa before both the afternoon and early morning safaris. The safaris themselves were excellent and we saw all of the Big 5 on the first safari. Nathan was incredibly knowledgeable and friendly and was a fantastic guide.

Dinner was later served which was a buffet also which had various tasty options. At dinner, a dance group from the local township provided us with excellent entertainment which really added to our experience.

Following the early morning safari and breakfast, we departed but wished we had longer there! I would definitely recommend this to anyone visiting this area of South Africa!
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Date of stay: January 2020Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Deborah W wrote a review Apr 2020
Vienna, Austria
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Six of us stayed for three nights from 23rd February. None of us knew what to expect, but at the end all three couples agreed this was the highlight of our trip. We arrived on the first day in time for lunch and check-in for Main Lodge was quick with a welcome drink provided. We were all disappointed with the food at lunch that day, but this must have been a one-off as all the other meals were good with lots of choices and variety and enjoyed by us all. Wine was reasonably priced and paired nicely with our dinner.

Our ranger was Thomas who is extremely knowledgeable on the flora and fauna on the Reserve and a thoroughly nice man. We were delighted to have been guided by Thomas who we would give 5* to. The rangers all have a great system of letting each other know where the Big Five are at any time of day so you get to see these magnificent animals. At one point we sat very close to some trees and could hear two lions and a lioness eating their kill. We made a quick exit when one of them started fighting over their meal, but we were never worried as Thomas was 100% in charge and knew what he was doing. We never thought we would be so close up to the animals so it was a wonderful experience from beginning to end. The river trip was a great experience too and the hot drinks and muffins much appreciated. Sundowners were all very well received by our group. The only improvement I would suggest is for the rangers to be equipped with a head mike and the guests to have headphones as when driving
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Date of stay: February 2020
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
4.0 of 5 bubblesService
4.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from Bronwen d, Manager at Kariega Game Reserve - Main Lodge
Responded 22 Apr 2020
Thank you for your lovely review and we are so pleased that your stay with us was the highlight of your trip. Thank you for choosing Kariega as your safari destination. Being so close to animals in the wild is an unforgettable and magical experience. We hop you are all enjoying your safari memories at home. Thank you for the suggestion about the headsets, the main issue with this is that headphones prevent guests from hearing the sounds of the bush, birds and animals. Thanks again for adding your feedback. We have passed on your message to Thomas. With kind regards from the Kariega team.
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lars820 wrote a review Feb 2020
4.0 of 5 bubbles
You must do better to keep visitors from getting totally wet when it is raining. Better raincoats or maybe if possible a roof on the jeeps. Many including my wife did not go on the tour because of this.
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Date of stay: February 2020
3.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
4.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
5.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from Bronwen d, Manager at Kariega Game Reserve - Main Lodge
Responded 11 Feb 2020
Dear Lars, Thank you very much for choosing Kariega as your safari destination. We are perplexed by your review as all our vehicles have ponchos for the rain. We are very sorry that this was not clearly communicated to you. After a multi-year drought we so desperately need the rain. With kind regards and thank you for your understanding from the Kariega team.
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Ruthie wrote a review Feb 2020
Fredericksburg, Virginia
5.0 of 5 bubbles
I came with my family and friends (there were 35 of us with 5 children ages 4 to 9). Kariega Main Lodge accommodated our group wonderfully. We were a large group but felt like we got catered to on a personal level. The open air land cruisers were so fun, comfortable and our guide Lloyd was knowledgable and kind. Animals were everywhere! We got so close but felt safe. The guides clearly know what they are doing.

The bungalow houses were clean and comfortable with great vista views of the game reserve below.
The food wasn't over the top spectacular but I feel we ate well. They did do a outdoor BBQ like dinner one night in an outdoor Boma with local dancers and fire pits etc that was fabulous!

The only thing I wasn't thrilled with is the kids service. There was a childcare area provided and I thought the kids would be experiencing nature with a ranger like the website portrays, but it was more like daycare so that was a let down.

No bugs...no one got bit by anything:)
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Date of stay: January 2020
5.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
Room Tip: request a room closest to the main lodge, less walking
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from Bronwen d, Manager at Kariega Game Reserve - Main Lodge
Responded 01 Mar 2020
Thank you so much for choosing to stay at Kariega with your group of family and friends. We are very pleased you enjoyed your safari, accommodation and the boma dinner and dancers. We are very sorry to read that you were not satisfied with the Kids on Safari program. We have sent on your feedback to our lodge manager and team leaders to work with their teams to ensure that this area is delivered as per our promise. Thanks again for visiting and we hope you all enjoy your memories for a long time to come. With kind regards from the Kariega team.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
John_H190740 wrote a review Jan 2020
Welwyn Garden City, United Kingdom
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Our experience at Kariega was exceptional. We planned to visit South Africa for our wedding anniversary which happened to fall whilst we were at the Reserve. Harry and his team went to great lengths to ensure we would not forget the occasion.

Firstly the arrival was a genuinely warm welcome, and the lodges had every comfort though a strong feeling that you were back to nature in a glorious setting with the river flowing by, and the food and hospitality was first class.

Our Ranger Guide was Matthew who was determined to fulfil our expectations and did so apart from the most elusive leopard. We had a very close encounter with 2 lionesses who had just fed themselves on an unfortunate zebra only to meet the lion awaiting to polish off what was left. Matthew also gave a beautiful experience with a family of elephants which we stayed with for 30 mins enjoying the behaviours of all the characters - very young and old. He was great at educating the 7 of us in the cruiser in all the animal behaviours and hosting with us over sun downer drinks on the safe heights of the Reserve
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Date of stay: January 2020
5.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
5.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
denise p wrote a review Oct 2022
Greater London, United Kingdom
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Stayed in the Main Lodge for 3 nights, Our chalet was spacious and clean with an awesome view , which added to the whole safari experience. Staff were very welcoming and accomodating. The food was really good with a good choice at each meal. Our ranger, Matthews, was just the best. He was so knowledgable and friendly, nothing was ever too much for him. The actual safaris were fabulous, we got to see so many animals and learnt so much, not only about the animals but also the flora and fauna, thanks to Matthews. Loved the stop for coffee in the mornings and the sundowners in the evening on our drives.
It would have been nice to have wifi and maybe TV in the chalets but understand that the location poses problems for wifi access.
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Date of stay: September 2022
5.0 of 5 bubblesValue
4.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from Kariega Marketing, Marketing at Kariega Game Reserve - Main Lodge
Responded 16 Oct 2022
Thank you so much for your wonderful review. We are delighted that you had a fantastic experience and that you were so well looked after by our staff and your ranger. With kind regards from the Kariega team.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
M D wrote a review Jan 2020
Newry, United Kingdom
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Rachel our guide was brilliant and we were lucky to get up close to elephants on our drives as well as seeing lion and lioness, water buffalo giraffes rhino and hippo. Rachel was well informed and calm (even with our slow puncture moment.) The staff are great, food excellent and small groups with each guide at mealtimes and safaris make this an excellent experience. The chalets are spacious and the pool cool and relaxing. Happy memories. The place deserves extra stars for providing an environment where animals can thrive and allow us to watch them.
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Date of stay: January 2020Trip type: Travelled with family
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Lissyshaw94 wrote a review Feb 2020
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Saw everything from buffalo, lion, hippo, giraffe, elephant, rhino and many other species. Damon de wet game driver was fantastic to say he had only been doing it for about 2 years you would have never known and nothing was too much to ask. But of advise if you go in there summer it can rain and there ponchos aren't that good, so maybe take your own. Also you do get little perks to the game drives which were a good surprise so I won't say anything
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Date of stay: February 2020
4.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
4.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Answer from Cindy
Port Elizabeth, South Africa1 helpful vote
Hi Janni Thank you so much for your enquiry and we are delighted that you are considering a visit to Kariega Game Reserve. You will enjoy 2 game drives per day whilst staying at Kariega as well as an afternoon/evening game drive on the day of arrival and a morning game drive on the day of departure. The likelihood of seeing Kariega's cats ie. Lion and Cheetah (Leopard unfortunately are quite scarce) are very good. You would most probably see the large cats on most of your game drives. September is a lovely month to visit. We look forward to hopefully hosting you at Kariega. With warm regards The Kariega Team.
Answer from Ita216
Hertford, United Kingdom69 contributions33 helpful votes
So sorry for delay ..probably too late . We tipped 10% to Nick as far as I recall.. tipping is always tricky and can work out quite expensive if you don’t include it in the original price, . Hope you enjoyed Kariega!
Answer from Cindy
Port Elizabeth, South Africa1 helpful vote
Good day, we are delighted that you will be visiting Kariega in March next year and we look forward to your arrival. Currently the SA government law is that masks are compulsory for indoor and outdoor gatherings for everyone over 6 years old. With the increase of vaccinations being rolled out, this law may change by the time of your visit in March 2022. I trust this helps. With kind regards from the Kariega team.
CasaApollo wrote a tip Jun 2024
Norfolk, United Kingdom127 contributions30 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"Be prepared for all weathers and mainly causal comfortable clothing. And food and drink for the drive."
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GillyS324 wrote a tip May 2024
Ayrshire, United Kingdom47 contributions34 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"Take warm clothes, especially at this time of year. We live in Scotland, so understand cold weather."
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N0sher wrote a tip May 2024
Welling, United Kingdom54 contributions14 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"We went at the end of April/beginning of May, I didn't realise how cold the morning drives can get. Take warm clothing! "
Read full review
Juliewh wrote a tip Apr 2024
Newquay, United Kingdom45 contributions12 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"Parking at each accommodation. A wide choice of menu at each meal. Superb welcome and care given to our toddler. Babysitting available."
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Wander64439413074 wrote a tip Apr 2024
Blackburn, United Kingdom1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"The best safari (in my opinion) was the morning safari's. "
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PRICE RANGE
R 12,118 - R 12,466 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
ALSO KNOWN AS
kariega game reserve hotel kenton-on-sea, kariega lodge
LOCATION
South AfricaEastern CapeGreater AddoKenton-on-Sea
NUMBER OF ROOMS
24
Prices are provided by our partners, and reflect average nightly room rates, including taxes and fees that are fixed, known to our partners, and due at time of booking. Please see our partners for more details.
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KARIEGA GAME RESERVE - MAIN LODGE - Reviews & Price Comparison (Kenton-on-Sea, South Africa)

Frequently Asked Questions about Kariega Game Reserve - Main Lodge
What are some of the property amenities at Kariega Game Reserve - Main Lodge?
Some of the more popular amenities offered include free breakfast, a pool, and an on-site restaurant.
Which room amenities are available at Kariega Game Reserve - Main Lodge?
Top room amenities include air conditioning, a refrigerator, and a view of a nearby landmark.
What food & drink options are available at Kariega Game Reserve - Main Lodge?
Guests can enjoy free breakfast, an on-site restaurant, and a lounge during their stay.
Is parking available at Kariega Game Reserve - Main Lodge?
Yes, free parking and secured parking are available to guests.
Are there opportunities to exercise at Kariega Game Reserve - Main Lodge?
Yes, guests have access to a pool and a fitness centre during their stay.
Does Kariega Game Reserve - Main Lodge have airport transportation?
Yes, Kariega Game Reserve - Main Lodge offers airport transportation for guests. We recommend calling ahead to confirm details.
Which languages are spoken by the staff at Kariega Game Reserve - Main Lodge?
The staff speaks multiple languages, including English and Afrikaans.
Does Kariega Game Reserve - Main Lodge have any great views?
Yes, guests often enjoy the mountain view available here.
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