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“Holiday of a Lifetime - WOW”

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Kariega Game Reserve - River Lodge
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Kenton-on-Sea
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 30 September 2016

My husband and I have just got back from a stay at The Kariega Main Lodge.
Our Chalet (No.24) was a large 4 bedroom, 3 bathroom affair which was spacious, clean and well presented. The open fire in the Living room was a nice addition, along with the large viewing deck overlooking the reserve and our own private plunge pool.
The food throughout our stay was excellent with several choices at each mealtime and a weekly BBQ with South African singing from the friendly staff.
The Bar was a excellent meeting area before and after the game drives, where everyone shared their encounters and experiences of the animals.
Our Ranger, JP made our stay extra special. His knowledge and professionalism were exceptional he truly has a passion for animal and what the Game Reserve represents. JP went above and beyond the duties required of a ranger to assist me and my partially disabled husband, nothing was too much trouble, a great asset for the reserve.
The Game Drives were very informative, we learned so much about the animals, flora and fauna, what you can eat to survive and how to track and follow the different animals, what an experience. The morning and evening drives were varied so that you can see as many different specie of animal as possible, the sunset drives inclusive of nibbles and drinks was truly wonderful, watching the sunset over the reserve was magical. We also experienced a special night drive to view the nocturnal animals and view the hippos out of the water, along with an afternoon river boat cruise. We came up close and personal to a lion on our night drive and enjoyed ever second. At no time did we feel unsafe or frightened we had a great adventure. JP also took us to a very special place on our bush walk where we picnicked until the sun went down. The Holiday was also made extra special by the other two couples we shared the Game Drives with, we hope to keep in touch and share our photos.

Our time on Safari flew by, and JP ensured that our holiday was a truly memorable experience, this really was a Holiday of a Lifetime and we hope to visit the reserve again one day soon.

Stayed: September 2016
1  Thank Cashmp1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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37 - 41 of 237 reviews

Reviewed 17 September 2016 via mobile

Myself and my new husband booked this as the start to our honeymoon. We were so impressed we felt compelled to leave a review whilst on the way to the next part of our honeymoon whilst it was fresh on our minds. We were blown away by the whole trip- there some amazing animals to see on the game drives and our ranger Zolani couldn't do enough for us. He was informative and did his best to ensure we got the most out of our drives. Whilst at the lodge the staff couldn't do enough for us and always made sure we were well looked after, even arranging a honeymoon picnic for us. The place was clean at all times and the food incredible. Even with my picky appetite, there was plenty of choice and everything was so tasty. If you are considering booking a trip here yourselves- do it- you won't regret it.

Stayed: September 2016, travelled as a couple
1  Thank ruthie1984
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 September 2016

What can I say ? I echo everything that has been said before. Perfection in the bush !!

I travelled here as a single parent, with two boys aged 16 and 13 as a post exam treat.
Both loved it, elder son is a keen photographer who took some amazing shots, youngest son loved the wildlife and was the first out of bed in the morning !!
On arrival we were told that we would be paired up with another family,and a Ranger and would spend game drives and meals together , including the Ranger.
My first thoughts were 'oh no , I haven't come away to make new friends ' , but my fears were unfounded. We hit it off immediately with the other family, the children were of a similar age and the parents were great.
Our Ranger Brendan was amazing. Very knowledgable and experienced with a great sense of humour. we all loved him !!
Food was great , accommodation amazing and the staff so friendly and willing to please.

My boys embraced the whole experience . My 13 yr old holding a fish after supper, is a memory that will stay with me forever plus the two of them canoeing down the Bushman's River ..

A previous reviewer commented on security and that it needed updating. What a load of nonsense !!. We were in lodge number 5 , we found the lock a bit tempremental ,so gave up , shut the door but left it unlocked.! Yes , we took a few precautions and locked valuables in a suitcase but there really was no need .
It is made quite clear on the in room info that there is a safe,.
We were in the middle of nowhere! Who is going to steal things ??!!

I am sure a cleaner would look very odd trundling down the track with a suitcase !!
And this comes from an ex Police Officer !!
My only regret is we didn't stay longer. 4 nights in this magical place is just not enough !

  • Stayed: August 2016, travelled with family
    • Value
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3  Thank outdoorgirl2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 August 2016

We enjoyed an amazing 2 nights at Kariega River Lodge. From the moment we arrived, we were made to feel welcome and at home. The views from the lodge are incredible, looking up and down the river and there are plenty of fish and birds to be seen before you even leave the lodge. As we went up to our suite for the first time, we were fortunate to see a giraffe and her baby feeding just over a fence close to us. I was unsure what to expect on the game drives but they were a wonderful experience. Over the 6 drives, we saw a wide variety of large and small birds and game. Our guide, Zolani, was wonderful and took us to what felt like every corner of the reserve making sure we saw as many wonderful creatures as we could. We saw lions, black and white rhino, hippos, giraffes, elephants, zebras, wildebeest and a whole host of other creatures.
There were always people waiting to welcome us back from the game drives with drinks and warm towels.

Our suite was huge and felt like home from home with a huge bath, enormous bed and views over parts of the reserve. it was immaculately clean and cosy

The food was wonderful and we ate our fill each day with breakfast, lunch and dinner all being delicious meals. It also gave us the opportunity to try a variety of new foods.

The lodge also has a number of canoes which can be taken out on the river, so on the second day, we took a canoe down the river - another new experience for me! - and had great fun negotiating the wind and waves.

I had thought that we'd have lots of free time to spend in our huge suite, but we were busy from morning until evening and the time flew by way too quickly!
We are already planning a return trip!

  • Stayed: August 2016, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank Jo L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 August 2016

This was my first time at a Game Reserve and I did not know what to expect and I have to say Kariega Game Reserve (River Lodge) exceeded my expectations. Upon arrival you felt like you were home even though it was not your residence. The staff made myself and my daughter feel very comfortable and were attentive to our needs. From the food, location, amenities and especially the staff this was the best trip we have gone on since our travels. I would like to thank Lynda and Marie for their hospitality and Nomakaya and Sidy for their top notch service always with a smile and we cannot forget a Game driver Vicky who was by far the highlight of the trip. For those wanting to go on a Safari you will not go wrong in booking with Kariega Game reserve. Money well spent.

  • Stayed: July 2016, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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1  Thank davidbeal2016
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 - River Lodge

Address: R 343 | Between Alexandria and Kenton-on-Sea, Near rural route R72, Kenton-on-Sea 6191, South Africa
Region: South Africa > Eastern Cape > Greater Addo > Kenton-on-Sea
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Kenton-on-Sea
Price Range: R 8 827 - R 13 159 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Kariega Game Reserve - River Lodge 4*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Nestled on the banks of the Bushman's River, this Lodge is unique in that it connects a Big-5 Kariega Game Reserve to the sea. Our optional daily boat cruises ferry guests through the quaint sea side village of Kenton-on-Sea. Inside the Lodge guests can find a quiet spot in one of the lounges, page through a book in the library, enjoy the pool or take in the view from the magnificent deck which overhangs the river. Twice daily safari drives, guided walks, river fishing, canoeing and river trips are included. Accommodation, all meals and local beverages are also included. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
River Hotel Kenton-On-Sea
River Hotel Kariega Game Reserve

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