Where do I start? The Kariega reserve is sensational and the River Lodge was the perfect place to stay for our safari.
Within 24 hours we had seen the BIg Five (and much more) and now looking back through our huge portfolio of pictures I realise with some trepidation just how close we got to truly wild lion, hippo, rhino and elephant. But we never felt nervous at the time, such was the competence and enthusiasm of our guide Zolani.
Each day you are offered two three-hour game drives (dawn and late afternoon) and Zolani made them magical; often we got back only minutes before dinner because he found something extra and special to see.
True, if you ride in the rear of the Land Ranger, you do get bumped about a little, but that is unavoidable if you really want the best experience. If we had stuck to the tracks we would have seen so much less. And everyone takes turns.
The River Lodge is one of five accommodations on the safari property, which is huge. The lodge has 10 lovely rooms and a very relaxing communal area. Although you are on safari and the buildings are designed to reflect that, they were extremely comfortable and functional. Everything worked well and the food was to a high standard.
The advantage of staying at River Lodge is that you can idle beside the peaceful Bushman River with a drink at your elbow or take a boat trip to the beach at the river mouth. Canoeing is available, as are guided nature walks during "non-safari" time.
We we go back? Yes, as quickly as we could book flights. If you are doing the Garden Route, make the effort and travel the easy 100 miles or so east of Port Elizabeth for a couple of nights at Kariega. You wont regret it
- 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