Kariega Game Reserve is one of the most well-known game reserves in the malaria-free Eastern Cape. Family-owned and established some 23 years ago, Kariega is now an internationally renowned Big 5 private game reserve. Its 10 000 hectares play host to an expansive variety of game and birdlife and dramatic views and different habitats, inlcuding riverine forests, rich grassland plains and typical African bushveld.
It offers guests a fantastic safari experience with four luxury lodges - River Lodge and Ukhozi Lodge (both four-star Superior), Main Lodge and The Homestead (both four-star). Guests can go on twice-daily game drives, starting the day with a morning drive into the South African bush and ending it with another exciting evening drive, as the nocturnal animals come out to play. Look out for all the Big 5, big cats, as well as Africa's other creatures, including hippo, warthog, hyena, giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, eland, kudu, waterbuck and a variety of other antelope.
The reserve boasts two abundant rivers – the Kariega and Bushman's Rivers. Mix things up with a kayak paddle down the Kariega River or a boat cruise, with abundant birdlife to view, such as the nesting crowned eagle and martial and fish eagles. In the evenings, enjoy riverside sundowners with the sights and sounds of Africa all around you, before heading to the lodge for a hearty dinner.
There's a luxurious Wellness Centre situated at Kariega Main Lodge that offers guests the ultimate pampering experience with massages, facials and the like. If you're staying at River Lodge you can receive treatments in the comfort of your suite. The Centre has two treatment rooms and a gym, so you can stay fit while on holiday.
Kariega is also a great destination for weddings, birthdays, anniversaries and exclusive business getaways. Children of all ages are most welcome at Main Lodge and the Homestead, however River Lodge and Ukhozi Lodge do not accommodate children 10 years and younger.
Take note: The reserve will be adding a new five-star luxury tented lodge (with nine tents) in 2014.
Kariega Game Reserve in South Africa is a 10 minute drive from the coastal village of Kenton-on-Sea, and 140 km outside of Port Elizabeth.