Like the reserve’s Kariega Ukhozi Lodge, the River Lodge is best suited to couples and honeymooners, though kids aged 11 years and older are accepted here. If you are travelling as a family with younger children, we suggest staying at Kariega Main Lodge, on the other side of the reserve.
ACCESS & LOCATION:
Kariega River Lodge is situated in the western part of Kariega Game Reserve. It has a lovely location on the banks of the Bushman’s river! The reserve is accessed by road – most guests self-drive from Cape Town or Port Elizabeth on the N2. Kariega River Lodge is well signposted and the track to the property is well laid.
ACCOMMODATION & FACILITIES:
The communal building is a timber, stone, and thatch construction, in the style of a traditional safari lodge. Inside, there is a rather luxurious lounge, which features very comfortable chairs and sofas – these are set out around an assortment of coffee tables and close to a homely fireplace. A chandelier hangs from the ceiling and intriguing artefacts adorn the walls. The lounge is adjacent to a bar, and beyond that is the dining area, with variously sized tables and sophisticated upright chairs. A flight of wooden steps leads to a library and an additional sitting room with television and PC. Back downstairs, the dining area flows out on to a deck, with further seating and dining furniture. Views of the river from here are breathtakingly beautiful! Finally, the property has a swimming pool and its own jetty, which is used for river activities.
Guest accommodation at Kariega River Lodge comprises ten suites. Some occupy the same building, while others are separate and benefit from a private plunge pool. Suites 7, 8, 9, and 10 have river views, whereas the remaining six suites look out onto other parts of the reserve. All have air conditioning, an overhead fan, a king-size bed or twin beds, a telephone, tea- and coffee-making facilities, and a mini-bar. There are bedside tables and lighting too, as well as a dressing table and chair, a comfy seating area, and plenty of storage space. The en-suites come with flush toilet, a large washstand, a separate shower, and a big and ornate bath! There is no safe in any of the suites, but guests have use of safes in Reception. And suites 1–4 have a cosy fireplace each!
Activities offered at Kariega River Lodge are similar to those provided by other properties within the reserve. Game drives are available during early morning and late afternoon to early evening, with the morning drive often including a river cruise! Guided bush walks, fishing, and canoeing trips tend to take place in mid-morning. Kariega Game Reserve contains not only the Bushman’s river but the Kariega river too, in addition to five different eco-systems! This means it provides a range of habitats for wildlife. All Big Five are in residence, alongside such species as hyena, wild cat, zebra, giraffe, blue wildebeest, red hartebeest, baboon, monkey, many species of antelope, and hippopotamus!
There are hundreds of birds to spot too, so we advise keen birders to bring their binoculars. As well as all the above activities, River Lodge offers a boat cruise from its jetty all the way down to the beautiful beaches of local village Kenton-on-Sea! You can drive out to the beaches too – it is only 15 minutes by road – and also out to two golf courses, just 25 and 50 minutes from the reserve. And if you like to soak up a little culture while on holiday, you will love exploring the local port towns and finding out all about their significance during the nineteenth-century Settler years.