The youngest property in Kariega, Kariega Settlers Drift is the most luxurious out of all five properties in the reserve! All nine suites have been designed with couples and honeymooners in mind, but Settlers Drift does accept youngsters aged 11 years and older. For families with younger children, we recommend the reserve’s Main Lodge or exclusive property The Homestead.
ACCESS & LOCATION:
Kariega and all its properties are accessed along the N2 for travellers driving in from Cape Town or Port Elizabeth.
ACCOMMODATION & FACILITIES:
Kariega Settlers Drift has a fabulous location at the top of the Bushman’s river valley, amidst indigenous trees. A sleek and well-lit wooden walkway leads guests to the communal lodge. Featuring a pitched roof over two lines of brick wall, the entrance is very grand – and the grandeur continues throughout the building. The lounge includes super-comfortable chairs and sofas surrounding a central fireplace, with additional seating set up around a coffee table under elegant lighting. The palette is mostly greys and neutrals, and the style is contemporary chic. Close to this area is the bar, with marble-look surface and wood panelling. The restaurant adjoins the bar, with elegant separate tables. The lodge also boasts a wine cellar and a curio shop. Outside, there is a deck, a traditional boma, and a rim-flow pool, with amazing views of the river and rolling hills! And there is a sala too, where you can relax and enjoy some spa treatments, with the sights and sounds of nature all around.
Guest accommodation at Kariega Settlers Drift consists of nine tented suites, dotted around the woodland. Every suite has a timber frame underneath a pitched canvas roof, with a lot of glass windows to showcase the views and bring in the light. With 110 square metres of floor space each, these suites are seriously spacious, and with a level of opulence and privacy that exceeds all other properties within the reserve! Like the interiors within the main lodge, the style is modern and the soft furnishings are neutral and grey. Beds can be configured as a king-size double or twins and are positioned to enable guests to see into the tree canopy, observed only by the resident wildlife. To one side of the bedroom is a sophisticated seating area, with a wood-burning stove between the two spaces. The en-suite facilities comprise flush toilet, twin washbasins, freestanding bath, and indoor/outdoor shower. Each suite also has air conditioning, an overhead fan, a telephone, satellite television, a safe, a tea-and-coffee station, a mini-bar, and a lovely private veranda. This might just be the ultimate in luxury safari accommodation!
Kariega Settlers Drift offers some excellent activities too. Game drives take place during early morning and late afternoon into evening, when the nocturnal wildlife of Kariega comes out to play! The morning game drive often involves a river cruise. Guided bush walks, canoeing excursions, and fishing trips start out at about 11 o’clock. Two rivers – Kariega and Bushman’s – run through the reserve, providing ample nourishment for a host of mammals and birdlife. There are five different eco-systems in total, ranging from dry savanna to riverine woods. Animals in residence include the famous Big Five, as well as hyena, wild cat, zebra, giraffe, blue wildebeest, red hartebeest, baboon, monkey, many species of antelope, and hippopotamus!
If you enjoy birding, we encourage you to pack those binocs. In addition to all these safari activities, it is possible to take trips out to a variety of local attractions. Just 15 minutes from the reserve are the beautiful beaches of Kenton-on-Sea, while two golf courses are only 25 and 50 minutes away. And if you like a little culture, you will love visiting a number of the Eastern Cape’s port towns – such as Bathurst and Salem – to learn about their significance during the Settler years.