Our Travelmood travel expert shares her insider tips about Kariega Game Reserve
Located in South Africa’s Eastern Cape, Kariega Game Reserve is a family run reserve featuring luxurious lodges and unforgettable safari drives. The 10,000 hectare Kariega Game Reserve allows guests to get up close and personal with the ‘Big 5’ and a host of other African wildlife. Our Travelmood travel expert Rachel has just returned from a stay at the Kariega Game Reserve. In this blog she tells you what to expect if you’re planning a visit.
The Kariega Game Reserve is situated on South Africa’s malaria-free Garden Route and is an 80 minute drive from Port Elizabeth. Located along the coastal route, a stay here would be a perfect way to end a holiday in Cape Town.
If you are travelling with family and want a relaxed environment where you can meet other guests then the Main Lodge is for you. Featuring 24 log chalets, each with their own private viewing deck, you couldn’t ask for more perfect surroundings. Some of these lodges feature private pools, but for those that don’t, there is a communal pool for all guests to enjoy.
For the more discerning traveller there are secluded lodges available on the reserve which have added luxuries to make your stay unforgettable. Check out one of the thatched suites which sit along the banks of the Bushman’s River, known as the ‘River Lodges’.
For something even more exclusive, take a look at the ‘The Homestead’. This private lodge accommodates up to 14 people and even boasts a dedicated game ranger and cook.
A typical day
During your stay you can expect early starts as a ranger will call to your room at 7am to give you a wakeup call. From there you will meet in the main lodge at 7:30am where you will enjoy a pastry and a coffee before heading out on your morning game drive.
Following a morning of wildlife spotting you will return to the lodge at 11am where you can tuck into a big breakfast – it’s then chill out time until 2pm when lunch is served (yes, you can expect to be well fed throughout the day).
At 3pm it’s back aboard the safari jeep as you venture off on your afternoon game drive until 6:30pm. Dinner at the lodge is served at 7pm. After that it’s up to you how you spend your time. Swap tales with other guests at the bar, curl up at the fire with a book or head to bed – the choice is yours!
One thing I will tell you about the game drives is that you shouldn’t expect to just see the animals sitting in front of you when you head out. There is a bit of driving and searching involved as you follow the trail of the animals.
You might also be very surprised at how close the animals come to the jeep. During one of my game drives we had a lioness come within touching distance of the jeep – what an amazing experience!
As well as accommodating the lion and elephant, the Kariega Game Reserve is also home to buffalo, rhino and leopard. If you’re lucky then you might also spot hippo, giraffe, hyena or zebra, as well as an abundance of different bird species.
If you are planning on taking a South Africa safari holiday then I would highly recommend the Kariega Game Reserve. It really is one of a kind!
Want to experience your own South African adventure? Take a look at our South Africa holidays.