Kariega Frequently asked Questions
Is Kariega Game Reserve malaria-free?
Yes, Kariega is a malaria-free game reserve. Situated in the Eastern Cape in South Africa, there is no threat of catching malaria in this area.
What is the weather like at Kariega Game Reserve?
Kariega is located in the Eastern Cape where the weather is usually mild and pleasant. Summers can become quite hot (up to around 30° C) and winters can be chilly - especially at night and early mornings which can drop to about 7° C. January and February are the hottest months, while June and July tend to be the coldest. For more on the average temperatures and rainfall click here.
What are the check in and check out times?
- Check in – 14h00
- Check out – 10h00
Can Kariega arrange transfers?
Kariega is happy to arrange transfers to and from the game reserve (which can be booked through our reservations department). The cost will depend on the number of guests and the destination.
Does Kariega offer tours?
No, but we do recommend fantastic tour ideas along the Garden Route from Cape Town to Kariega based on our personal experience. We are more than happy to give advice and will refer any enquiries to our preferred operators. For more info visit our tours page.
How far is Kariega from Port Elizabeth?
Kariega Game Reserve is an 80 minute drive from Port Elizabeth.
How far is Kariega from Cape Town?
Cape Town is about a 1 hour flight from Port Elizabeth (approximately 900km/560 miles).
How far is Kariega from the Garden Route?
Kariega is situated on the Garden Route making it the perfect place to start or end a journey along this spectacular route. For more on the Garden Route and Garden Route Tours, click here.
What animals can be found on Kariega?
For a list of animals on Kariega Game Reserve, download our Wildlife Field Guide here.
Are you a Big 5 Game Reserve?
Yes - lion, elephant, buffalo and rhino are all spotted frequently on the reserve. The Cape leopard is also indigenous to the area but is spotted less frequently. Cape leopard is a rare and endangered species. To find out more on leopard conservation at Kariega Game Reserve check out the Leopard Project here.
What birds can be spotted on Kariega?
Kariega Game Reserve is a great location for bird watching, being home to two abundant rivers and a pristine, untouched landscape. For a list of bird species found at Kariega Game Reserve, download our Birdlist here.
Are there ticks at Kariega?
Ticks occur in many parts of the world and Africa is no exception. Ticks occur mostly in rural and wilderness areas throughout South Africa, including at Kariega Game Reserve. The bite of baby ticks, often called pepper ticks because they are so small, can cause irritating itchy bumps which in isolated cases can give rise to tick bite fever which needs to be treated correctly.
Tick bites can be largely prevented and accordingly we recommend that you apply the insect repellant (available in your suite/chalet, from your ranger or at reception) on all walks. For more information read: What to do if you find a tick while on safari.
What to pack
What clothes should I bring?
During winter and autumn months we recommend warm clothes including a winter jacket and/or raincoat, as well as some cool clothes for the day, as winter days can be quite warm. During summer and spring months we recommend cool clothes as well as some warm clothes including perhaps a spring coat and/or raincoat as evenings can be quite cool. Remember to also pack comfortable walking shoes if you would like to enjoy our bush walks. Formal wear is not necessary for dinner.
What else should I pack?
Sun screen, mosquito repellent, a hat/cap and if you have your own binoculars you might like to bring those, although we do have a number of binoculars for guests to use.
Are there hair dryers?
Yes, all chalets, suites and luxury tented suites have hair dryers.
Is there a shop at Kariega?
The Main Lodge Curio Shop serves Main Lodge, Ukhozi Lodge and The Homestead. River Lodge and Settlers Drift have their own Curio shops. All Curio shops stock safari memorabilia as well as basic necessity items ranging from clothing and jackets to basic toiletry items as well as insect repellant, sunblock and batteries. Please note that our Curio shops only accept South African currency.
Facilities and Accommodation
Is there Wi-Fi on the game reserve?
Yes, Wi-Fi is available in all lodge main areas and at reception. Wi-Fi is not available in the chalets and suites.
What does 'selected beverages' mean?
Non alcoholic beverages, local beers, wine and spirits.
Do you cater for Haalal, Kosher or Vegan diets?
Kariega Game Reserve caters Halaal dishes but unfortunately not Kosher. Vegan options can be arranged with prior notice. If you have any other specific dietary requirements please let us know, and we will try our best to accommodate you.
Are there laundry facilities at Kariega?
Yes, Kariega offers laundry facilities at all our lodges at an additional fee.
Does Kariega offer room service?
Due to the nature and design of the lodges, we do not offer room service at Kariega.
Are there a childrens activities and baby-sitting available?
Baby-sitting is available at an extra cost per hour and takes place in the guest's chalet or in the children's play area. There are also activities available at Main Lodge for children. Click here to read more about our Kids on Safari activities.
What are the differences between all the lodges?
- Main Lodge (4-star) offers a relaxed atmosphere and is also perfect for families, where children of all ages are welcome.
- Ukhozi Lodge and River Lodge (4-star superior) are more exclusive and intimate, offering guests a similar standard of experience – however they are also very different from each other: Ukhozi Lodge offers a real African feel and all the suites have their own private plunge pools and decks which have stunning views of the valley; River Lodge is unique as it is situated on the banks of the Bushmans river. The thatched lodge overhangs the river and provides great views. All the thatched suites have their own patios with complete privacy. Special activities include daily boat trips to the Kenton beaches and excellent river fishing. At both lodges no children 10 years and under allowed.
- Settlers Drift (5-star luxury tented lodge) is our most exclusive and luxurious lodge. Located in a remote and untouched part of the Kariega wilderness, Settlers Drift offers a unique tented safari combined with five star luxury. The lodge consists of nine spacious tented suites, each with stunning views and secluded viewing decks. No children 10 years and under allowed.
- The Homestead (4-star) is a private safari lodge for the exclusive use of a family or small group, and can accommodate up to 14 people. The Homestead has it's own private hosts, game ranger and cook. The schedule is flexible according to the specific needs of the group. Children of all ages are welcome.
Do you offer private game drive vehicles?
We do not offer private game drive vehicles. Guests enjoy two game drives per day (morning and afternoon) with their ranger in a 4x4 open safari vehicle together with other guests that are assigned to the same ranger.
How many guests per game drive vehicle?
Settlers Drift safari vehicles take up to max six guests per vehicle. At Ukhozi Lodge and River Lodge – no more than eight guests per vehicle (normally six). At Main Lodge and The Homestead we can put up to 10 guests on a vehicle when necessary, however mostly there will also be no more than eight guests per vehicle.
Are game drive vehicles covered?
Our game drive vehicles are not covered however we do have ponchos for when it rains and blankets for when it is cold.
Do you offer special dinners, either on their deck, within the restaurant, separate from the others or in the bush?
We do offer dinners on the decks at Settlers Drift, River Lodge and Ukhozi Lodge, we can also offer a separate table at all the lodge restaurants. Unfortunately at this stage we do not offer private bush meals. Outdoor boma dinners for all guests are particularly popular especially in the summer months for guests to enjoy that 'African evening under the stars'.
Is there anything special offered for Honeymoon couples?
Kariega provides a complimentary bottle of sparkling wine in the couple's suite or chalet as well as arrange a romantic dinner on a private deck or at the pool (the venue will be discussed on arrival at Kariega). For three or more nights bookings, also a free spa treatment.
Is anything special offered for birthdays and wedding anniversaries?
Kariega will provide a complimentary bottle of sparkling wine in the suite or chalet and the staff will sing if it is a birthday celebration.
Does Kariega offer beach trips?
No, Kariega does not offer beach trips but guests who are on a self-drive basis can drive themselves to the beach if they have the time (15 min drive). However, from River Lodge guests enjoy an optional daily boat trip to the Kenton beaches (at no extra charge).
Is there fishing for guests at River Lodge, Settlers Drift and The Homestead?
Yes, guests can fish in the Bushmans river. Fish often caught in this river are Cob, Grunter, Leery, Catfish, Mullet and Steenbrass. River fishing rods are available for use. Kariega can take you to the local shop to purchase any lures you feel you may need (we recommend the 2 or 3 inch blue Rapala lure). Upon your arrival you will be allocated a game ranger who shall remain with you for the duration of your stay, he/she will certainly undertake to assist you with any requests that you may have whilst you are with us.
Is there fishing for guests at Ukhozi Lodge and Main Lodge?
Yes, guests can go fishing in the Kariega River. Fish often caught in this river are Cob, Grunter, Leery, Catfish, Mullet and Steenbrass. Kariega is able to provide river fishing rods. We can take you to the local shop for you to be able to purchase any lures which you feel you may need (we recommend 2 or 3 inch blue Rapala lure). Upon your arrival you will be allocated a game ranger who shall remain with you for the duration of your stay, he/she will certainly undertake to assist you with any requests that you may have whilst you are with us.
Is there horse riding at Kariega?
Horse riding is done off the reserve with Beachcombers Horse Trails at an additional cost. Beginner, intermediate and advanced riders are welcome and a picnic lunch can also be arranged. If you are interested in horse riding you can arrange it with your ranger while you are at Kariega.
Is there hot air ballooning at Kariega?
No. The closest hot air ballooning is possible from the town of Oudtshoorn (on the Garden Route). You can contact Charles on +2782 784 8539.
Is there elephant riding at Kariega?
No, however there is Elephant riding on a reserve about 45 minutes away. Guests can chat to their ranger if they want to experience this.
Is there sky-diving at Kariega?
No. Sky-diving is offered just outside Grahamstown. You can try a 10 000 feet tandem jump (that means you are strapped in with an instructor) or an extreme 12 000 feet dive. A DVD of your dive is an optional extra. Guests can chat to their ranger if they want to experience this.
Don't forget your binoculars!
Bring cameras and video recorders to capture the stunning close-up sightings of lion, elephant and other wild game as well as dramatic African vistas.
You may want to go out on the exciting night drives to view nocturnal wildlife activity, so bring warm clothes (particularly in the colder months from May to September).