Kariega Private Game Reserve
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Accommodation Spotlight

Kariega Private Game Reserve is a family-owned as well as operated Big 5 private safari reserve located in South Africa’s Eastern Cape. We share some interesting facts about Kariega’s wildlife history, the Kariega Foundation and Conservation Volunteer Program. Read on and discover more about a few of our favourite lodges from their magnificent collection…

The Reserve

Situated along the Garden Route in South Africa, Kariega is a malaria-free game reserve that covers 10,000 hectares of breathtaking African bushveld. It offers the opportunity to spot lion, elephant, rhino, leopard and buffalo. On the reserve there are two stunning rivers, the Kariega and Bushmans Rivers. Here, take in the birdlife, be on the lookout for hippos or embark on an exciting boat cruise. This wonderful reserve offers you the opportunity to see the Big 5 as well as a vast and incredible array of so many other animals!

Wildlife History

Issues of extermination and hunting once threatened Kariega and the Eastern Cape, a stark contrast to the strong conservation focus the reserve has today. Throughout the 19th and much of the 20th centuries, farmers saw the African wildlife as a threat to their livestock. Many species were hunted to the point of endangerment or extinction. By the arrival of the 1820 settlers, lions had been completely eradicated in Kariega over a period of just 30 years.

Today, wildlife conservation is a top priority for Kariega Private Game Reserve. The reserve completed the reintroduction of the Big 5 in 2004, and has continued to re-establish the indigenous animals that once inhabited the area. The reserve boasts a thriving population of giraffe, zebra as well as smaller animals such as baboon, bushpig, monkey and aardvark.

Kariega Foundation

Committed to giving back to the local communities, Kariega Game Reserve runs the Kariega Foundation. The Foundation provide resources to fund conservation endeavours and ongoing wildlife management. Programs include the “Save the Rhino” initiative, the “African Barred Owlet Project” and  “Alien and Indigenous Plant Management”.

Today, this non-profit trust has evolved to contribute to the education of locals, youth and enterprise development.  Furthermore, it is the largest employer in the Kenton-on-Sea area. By visiting this reserve you directly contribute to conservation efforts as well as to the lives of locals.

Conservation Volunteer Programme

If you’re looking for a more hands-on experience, the Conservation Volunteer Programme is for you! Here, volunteers from all corners of the world gather to learn about conservation management. In this unique program you will collate data, gain a deeper understanding of wildlife preservation as well as have the chance to explore South Africa’s coastline. Participate in important projects such as rhino monitoring, bird cataloguing programmes and lion prey selection monitoring.

Furthermore, this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity includes incredible activities such as bush walks, game drives and sleep-outs under the African sky. If you’re looking for a unique African experience, this may be what you’ve been searching for!


Kariega Game Reserve is home to five stunning luxury lodges. Our African Travel Specialists have chosen their favourites to consider for your next South African escape…

Main Lodge

Suitable for families, couples and all those in between, the Main Lodge boasts stunning luxury accommodation located in the treetops. Each of the twenty-four log chalets has its own private viewing deck and game drives are offered twice daily. The Main Lodge is not only in a stunning location but also features incredible facilities. There’s simply no better way to end the day than with a delicious meal whilst enjoying breathtaking views of the Kariega River.

Ukhozi Lodge

This architecturally stunning lodge is constructed from natural materials and offers more intimacy with just ten luxurious suites. Furthermore, each suite boasts elegant modern décor and its own private plunge pool. Spend your day canoeing, enjoying a river cruise, a guided bush walk or safari drive.  During the evening relax by the iconic rim-flow pool, enjoying mesmerizing views of the river plains.

Settlers Drift

Situated in a remote, untouched area of Kariega, Settlers Drift is a five-star accommodation that overlooks Bushman’s River. This luxury lodge hosts nine spacious tented suites, each featuring a bedroom, living area, full bathroom as well as private viewing decks. Enjoy the lodge’s incredible restaurant or bar, lounge by the infinity pool or embark on the twice-daily safari drives. If you’re looking to explore the Eastern Cape in style, Settlers Drift is the lodge for you!

Kariega offers an abundance of wildlife and is the perfect choice for safari – no matter how old or young, whether you are a family, couple or travelling alone! With uncompromising luxury accommodation, a safari getaway to Kariega Private Game Reserve is like no other…

References: Thank you Kariega