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Kariega Game Reserve

River Lodge Location Map

The 11,500 hectare Big 5 Kariega Game Reserve is situated in the malaria-free Eastern Cape, and River Lodge is located on the quiet, meandering Bushmans River.

The reserve is home to game and wildlife such as lion, elephant, leopard, rhino, hippo, giraffe, zebra, eland, wildebeest, waterbuck and a variety of antelope, as well as a myriad of bird species.  Guests can enjoy early morning and late afternoon game drives in open game viewing vehicles accompanied by experienced game rangers.

A host of other activities are offered as well as the daily game drives, including guided bush walks, fishing, and canoeing. A unique feature of a stay at River Lodge is also the option to take a 20 minute boat ride after breakfast to the nearby Kenton beach, where you can relax for an hour or so before returning to the lodge for a sumptious lunch. 

River Lodge's 10 luxuriously appointed air-conditioned suites are all decorated to a very high standard.

The Bushmans River flows beneath the deck of the main restaurant, and the outdoor dining is a magnificent experience under the abundance of stars in the African night sky.

For guests wanting a Spa treatment, you can choose from a range of treatments and therapies, and enjoy these in the comfort of your own suite.

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Show Rates in
Our standard rates for a Luxury Suite
1 September 2023 to 19 December 2023 GBP 356 USD 437 ZAR 8,003 EUR 409 per person sharingContracted Rate1+ nights
20 December 2023 to 31 December 2023 GBP 384 USD 473 ZAR 8,651 EUR 442 per person sharingContracted Rate2+ nights
20 December 2023 to 10 January 2024 GBP 384 USD 473 ZAR 8,650 EUR 442 per person sharingContracted Rate2+ nights
1 January 2024 to 10 January 2024 GBP 384 USD 473 ZAR 8,651 EUR 442 per person sharingContracted Rate2+ nights
11 January 2024 to 30 April 2024 GBP 389 USD 478 ZAR 8,749 EUR 447 per person sharingContracted Rate1+ nights
1 May 2024 to 13 May 2024 GBP 271 USD 333 ZAR 6,089 EUR 311 per person sharingContracted 15% Discount - Min 3 Nights3+ nights
1 May 2024 to 13 May 2024 GBP 317 USD 390 ZAR 7,125 EUR 364 per person sharingContracted Rate1 to 2 nights
14 May 2024 to 15 May 2024 closed / not available
14 May 2024 to 15 May 2024 closed / not available
16 May 2024 to 31 July 2024 GBP 271 USD 333 ZAR 6,089 EUR 311 per person sharingContracted 15% Discount - Min 3 Nights3+ nights
16 May 2024 to 31 July 2024 GBP 317 USD 390 ZAR 7,125 EUR 364 per person sharingContracted Rate1 to 2 nights
1 August 2024 to 31 August 2024 GBP 317 USD 390 ZAR 7,125 EUR 364 per person sharingContracted Rate1+ nights
1 September 2024 to 19 December 2024 GBP 389 USD 478 ZAR 8,749 EUR 447 per person sharingContracted Rate1+ nights
20 December 2024 to 10 January 2025 GBP 420 USD 517 ZAR 9,460 EUR 484 per person sharingContracted Rate2+ nights

Prices are on a per person sharing basis (pps).

Special offers for longer stays or when booked as part of a longer itinerary may apply - details on request.

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Rates Include

All meals; local beverages; the Conservation and Community Levy; and 2 shared game activities per day are included.

Children Policy

Children aged 10 years and older are welcome.

Bush Walks / Walking Safaris

Children under the age of 12 years are not permitted on guided walks in the reserve. 

The final decision on whether a guest can join a guided bush walk remains with the guide and lodge manager.

Guest Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 based on 9 ratings

Start TestimonialLion Sands truly blew us away - the staff, the game drives, the food, the resort itself. It was an unbelievable and unforgettable experience that we would do again and again.End Testimonial


Start TestimonialFinally the Ichingo Lodge was great and Kennedy, Manager, Bar Man and all round entertainer, made the experience one to remember.End Testimonial


Start TestimonialSimbavati River Lodge has a touch of luxury, with immaculate accommodation, spa, personal waiters and again, beautiful surroundings.End Testimonial


Start TestimonialWe loved Kwandwe - it gave us a unique safari. You may not get to see loads of animals but what we saw was magical - Nico the ranger was so knowledgeable.End Testimonial


Start TestimonialThe Kwandwe Reserve was just the best experience ever.End Testimonial


Start TestimonialThank you so much for organising our holiday to Simbavati and Cape Town. We had a wonderful time and found it very hard to leave Kruger behind, having seen all the Big 5 and so much more besides, including giraffes, zebras, impalas etc., Everyone was so friendly and knowledgeable. The whole trip was organised perfectly, including the various pick-ups and worked like clockwork! We even managed to fit in an extra on the last morning - a visit to Robben Island, which was a real eye opener. End Testimonial


Start TestimonialI just wanted to say that it was amazing! I have been an safari several times before (not my wife) and thought it was the best by far. Everyone was great at the lodge and the guide and tracker were wonderful..... We got a nice bottle of sparkling wine for our belated birthdays and would go back in a heartbeat. Thanks for all your help in sorting this great experience. End Testimonial


Start TestimonialOur first Safari experience was amazing and will certainly be returning to experience another in 2017. Our Driver/Guide John was truly amazing and made our holiday magical, very punctual, knowledgeable, courteous and friendly. Whilst all places provided a good services, our favourite were Samburu Sopa and Mara River Lodge purely to the exceptional hospitality received from arrival to departure and would like to return to both lodges again. End Testimonial


Start TestimonialFinally, Mjejane...I don't know what you did but we had the most amaxing luxury room that looked out on to the river where we had the fun of watching a family of hippos, elephants and a crocodile for the whole of our stay.End Testimonial


Start TestimonialKapama was wonderful and packed full of wildlife sightings.End Testimonial


Start TestimonialKwandwe was mind blowing - a very special place. Service from Travel Butlers staff was excellent and we would definitely book with you again. Thank you. End Testimonial


Start TestimonialSimbavati was exceptional in every area.End Testimonial


Start TestimonialCape Grace and Lion Sands River Lodge both excellent, in both location, service and attention to detail. Best holiday ever.... thank you. End Testimonial


Start TestimonialFantastic attention to detail by Kwandwe staff made our stay a 5* experience all round.End Testimonial


Start TestimonialBeautiful hotel! A really magical place with fine food, well appointed rooms and extremely friendly staff. And thank you to Travel Butlers for getting me a much better price quote than any other company!End Testimonial


Start TestimonialWent here on honeymoon and couldn't have picked a better place, very luxurious and well looked after with a few extra touches. Very attentive staff and friendly. Food excellent and great choice and drink plentiful. Game drives excellent, day well filled with activities. A real highlight of our honeymoon and would recommend to anybody.End Testimonial


Start TestimonialMadikwe River Lodge was spot on for families, although the cot was old and they did not have any highchair for dining - a bit disappointed but the manager has assured me that they will buy them soon. A bit late for us. Otherwise, the staff were friendly and the safari trips were great.End Testimonial


Start TestimonialThe Kariega Game Reserve was incredible - we have never experienced anything like it. Muriel (the duty manager) was so welcoming, the food was so tasty and creative, our suite was lovely (except for the spiders!). We had the best Game Ranger - he knew exactly where to be to see all the animals on our drives, he even took us down to Kenton-on-Sea in a little boat on a really sunny day so we could enjoy the beach. We really coudln't have benn looked after better or made to feel more special! Even when we had two flat tyres on our car at the end of our stay, the Ranger took them off, ran down to a local garage and had them fixed for us within an hour... Thank you again for making the arrangements that helped make our first trip to Africa so memorable!End Testimonial


Start TestimonialMadikwe River Lodge - friendly, knowledgeable staff, excellent rooms and food. Travel Butlers - Very friendly, personalised advice and very prompt reply to queries. We thoroughly enjoyed our trip and I would happily recommend Travel Butlers and Madikwe River Lodge!End Testimonial


Start TestimonialWe had the most amazing trip to South Africa and it completely changed our impression and stereotypes of the country. We enjoyed ourselves tremendously at Ezulwini River Lodge. Thanks for the recommendation, it was personally the highlight of our trip. We had the entire lodge to ourselves, and of course the Land Rover too. We were most impressed by how the game trackers went out of their way to spot and look for animals during our short 2 day stay there. We will definitely recommend River Lodge to others. Thanks for your efficient and fast response to everything too. We will definitely use Travel Butlers again if we do return.End Testimonial


Start TestimonialExcellent service from Travel Butlers. Accommodation was very good; safari at Madikwe memorable made all the better by our guide/ranger Sharle; Le Franschhoek 5 star with superb food. Recommending you to a colleague who is planning a trip to SA - they may contact you within next few weeks.End Testimonial


Start TestimonialAccommodation at Kapama River Lodge was excellent and I would recommend it to families.End Testimonial


Start TestimonialThank you so much for your recommendation for Kariega River Lodge. It was perfect for Mum and Dad, and just what we were looking for. Everything about it surpassed our expectations, and we cannot speak highly enough about the staff and the service they provided there. The food too was outstanding.End Testimonial


Start TestimonialAt Dungbeetle we were given an exceptional welcome from Derek and the rooms and views over the river were lovely, as were the breakfasts.End Testimonial


Start TestimonialOur holiday was superb and lived up to expectation. Particularly enjoyable was our stay at Kwandwe which we both agreed was the highlight of the holiday. We met and are keeping in touch with a number of people including one of the rangers. It was informative, exciting and relaxing. The staff at all levels were terrific but our ranger and guide were exceptionally friendly and professional. If ever we wanted anything or asked for something we were reminded that we were on holiday and everything was possible. We even saw the Big 5 including the leopard which was the first time it had been seen in almost a year.End Testimonial


Start TestimonialKapama River Lodge - great staff including at Reception, restaurant and our guide whose name was Richard. Beautiful setting. Game drives were the best part and very well managed indeed. Quite a flawless experience and one that we will treasure forever.End Testimonial

D Tak

Start TestimonialThank you so much for all your help with booking our holiday ... Kapama River Lodge was fantastic in every way from the luxury accommodation to the fantastic food and wine - we loved it. The safaris in Kapama were the best ever. We did more safaris in Krugar but they didn't even come close to the ones in Kapama River Lodge. Thanks again for everything it was a fantastic holiday and the accommodation was brilliant. I will definately recommend your site to friends.End Testimonial


Start TestimonialJust wanted to drop you a mail to say thanks for helping sort out our holiday. We got back yesterday morning. Fi and I had an amazing time, very memorable and as one South African put it to us - "SA gets under your skin" and we are already talking about when we can go back. Your recommendations were spot on in all ways and the safari at Kariega was mind blowing.End Testimonial


Start TestimonialI would like to just say a huge THANK YOU for recommending Madikwe River Lodge as we had the most fantastic holiday ever!!! Sun City was great and the accommodation was lovely. The game drives were spectacular - so many lions, impala, giraffe.......the list goes on. We saw 4 out of the Big 5, with the leopard being the shyest. I didn't expect to see it so I wasn't disappointed - the giraffe more than made up for it. Anyway, thanks once again for all your help in organising our trip of a lifetime - I just wish that we could go again real soon.End Testimonial


Start TestimonialWe had an absolutely spectacular time in South Africa and cannot help you enough for helping us book our accommodation. We wanted to note in particular Timamoon, which was so romantic and beautiful and Lion Sands River Lodge, which was really really nice and had great rangers and game viewing. Will definitely be in touch with respect to future vacations in SA.End Testimonial


Reload Map

River Lodge Location.

Directions For Drivers

From Port Elizabeth / Garden Route: Travel along the N2 towards Grahamstown until you reach the R72 Port Alfred turnoff (approximately 50 km from Port Elizabeth). Travel along the R72 towards Kenton-on-Sea and Port Alfred, and the turnoff to River Lodge is signposted and is 15 km beyond Alexandria.

PLEASE NOTE: When following directions from a GPS navigation device PLEASE DO NOT turn onto a gravel road. Please ignore any GPS navigation suggestions to travel on a gravel road. The only gravel road that you travel on is after you have gone through the entrance gate.

General Information For Guests

All suites have en-suite bathrooms with spacious showers, air conditioning, a fan, mini bar, hair dryer, heater, tea/coffee making facilities, in-room safe, satellite/cable television and a telephone.

There is a swimming pool, bar and a library at the main lodge. A laundry service is available (additional cost). Wi-Fi is provided in the main lodge only, not in the suites.

Guests are taken out twice daily in open safari vehicles, usually in the early morning and late afternoon - times are dependent on the season and weather. During one of your morning game drives, you will enjoy a cruise down the Kariega River on the Kariega Queen and enjoy the tranquillity of nature, whilst viewing the wonderful birdlife and game along the river.

River Lodge guests also have the option of taking a daily boat cruise down the Bushmans River, through the quaint village of Kenton-on-Sea and to its picturesque beaches. This is an additional cost.

Kariega also offers guided bush walks with an experienced ranger. This provides guests with the opportunity of walking amongst more than 25 species of game and abundant birdlife. This is included in your rate.

Credit cards are accepted.

Your rate also includes a compulsory Conservation and Community Levy - this contribution will aid conservation efforts as well as the anti-poaching unit and community projects.

Bush Walks / Walking Safaris

Children under the age of 12 years are not permitted on guided walks in the reserve. 

The final decision on whether a guest can join a guided bush walk remains with the guide and lodge manager.

Popular Alternatives to River Lodge

These are the top properties booked by people who considered staying at River Lodge, but for one reason or another booked a different property. It may have been that River Lodge was not available on the nights they wanted to stay, or they decided that somewhere else was better suited to their budget or itinerary.

If you're not sure which place might be best for your own trip then either give us a call or get in touch via the website, and we'd be delighted to run through the options with you.

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