The 10,000 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.
Not valid for travel between 21 December and 04 January (Christmas and New Year) and 03 April and 19 April (Easter).
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Guest Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 based on 9 ratings
Finally the Ichingo Lodge was great and Kennedy, Manager, Bar Man and all round entertainer, made the experience one to remember.
Simbavati River Lodge has a touch of luxury, with immaculate accommodation, spa, personal waiters and again, beautiful surroundings.
We 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.
The Kwandwe Reserve was just the best experience ever.
Thank 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.
I 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.
Our 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.
Finally, 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.
Kapama was wonderful and packed full of wildlife sightings.
Kwandwe was mind blowing - a very special place. Service from Travel Butlers staff was excellent and we would definitely book with you again. Thank you.
Simbavati was exceptional in every area.
Cape Grace and Lion Sands River Lodge both excellent, in both location, service and attention to detail. Best holiday ever.... thank you.
Fantastic attention to detail by Kwandwe staff made our stay a 5* experience all round.
Beautiful 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!
Went 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.
Madikwe 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.
The 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!
Madikwe 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!
We 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.
Excellent 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.
Accommodation at Kapama River Lodge was excellent and I would recommend it to families.
Thank 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.
At Dungbeetle we were given an exceptional welcome from Derek and the rooms and views over the river were lovely, as were the breakfasts.
Our 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.
Kapama 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.
Thank 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.
Just 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.
I 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.
We 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.
Just wanted to let you know we had a fantastic holiday & thank you for your help arranging the safari and accommodation.
The safari in particular was superb & I would definitely recommend the Madikwe River Lodge to anyone. It was excellent in every way - rooms, food, staff and game drives. We were so well looked after and they were very accommodating with the children who all had a ball.
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 16 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.