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“Fantastic experience”

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Kariega Game Reserve - Ukhozi Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Manchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Fantastic experience”
Reviewed 28 November 2010

We had a fantastic stay at the Ukhozi Lodge. We went out on 2 trips a day at 6am and 4pm then came back for breakfast and dinner. We were all inclusive and the food and drink was great. The staff in the lodge are fantastic and cannot do enough for you. The set up of the trips is good, leaving time in the day to relax and explore. Jan our tour guide was fantastic and made us laugh and made everyone feel comfortable. The wildlife experience was amazing and Jan's knowledge was never ending. I will never forget the near sighting of the rare "Honey Badger" and the exciting bumpy chase with wine in hands that followed.
I love the atmosphere at the camp and it was great when you stood on your balcony and watched deer, monkeys, birds, cats and giraffes all grazing feet from your window. In the near distance we could see rhino, zebra, wilderbeasts, and buffalo grazing. We also went out on a night drive and saw hippo's out of the water grazing.

Overall we loved ths experience - we would recommend the trip to everyone it is great for children from about 10 updwards and adults of all ages,

Our only problem was we were not happy with the rooms they were very dated and basic the toilet and bathrooms left a lot to be desired. The cleanliness of the loo was not good, needs a bit of bleach!!!!

  • Stayed September 2010, travelled as a couple
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1 Thank TIG60
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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123 reviews from our community

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English first
Maybole, United Kingdom
1 review
Reviewed 5 October 2010

We were welcomed at reception with a cold glass of ice tea then driven to our lodge although we had to wait until Digler, a large male giraffe, got off the road only yards from our lodge door. Our ranger, Lauren, was out on a game drive when we arrived but we met her just before dinner in front of a huge welcoming fire. Believe us it is cold on the game drives in September! Nothing was too much trouble for Lauren or anyone else from restaurant staff to the girl in the gift shop. One night my husband was not able to go to the restuarant for dinner (he has a back problem) we were invited to choose from the menu and the meal was served to us in our lodge and the food was excellent. The ladies who cooked and served our meals also provided entertainment on the Boma nights. Our bed was turned down every evening and our lights left on for us returning from evening drives. We were in lodge 7 and we were visited by a variety of birds, monkeys, baboons and a giraffe. We didnt see the elusive leopard but we saw so much - from elephants at a waterhole, a huge male lion lying on his back sleeping with all four paws in the air just like any house cat lying on a rug in front of a fire, a baby zebra getting to his feet for the first time and a jackal buzzard having a bath. We stayed for 9 nights and did 17 game drives and each one was different. There were so many wonderful experiences on this holiday we couldnt mention every one and we couldn't possibly praise everyone enough. It was a truly amazing experience. One of the things that amazed us most was how the rangers could find the animals in such a large area which could be very rough and wooded although some of the Big 5 have collars for legal requirements. If there was anything that wasnt up to our expectations it was the weather. Would we go back? In a minute.

  • Stayed September 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Alimoon58
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Oxford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
15 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 September 2010

Stayed at Ukhozi for 3 nights, our Lodge was very spacious with stunning views across plains to Kenton on Sea. Staff were welcoming, attentive and eager to please. All-inclusive provided so much food and drink, should you want it, all excellent quality. Game drives were exceptional and our ranger Temba was very knowledgeable and tried to ensure we saw as much wildlife as possible. The lion pride with the 4 cubs were a joy to watch. Hope to return some day.

  • Stayed August 2010
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Helpful?
2 Thank HilCyn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
england
Level Contributor
125 reviews
52 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 233 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 June 2010

We stayed in an Ukhozi Lodge and it was really lovely with fabulous views across the valley and a luxury to have our own pool on the deck. Food and drinks were all included and we were happy with the choices available and the quality. The reason I have marked 4 rather than 5 for my overall score was the fact that after dinner it became difficult to get more than one drink as staff seemed to make themselves scarce. Admittedly, with 5.30am starts we were quite tired and probably needed the earlier nights this resulted in but frankly, I'd like to be the judge of this rather than have it decided for me! Especially when the board was meant to be All Inclusive!
That said, the location was gorgeous, staff efficient, the drives fantastic - we saw all except those dratted elusive leopards ;-( - and our ranger, Albert, was fantastic; so knowledgable, friendly and professional, he made the trip in many ways and nothing was too much trouble.
Kenton on sea is a very small town and hardly worth a visit except for the totally stunning beach: won best in SA several times!
Kariega was our first Safari experience but I can't imagine there are many better.

  • Stayed April 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Gardener01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Yorkshire, UK
Level Contributor
77 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 April 2010

Having researched various different game reserves, we finally settled on the Ukhozi Lodge at Kariega game reserve just North of Kenton on Sea and how glad we were that we did. The drive along the dirt road from the entrance gate to the reception showed just how much in the open you actually are. We encountered various animals just doing this drive and that was before we even checked in.

We stayed for 2 nights at the Ukhozi lodges on an all inclusive basis. You need to arrive by 1pm to enjoy the lunch and get yourself ready for the first of the game drives at 4pm. We met up with Phil, our ranger, and the other members of our "team" - at first we were a bit apprehensive as we didnt want our holiday to feel like a works team building exercise but the group we had was brilliant.

You have two drives a day, one at 6am and the other 4pm - both can last up to 4 hours. We saw everything bar the leopard. This included hippos, elephants, lions, rhino's, buffalo, wildebeest and warthogs were the highlights to us. Not to mention the various types of birds plus loads of other animals as well.

The food and drink were plentiful, service exceptional and they really went out of their way to make you feel at home.

The lodges are very well maintained, cleaned and we even had our very own plunge pool - watched by the monkeys!!!

A very good place to both experience safari and Africa.

  • Stayed April 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Baildon2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
southport
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 March 2010

we had 2 nights at kareiga, which to be honest was enough but an extra night would have been a bit more relaxed.
we arrived on 26th boxing day morning very excited, jo our ranger met us at reception and introduced herself and showed us around and gave us useful info.
we had suite 6 at ukhozi lodge execellent very clean comfortable and lovely view from veranda with a plunge pool.
at ukhozi its all inclusive and an execellent choice, i think there are only 12 suites, so you are well looked after by all the staff and stefan the chef is cooking for approx 20-30 people.
the restaurant area is fantastic comfy furniture a hugh fire place with roaring fire and of course lovely views and you really feel secluded as the main hotel and river lodges are spaced apart.
we had lunch, then at 4pm met for our 1st game drive, met the others on our jeep 3 other english couples and one german couple, so had a full jeep ten of us.
bit cool and windy on our 1st drive but jo supplied blankets!
the drives last approx 3 hours and the elephants were the 1st we saw of the big 5 and then the lions awesome, saw load of other animals and birds too many to mention.
in the evening drive you stop for drinks and snacks which is a nice touch and enjoyed the vino!
back to lodge and staff are waiting to hand you hot towels and a drink.
then dinner which jo hosts and we all sat on one long table together (if you wish you can have a table for 2) but we thought it was very nice getting to know each other and chatting about the drive. food is fantastic just too much.

day 2
early morning call from jo, weather a lot warmer today. saw giraffe zebras monkeys and lots of other animals.
boat trip this morning got about half a mile down river and broke down, jo's husband who is also a ranger was on the boat, so phoned back to lodge to report we had broken down and they sent other rangers down to help, they decided to get into the water jo as well and push the boat back to the jetty! we all had a bit of a laugh about it no ones fault and no one was hurt, however the german couple were not amused and cancelled the rest of there stay.
eventually got back to jeep and jo who had been up to her neck in water dried off and carried on with the drive which i thought was very professional.
saw rinhos and hippos and many others.
back to lodge for brekki which again was execellent choice and quality.
relaxed around pool area did'nt bother with lunch still too full from brekki.
evening drive only 8 of us now more comfortable on jeep with 8 rather than 10!
seen most animals now not leopard though.
male lion has just a a kill and we arrived just after as he was finishing his meal and we were so close you could here him crunching
stopped for vino and snacks again not by the lions though!
back to lodge for evening meal another nice evening lovely food, company and wine.

last morning
very tired, alarm call from jo, if you had longer than 2 days you could do it more leisurely prehaps miss a morning! beautiful sunrise
we found the elephants and lions again but still no leopard, plus as said before loads of other animals,birds.
back to lodge for brekki and said goodbye to everyone, out of our party only one couple had the extra day, so they were on there own now with jo!

so we had a fantastic couple of days at kareiga staff that were execellent were of course jo our ranger, stefan the chef and nastacha.
we would throughly reccommend ukhozi lodge at kariega.

  • Stayed December 2009, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank fatcatSouthport
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Solihull, UK
Level Contributor
13 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 March 2010

Ukhozi Lodge is beautiful. Your own cabin, with private plunge pool and decking overlooking the spectacular scenery. The food served at the main lodge is outstanding and the staff friendly. The two game drives a day are expertly guided by knowledgable rangers and the size of the reserve means that your chance of seeing the wildlife is very good.

  • Stayed September 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank TheLSs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Kariega Game Reserve - Ukhozi Lodge

Property: Kariega Game Reserve - Ukhozi Lodge
Address: | Near rural route R343, Between Kenton on Sea and Grahamstown, Kenton-on-Sea 6191, South Africa
Region: South Africa > Eastern Cape > Greater Addo > Kenton-on-Sea
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 8 Speciality Lodging in Kenton-on-Sea
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:4 star — Kariega Game Reserve - Ukhozi Lodge 4*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Kariega Ukhozi Lodge truly captures the romance and intimacy of Africa. Nestled in the bush you will discover 10 superbly appointed air-conditioned luxury suites crafted from log, each with a private plunge pool and deck offering panoramic views of the valley. The Lodge boasts unique African-style lounges, restaurant and boma with an outdoor pool. Located in the 10,000 hectare private game reserve with close-up viewing of rhino, elephant, lion, buffalo, zebra, giraffe, hippo and other incredible African wildlife. Bird lovers will enjoy sighings of some of the 280 species recorded on the reserve. The safari experience includes twice daily safari drives with qualified guides, guided walks and a river trip as well as all meals, local beverages and accommodation. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Kariega Game Reserve - Ukhozi Lodge South Africa/Kenton-On-Sea

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