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“Kareiga The life changer”

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Kariega River Lodge
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Kenton-on-Sea
Certificate of Excellence
1 review
“Kareiga The life changer”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 May 2013

From the first moment to the last we were overwhelmed by the Whole experience. The game reserve ,the animals(up close and so life changingly brilliant), David our Fab ranger. He taught and showed us,with great tracking skills , and close co-operation with J.B and the other Rangers, so much about the wonderful Keriega Reserve.It's hard to put into words such an overwhelming life changing experience. All the staff at Keriega: Clive, Bonga and all the rest made our stay so memorable. So until the next Thank you. April n Peter Stead.

  • Stayed April 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Kareiga
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bronwen d, Manager at Kariega River Lodge, responded to this review, 22 May 2013
Hi April and Peter.
Thank you so much for posting your lovely review about your stay with us at Kariega. We still feel inspired by the beautiful people and place that we are part of. You are now part of it too. Come and visit again anytime.
Kind regards,
Bronwen & the Kariega team
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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216 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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35
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (42)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Norwegian first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
ontario, canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 April 2013

Our family of 4 stayed for 3 days. Our boys are 8 and 11 years of age. Our travel gent was able to get us into this lodge with children, I believe this was an exception as it is normaly for adults only. The property seems to be run down, the management was poor for a 5 star. The fois was often cold, late, or just a self serve style left out for too long.

We had a golf cart t go to and from our room and they were poorly cared for, scary. The trail was so grown in on some corners the cart just fit. The property was lacking I the TLC department.

We had the opportunit to do 3 safaries during our stay and this one was not a 5 star rating in comparison to the others, at best a 3 plus.

As well, we sat with another couple that had been 2 years prior and they noted the decline in the property, food and service.

  • Stayed April 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank theophraste
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bronwen d, Manager at Kariega River Lodge, responded to this review, 16 April 2013
We are indeed not a five start property but graded four star. We pride ourselves in offering comfortable lodging, personal and attentive service and an authentic safari experience.

We apologise that you found the management and food disappointing. We have raised this with our team and really appreciate the feedback in order to maintain our service levels.

We have also noted your comments about the path to your room. Maintaining our lodges is a constant priority and our team will attend to this.

We believe that our offering is as good as it has always been but know that we can always improve. Thank you for your comments and we appreciate you taking the time to provide us with feedback.

Kind regards,
Bronwen & the Kariega team
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
11 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 April 2013

You come to a place like Kariega for the chance to see African wildlife and although we didn’t see all the big five, our encounters were breath taking. Thanks to our Ranger, JB, we were able to be right alongside black rhinos, lions and elephants including a week old calf. In a large reserve there is a chance you won’t see everything, we didn’t see a leopard or water buffalo, but Kariega does give you the sense of animals in the wild and not like some large zoo.
River Lodge is certainly set at a stunning location. The accommodation is rustic and could do with some updating but the food was good. Driving to and from your suite by golf buggy sounds attractive but it means you can’t sample the inclusive wines too heavily. If we went again we would want a room nearer the Lodge!

Our main grumble is that the timing of meals could be haphazard. When you need to be up and going by 6 am the last thing you need to be told was that your evening meal is delayed by over an hour or that breakfast is not ready when you return from that morning drive. Most of the staff were helpful but an explanation or apology for the delays would not have gone amiss. At the end of the day we enjoyed the overall experience which was heavily influenced by our Ranger.

Room Tip: Suites nearer the Lodge avoid the inconvenience of having to drive a golf buggy late at night or in...
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  • Stayed March 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Sandyknees
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bronwen d, Manager at Kariega River Lodge, responded to this review, 16 April 2013
We are so pleased that you enjoyed a great safari and wilderness experience at Kariega. We have passed on your compliments to your guide JB. Thank you.

We apologise about the timing problems with the food as well as the lack of explanation/apology from our team. Thank you so much for letting us know. We have raised this with our General Manager who will take it up with the team at the lodge. We rely on feedback from guests to ensure that we keep improving our experience.

Thanks again for taking the time to post your review.

Kind regards,
Bronwen & the Kariega team
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
25 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 March 2013

We stayed 3 nights at Kariega River lodge and it was so worth it. The private bungalow we stayed in was great. The main lodge had lots of corners to while away the afternoon if one didn't want to do an activity. Service was good and food and drink plentiful and very nice. Staff was friendly and helpful. It was luxurious with an intimate atmosphere and not over the top. Fab! Each guest also has a dedicated ranger and ours, JB, was great. Very knowledgable and professional. Handled the driving, guiding and hosting of us with aplomb. Quite impressive.
The game park is huge and we saw loads of animals. But even when there were not many around it was nice to enjoy the scenery as it's a beautiful area.
All was well organised and we totally relaxed and managed to forget the world outside the gates.

  • Stayed March 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank Barbara B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nottingham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
10 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 March 2013

We spent our last two nights at the River Lodge and wished we could have stayed longer. The location is perfect, next to the river and so peaceful - it looked beautiful at dawn. We were met at the gate by our ranger, David, who was with us most of the time, including mealtimes, and was a great source of knowledge and very enthusiastic about the animals and environment. We had an upstairs, spacious room which was comfortable. We had two game drives a day which were really exciting and our highlight was watching lions preparing for a hunt. It's hard to believe that we were so close to the animals and the rangers keep in constant touch with each other, via walkie-talkie, to recommend sightings. We saw all the 'big five' apart from a leopard which I believe is a rare sighting. The staff could not have been more attentive or helpful, the food was great and the barbecue on the last night was memorable. When not out on a drive, it's perfect to sit on the settees by the river and read, or have a swim or go on the Lodge's boat to the nearby beach at Kenton. Thoroughly recommended. Jane & Ray

  • Stayed March 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Jane C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bronwen d, Manager at Kariega River Lodge, responded to this review, 23 March 2013
Hi Jane & Ray,
Thanks so much for posting your review and we are so pleased that you enjoyed your time with us at Kariega River Lodge. Thanks for recommending us and we hope that you can come back again one day.
Regards, Bronwen & the Kariega team
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Heemskerk, the Netherlands
Level Contributor
50 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 March 2013 via mobile

Out for our first safari/game drive experience (having opted already for South Africa and within the driveable range of a two week roadtrip from Cape Town) we were not sure whether to go for the Addo Elephant National Park or to prefer a private game reserve. We decided to do both and see what we liked best. After first staying at RiverBend Lodge, in a 14 000 ha (somehow private) concession area of the Addo Elephant National Park, we went to Kariega River Lodge in the private game reserve of the same name (9 000 ha) to see the difference. Some reviews predicted that animals would be harder to find in the Addo area, while others claimed that private game reserves are more like zoos where the animals roam free.

So to be honest we expected, after our RiverBend experience, that Kariega would be a slightly less 'natural' alternative. The ’zoo’ thing proved true just a tiny little bit, but it was a great experience. Other than in RiverBend, in Kariega you could see the lions, rhinos and elephants think "hey, there's another bunch of these humans taking photographs" Whereas in the RiverBend area, the animals were much less used to this: easier scared away, but somewhat more in their natural behaviour. But this allowed us in Kariega to get a closer look at the lions, rhinos and a large group of elephants... Which was really worth it. The rangers are not so much trackfinders but rather entertaining 4x4 drivers that crisscross the area and radio each other when they spot the animals. Basically, this means that you’ll regularly end up at the same spot with 3 vehicles, watching a group of lions of elephants just going about their business because they are used to the ’audience’. Slightly less adventurous, but still you get a great look of some amazing animals.

Kariega is a very comfortable lodge (we were in the River Lodge, can’t speak for the other lodges which are located elsewhere in the reserve). It has a less exclusive feel that RiverBend, which is more a concept thing than that is really provides less luxury. The suites are somewhat dated but very comfortable. Ours was a long way from the main lodge, but they give you a golf cart of your own to drive up and down as often as you like which is really fine (and fun, and you can drink and drive as there are no wild animals on the route to your suite... There is a river next to it, though, so you may want to take it easy after all).

A lovely aspect of Kariega, if you appreciate it, is that guests who share a game drive vehicle, have breakfast and dinner together and with their ranger which makes dining very sociable. We were lucky enough to have great company and our ranger, Zolani, was really nice and good fun so wouldn't have missed it for the world.

Food is of good quality, not a lot but definitely sufficient choice in menu. And all drinks are included, including wines and beers. They offer a good choice; prefer sauvignon blanc or chardonnay? No problem, and they make sure you have a top up before you even think of asking for one.

We missed lunch one day, arriving late due to an error in the information leaflet; and the staff immediately made sure a lovely plate of everything was made ready instantly so we didn’t have to go out on our afternoon game drive hungry.

Stayed March 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank gerardpu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bronwen d, Manager at Kariega River Lodge, responded to this review, 23 March 2013
Thank you so much for posting your review and comparison between our reserve and Addo Elephant National Park. We're so lucky that the Eastern Cape offers such a variety of excellent havens for wildlife conservation and tourism. We're so pleased that you chose to enjoy two of them and we agree they are both great!

We're particularly pleased that you enjoyed the hospitality, food, wine and experience with your ranger. We've passed on your compliments to Xolani and the rest of the team at the lodge. Thank you!

Come and visit us again!
Bronwen & the Kariega team
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london
Level Contributor
100 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 March 2013

This was our second visit to a safari park-very different to the Kruger as the area at Kariega was more hilly and less frequented by tourists.Our ranger was superb-whilst only 21 was passionate about animals and was informative on all aspects of fauna and flora.As we were on the riverside we had the extra bonus of visiting the beaches at Kenton by boat which was a worthwhile diversion to our action-packed day.A n excellent good value park where white and black rhino can be observed as well as buffalo lions and elephants plus many bird species.A wonderful 3 night stay-all the staff were very friendly and the food of good quality.

Room Tip: Request a room cl;ose to the main Lodge
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  • Stayed February 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank tjw_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Kariega River Lodge

Property: Kariega River Lodge
Address: R 343, Kenton-on-Sea 6191, South Africa
Region: South Africa > Eastern Cape > Greater Addo > Kenton-on-Sea
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Kenton-on-Sea
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:4 star — Kariega River Lodge 4*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Nestled on the banks of the Bushman's River, this Lodge is unique in that it connects a Big-5 Kariega Game Reserve to the sea. Our optional daily boat cruises ferry guests through the quaint sea side village of Kenton-on-Sea. Inside the Lodge guests can find a quiet spot in one of the lounges, page through a book in the library, enjoy the pool or take in the view from the magnificent deck which overhangs the river. Twice daily safari drives, guided walks, river fishing, canoeing and river trips are included. Accommodation, all meals and local beverages are also included. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
River Hotel Kenton-On-Sea
River Hotel Kariega Game Reserve
Kariega River Lodge South Africa/Kenton-On-Sea

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