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“Amazing highlight of our South African trip”

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Kariega Game Reserve - River Lodge
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Kenton-on-Sea
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 22 May 2013

We stayed here for 3 days 2 nights at the end of our South African trip before returning to Thailand, and it was very enjoyable and totally amazing, despite some cold rain. The River Lodge is 1 of 3 lodges within the Kariega Game Reserve and the only one on the river. We came as a group so stayed in a cluster of private villas. Each villa has an electric golf cart for guests to get around... which as the GM told us is the "only place where you can drink and drive". Giraffe and buffalo walk right up to the Lodge but are kept out by electric fences.

Each party is assigned a dedicated game ranger who stayed with us throughout the stay. Ours was Gerhard and he was excellent, very knowledgeable and passionate about this work. We saw herds of giraffe, zebra, hippo, white rhinoceros, elephants (walking so close past our vehicle you could touch them), various antelopes, buffalo and on the 2nd day Gerhard managed to track down a pride of lions. We watched from the vehicle as the male lion chewed the head of a bleisbok. Even when not seeing any animals, it was fun just riding around on the open-top Toyota Landcruiser along the dirt tracks through the wilderness.

During the day in between safaris, guests can relax at the Lodge's deck beside the river or do a variety of activities such as hiking or taking a boat trip down to the sea. We were impressed by the close-knit family atmosphere among the rangers and also the very warm hospitality of the Lodge staff.

  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank Kris A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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122 - 128 of 232 reviews

Reviewed 14 May 2013

We stayed at river lodge for 4 nights as part of our honeymoon. The service we recieved was 1st class all the staff were so friendly and helpful! We'd like to say a special thanks to Our ranger Gerhard who was superb! He was extremely knowledgeable about everything from the animals to the plants and we learnt a lot from him. We had a lovely group which was good as you spend a lot of time together, from the twice daily game drives to all the meals. We really enjoyed this part of it as well. The food and wines were delicious above and beyond what we were expecting from an all inclusive. Our lodge was number 7 (zebra) and it was wonderful, beautiful views over the river with the biggest bed we'd ever seen!! We saw all the animals we wanted too and more besides. We never got to see the black rhinos or the 3 little lion cubs which was a shame but that's wildlife for you which is what makes it so magical when you do find them! I've never been anywhere so amazing it was more than I had hoped for. Would one day like to come back and visit and we don't generally like to visit a place more than once as we like new experiences. Thank you too all the team at river lodge for making it the perfect stay! We would recommend you to anyone! Mr and Mrs Carrier x

  • Stayed: April 2013
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Thank Claireandmark1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bronwen d, Manager at Kariega Game Reserve - River Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 22 May 2013

Hello the Carriers! We are are so pleased that you enjoyed your stay with us at River Lodge. Thanks for posting your review. We've passed on your compliments to Gerard and the rest of the team. Come back and visit for an anniversary!
Kind regards,
Bronwen & the Kariega team

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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
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Thank Kareiga
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bronwen d, Manager at Kariega Game Reserve - River Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 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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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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Thank theophraste
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bronwen d, Manager at Kariega Game Reserve - River Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 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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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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1  Thank Sandyknees
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bronwen d, Manager at Kariega Game Reserve - River Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 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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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
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Thank Barbara B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
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Thank Jane C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bronwen d, Manager at Kariega Game Reserve - River Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 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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Additional Information about Kariega Game Reserve - River Lodge

Address: R 343 | Between Alexandria and Kenton-on-Sea, Near rural route R72, 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: £532 - £741 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Kariega Game Reserve - 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 Game Reserve - River Lodge South Africa/Kenton-On-Sea

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