Wildebeest and impala wandering past elephant herds, a lioness returning your gaze, unusual nyala standing like sentinels on a hilltop...there’s something magical about Kariega that excites visitors of all ages. Malaria free and close to the Garden Route, Kariega Game Reserve is an idyllic destination for anyone seeking a gentle game-viewing experience.
Immersion in the eastern side of the reserve
Kariega’s wildlife is spread across two very different sections, divided by fences. The eastern side is packed with antelopes and smaller wildlife, without any predators. You can walk almost everywhere here, getting incredibly close to animals like warthog, kudu, wildebeest, zebra, giraffe and much more. We vividly remember the density of the antelopes; it wasn’t just a few, it was hundreds upon hundreds of them.
Quite uniquely, you can walk around the wider lodge areas without a guide. This freedom to be amongst such mystical nature is always a real highlight when we visit.
Africa’s giants in the west
The main River Lodge is in the west, an area where Africa’s giants have pride of place. Animals are dangerous and well spread here, so you’ll be exploring on game drives. Elephants are impossible to miss and this part of the reserve is a great place to appreciate the workings of a lion pride, with all its rivalry and intensity. Stay two or three days and you’ll increase your chances of seeing the resident rhinos.
Options for families and couples
At 35 square miles, this isn’t a massive reserve, but it’s more than big enough to give everyone some privacy. We’d recommend Main Lodge for families, thanks to its excellent value and easy animal experiences without having to worry about your children’s safety. For couples, check out the River Lodge, with its opulent thatched suites hanging over Bushman’s River.
With beautiful beaches and evocative history nearby, the Kariega safari experience is able to blend seamlessly into the rest of what South Africa has to offer. It’s a superb choice for families and a great way to experience an authentic safari without travelling too far into the bush.