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Kariega | Safari Weekend in South Africa

Safaris can be a pretty essential part of your trip to South Africa, and you want to pick the best one for you, especially if your time in the country is limited.
If you're unsure what safari "type" is right for you, I recommend reading my previous article about the three main categories of safaris, and from there start building your dream safari trip!

If a 3-4 day safari-getaway in the South African bush excites you, and you want to get the best value for your money, then I think you'll really enjoy looking further into Kariega Game Reserve located in Port Elizabeth.

Travel instructions

- 1 hour flight to PE

- Pick up from Chief Dawid Stuurman International Airport (previously known as Port Elizabeth International Airport)

- 2 hour drive (which didn't feel long at all) to Kariega Game Reserve

with a pitstop at the highly recommended Nanaga Farmstall

* The driver was organized by Kariega

It's also situated along the garden route, so you can plan it as a part of your road trip as well! It's about a 10 hour drive from the city.

When making a list of things that make for a great safari experience, Kariega checks all the boxes!

• They have all of "The Big Five" *The term was coined by big-game hunters, and refers to the five most difficult animals in Africa to hunt on foot, but is now also widely used by safari tour operators. In Africa, the Big Five game animals are the lion, leopard, black rhinoceros, African bush elephant, and the African buffalo.

• 10,000 hectares with 2 rivers
The space is actually separated into two areas - the original piece of land Kariega started on, and then their "more recent" extended piece of land. We spent the most time in the extended area - this is where you can find ALL of the Big Five living a completely self-sustained and wild life. This is an experience you don't get to see at the smaller game reserves right outside the city. The original land is just as stunning, it just doesn't have any lions, which was interesting to see the difference in behavior from the animals.

LOTS of animals
This isn't always a given when it comes to private game reserves. It depends how many animals they can keep up with. At Kariega they have a wide range of species and a LOT of them too! I have never been to a game reserve and seen so many animals.

• Twice per day | Game drives 3.5 hours per drive, twice per day. Times are adjustable but they recommend sunrise and sunset for the best chances of seeing the animals. We thought a total of 7 hours per day seemed crazy, but once you're out there time flies and you become immersed in the wildlife!
*The word game refers to animals that are not domesticated - the wildlife. The word drive refers to a vehicle trip to see the animals.

General Day-to-Day Schedule



10:00-16:00 FREE TIME

16:00-19:30 SUNSET SAFARI

19:30 DINNER

River cruises + beach trips by boat
While staying at the River Lodge location they include cruises up and down the river and a trip to the local beach by boat!

All inclusive food + drinks This varies depending on the room/lodge you book but in the River Lodge there was a breakfast + lunch buffet. For dinner they had a limited 3-course menu. All drinks and alcohol was included. Mini bar included. And on the game drives drinks and snacks were also provided.

Attentive, super willing staff members + very educated safari guides We had a gentleman named Matthews as our guide who was such a sweetie. He went over and above for our crew, I definitely recommend requesting him for the best adventures!

• Clean facilities
I've noticed it can be difficult to keep facilities pest-free when living in the center of the bush. We stayed in the River Lodge and our rooms were always kept clean and pest-free. * The bush is a term used for wild or uncultivated country



As I'm sure you can imagine, every game drive is so different from the other - no two are the same. And I think that is what makes each and every drive so spectacular!
We thought 7 hours of driving around the bush seemed crazy. But we ended up never missing a drive, doing a total of 6 drives in a matter of 4 days.


Since my experience of walking with elephants at Indalu Game Reserve I thought I wouldn't have a moment as special with elephants. But this safari trip really surprised me and made me realize there are many more experiences to be had with elephants that are just as remarkable, in a way not to be compared. On our first afternoon drive we came across 50 or more elephants, of all different ages, eating and walking together. We drove within feet/meters of them - it was so fascinating to be surrounded by such powerful animals! It was also the first time I saw elephants at nearly every stage of life. There are no words for moments like this...





Thanks for for being a part of my little corner of the internet! For a more visual and lifestyle perspective of my safari adventures check out my Instagram highlights @Mariah.Ezra

Make sure to subscribe to my email list so you don’t miss the next one! The adventure continues...!


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Thanks for taking time to read my blog post! I hope you find value in it! If you're new to seeing my content, Hi my name is Mariah! I love sharing my take on fashion, travel, beauty, lifestyle, relationships, bridal and more!

I have been writing + creating photo/video content since I was about 12 years old (2007) - never in my wildest dreams thinking I could be doing this as a full time job 10 years down the road.

I moved to South Africa shortly after meeting my husband and we got married 5 years later (2020)! We often travel back and forth between Florida, USA and Cape Town, South Africa - both of them home to us.

I have two puppies, Chai + Bentley. And I hope to be telling you about children some day soon!

Until then, I will keep sharing my current passions, tips + tricks, thoughts + tools for life! The adventure continues....!



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