A new luxury tented lodge set on a wooded hillside overlooking the Bushman’s River, Settlers Drift is the latest five-star offering from family-owned Kariega Game Reserve. This well-established game reserve in South Africa’s malaria-free Eastern Cape is home to all the Big Five and much more wildlife, with prolific bird life attracted by the rivers running through the wilderness landscape. An easy drive from Port Elizabeth, it is also close to the Sunshine Coast so guests can enjoy a beach interlude in their safari, plus there’s canoeing and fishing, river cruises and walking safaris as well as the twice daily game drives.
Spacious and luxurious, the nine tented suites have been designed with the ultimate of contemporary luxury and privacy. Each is 110m² with floor to ceiling glass walls giving stunning views over the untouched bush, and a large open plan bedroom and living area complete with sofa, ottomans and wood-burning stove. Raised on a solid wooden deck and sheltered by high canvas ceiling the suite feels close to nature, but enjoys the comforts of air-conditioning and a full ensuite bathroom with oval bathtub set in the window, and both indoor and outdoor shower.
At the main lodge, sleek, contemporary spaces are comfortably furnished for relaxation with a beautiful rim-flow swimming pool looking out over the view. In between activities guests can relax with a spa treatment, choose a book from the library or connect to the internet on the spacious decks and lounges, before enjoying first class cuisine at individual tables in the dining area.
Choosing activities for the next day is the hardest part.
The game drives with the experienced guides are not to be missed, tracking lions, watching elephants and rhinos or even hippos down at the river’s edge. The shy leopards are rarely sighted but the rest of the Big Five are well-represented in this conservation minded reserve. River cruises on the Kariega Queen, guided bush walks and a dip in the swimming pool followed by a long siesta to the sound of bird calls and cicadas complete the idyll of this luxury African safari destination.
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