Kariega Settler's Drift
Settlers Drift Lodge interior Settlers Drift Suite interior
Settlers Drift Lodge interior
Settlers Drift Suite interior

Kariega Settler's Drift

Settlers Drift is a 5-star luxury tented lodge located in the Big 5, malaria-free Kariega Game Reserve in the Eastern Cape region of South Africa. Kariega is a family-owned and operated 10,000 ha private game reserve that offers a combination of close up Big 5 game viewing and an expansive variety of fauna, flora and birdlife in a landscape spanning five eco-systems. Rates include all meals, beverages, safari drive twice daily, guided bush walks and river cruises. 

Settlers Drift is designed to seamlessly connect guests with the African wilderness and it’s abundance of animals and birds. The spaces created in the nine suites and lodge are unusually large and airy emulating the vastness of the spaces beyond. The décor is luxurious yet understated and the colours subdued so that the eye is continually drawn to the inspiring views and vistas of the Bushmans river and surrounding valley and mountains. Whether relaxing in your private suite or enjoying the lodge, at Settlers Drift there is always a wild animal in sight. The connection to Africa is complete and undisturbed.


South Africa


Visiting Settlers Drift takes you back to a bygone era, quitens your mind, shrouds you in comfort and luxury and connects you heart and soul to our vast and beautiful wilderness - the best that modern Africa has to offer.

Need to Know

Settlers Drift is ideal for FIT’s and small groups looking for a unique tented Big 5 safari experience combined with 5-star luxury in the malaria-free Eastern Cape.


The Kariega Game Reserve safari experience is centered around twice daily game drives. Guests are delighted with close up viewing of a diversity of wild African game including lion, elephant, rhino, buffalo, hippo, giraffe, zebra, a host of antelope species, and much more including a myriad of exquisite birdlife. Skilled and knowledgeable game rangers spend time unraveling some of the secrets of the African bush, will see to any specific requests, and ensure that all your questions are answered. Guided bush walks allow guests to experience the African bush and enjoy watching wildlife and birds on foot. 

The Bushmans river provides a great river safari options on small boats and canoes. River fishing is also on offer. Guests to Settlers Drift can choose to arrive and depart by boat.

Wildlife HighlightsWildlife Highlights

The reserve is home to more than 25 species of game including lion, elephant, leopard, buffalo, rhino, hippo, hyena, giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, waterbuck, nyala, kudu, warthog and a variety of other antelope and more than 280 species of birds amongst which are the high soaring Martial, Crowned and Fish eagles which nest on the reserve. Kariega prides itself in the abundance of general game and birdlife supplementing the Big 5. The wildlife area includes spans across 5 different eco-systems - riverine forest, valley bushveld, savannah grasslands, fynbos and acacia woodlands.

Local ActivitiesLocal Activities

Kariega is situated in the coastal belt of 1820 Settler Country only 14km from the pristine beaches at Kenton-on-Sea. Nearby towns and villages, including Grahamstown, Salem, Bathurst and Port Alfred offer sightseeing and tours on the rich historical heritage. Golfing options included the Gary Player designed Fish River Sun course (45 minutes drive) and Royal Port Alfred course (30 minutes drive).


Lodge facilities include a restaurant, bar, wine cellar, spacious decks, pool, boma, curio shop, library and spa treatments.


The lodge offers only nine spacious tented suites (each 110m²) – each with an opulent bedroom and living area, full bathroom, indoor/outdoor shower, mini-bar and private viewing deck. Gazing down from the decks overlooking the Bushmans river it feels as if time has stood still since the last feet to have touched this remote valley were those of the 1820 Settlers as they guided their wagons across the river. The luxuriously appointed and perfectly positioned tents deliver the ultimate guest experience. 


The lodge is popular with guests all year round with peak periods in December and February. High season includes January, March, April, October and November. The low season is from May to September.

Average StayAverage Stay

Average stay is three nights.

Average PriceAverage Room Prices

(per person per night unless otherwise stated)

Prices range from R5,500 pppn sharing in low season (1 May 2016 to 30 September 2016) to R9,900 pppn sharing in our 2017 peak seasons (1-28 February and 17-31 December).

Children PolicyChild Policy

No children 10 years and under (11 years & older pay adult rate).

Contact and Social Media

To find out more, visit Kariega Settler's Drift's website.

To find out more call us on +44 (0)1865 982290 or email us at enquiries at safariawards.com.

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