HomeLifestyle & TravelTravelSafari on the Kariega

Safari on the Kariega

It’s always the unexpected that keeps travelling exciting. And for those who’ve been on safari in South Africa, and think they’ve experienced everything, Sibuya Game Reserve in the Eastern Cape offers up a few surprises.

Yes … it’s a fusion of luxury and environmental awareness. Yip … it’s home to the Big Five. And with almost 400 different species in the area, it really is a bird lover’s paradise.
But it’s the country’s only game reserve that is only reached by boat … boarded at the Sibuya reception near the Kariega river mouth in Kenton on Sea, you’ll take a leisurely cruise up the Kariega River Estuary. Depending on what you discover, the gentle cruise takes anything from 45 minutes to a little over an hour … spotting long-legged Black-winged Stilts and gorgeous Sacred Ibis and brightly coloured Kingfishers and impressive Fish Eagles.

It’s a gorgeous, relaxing way to kick off your Sibuya safari, which is one of the Cape Country Routes South Africa privately owned destinations. More of the unexpected. You will be offered early morning and evening game drives a day, but there are other options too … fishing on the Kariega is hugely popular, either from the bank or from one of the small boats, there’s canoeing on the river, and you can opt for a beach walk as well as one in the bush. Excluded from the rates, but possible to book, are deep sea fishing excursions, and beach and reserve horse riding outings.

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Accommodation wise, there are a trio of choices … two luxurious tented camps and an exclusive lodge. We stayed at Forest Camp … where each of the eight tents, connected by wooden walkways, are private and well concealed in the indigenous thicket. With king size beds and a surprisingly comfortable pull out sleeper divan, it’s a great option for those travelling with older children – no under 12s allowed. There’s also the River Camp, with four spacious tents, so great for a group of friends travelling together, and where younger children are welcome. Both camps are comfy, have fireplaces for chilly evenings, and have central living areas where guests gather for meals and game drives. The third option is the more luxurious thatched Bush Lodge, with four suites, personal viewing decks, indoor and outdoor showers and a swimming pool. Bush Lodge, unlike the other two camps, has electricity – and air-conditioning – in the rooms … for Bush and River camps you rely on solar as they’re all about living off the grid and embracing sustainability.

Rates start at R4931 per person in low season, excluding Rhino Conservation Levies, including accommodation, all meals and local drinks, morning and evening game drives, boat transfers, fishing, canoeing and bush walking. Children under 2 stay free.
Details: Sibuya on sibuya.co.za, Instagram @sibuya_game_reserve, Facebook SibuyaGameReserve. Cape Country Routes on capecountryroutes.com, Instagram @ capecountryroutes, Facebook @CapeCountryRoutes

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