Sibuya Forest Camp
₤ 199 (Pps)
Sibuya Forest Camp is situated on the banks of the Kariega River, but tucked unobtrusively away into the vegetation. Adopting a low impact model, Forest Camp's accommodation is built on expansive, slightly raised wooden decks and has long wooden walkways through pristine thicket.
Sibuya Game Reserve is ideal for people who like to stay active with game drives supplemented by canoeing, bush walks, fishing as well as beach visits for longer stays. There’s no swimming pool as such but the river offers safe swimming!
Sibuya Forest Camp offers luxury tented accommodation: each tent measures 40 square meters with an en suite bathroom, all under an all-weather roof. Some have a sleeper couch which can accommodate an extra person. Wide decks offer views of the river or forest. There’s also a family chalet which has a small annex room with two extra beds and a second tiny shower room. However Forest Camp only takes children from 12 years upwards.
Activities at Sibuya Forest Camp
Sibuya Game Reserve has more navigable river than any other game reserve in South Africa. Consequently as a birding destination it is hard to beat: there are nearly 400 different species ranging from coastal waders through to forest species such as the Knysna turaco. Currently 3,500ha in size, they are adding more land to make it a 5,600ha reserve. This game reserve is sanctuary to an abundance of diverse wildlife from elephants to otters, and almost everything in between, including the Big Five.
Sibuya's reception is in the holiday village of Kenton-on-Sea, about 140 km from Port Elizabeth and East London. The experience starts immediately with a 45 minute boat transfer up the Kariega estuary to Sibuya Forest Camp. Leaving the beach, turtles, dolphins and whales might be seen near the river mouth.
If you stay three nights at Sibuya, you can enjoy a complimentary boat cruise down to the glorious sandy beaches of Kenton. You would enjoy your morning game drive and brunch and then spend a few hours on the beach before returning in time for afternoon tea and the evening game drive. If you have time, it’s ideal to combine Sibuya Forest Camp with its riverine vegetation and stunning birding with another Eastern Cape game lodge offering more open savanna plains. This really would offer the best of all worlds.
Sibuya Forest Camp on the map
Forest Camp, with its long wooden walkways meandering through pristine thicket, has eight secluded tents with unique en-suite bathrooms and comfortable king-sized beds – complete with luxury linen and furnishings. Four of the eight tents are equipped with a pull-out sleeper divan – available if necessary for a child sharing with parents. A cozy fireplace in each tent adds a personal touch and provides comfort on the chillier nights. Children over the age of 12 are welcome.
Review of Sibuya Game Reserve
Sibuya Game Reserve is a charming family-owned and run game reserve in the lush riverine vegetation of the Kariega River. Our visit started with a gloriously picturesque the river cruise up from the seaside village of Kenton. We actually started the safari from there with our knowledgeable guide pointing out various birds en route. (Sibuya is a birding mecca with nearly 400 species ranging from coastal birds to forest dwellers.) Lions are kept in a separate part of the reserve as they are not allowed to have lions close to the public Kariega river (which makes sense!)
I was pleasantly surprised by the standard of the stylish family suites at River Camp. In fact I actually slightly preferred the intimate little river camp to the larger forest camp, though both were charming.
If you had time, it would be great to combine Sibuya with another Eastern Cape lodge such as Lalibela, Samara or Pumba which offered more open game-viewing.