Set on the plains of the Camdeboo, Samara Private Game Reserve offers a variety of luxury accommodation and game viewing in a landscape dominated by vast mountain plateaus and endless views across the plains of the Karoo.
Described as ‘heart-stoppingly beautiful’, Samara is known for frequent sightings of the elusive, nocturnal aardvark. Its rehabilitated cheetah, Sibella, epitomises the spirit of Samara, as she plays a vital role in the rejuvenation of these graceful, but endangered cats. This exceptional cat has ‘selflessly’ contributed to 2% of the wild cheetah population in South Africa.
Samara is a 28 000 hectare private game reserve that encompasses the southern flank of the Sneeuberg mountain range in the Greater Karoo near Graaff-Reinet. Previously a network of livestock farms, Samara was created in 1997 with the vision to restore the area to its natural state, and it now ranks among South Africa’s largest private reserves, with a number of fascinating research projects taking place here.
Samara contains four biomes: Thicket, Savanna, Plateau Grassland and Nama Karoo. This diversity supports a wide variety of flora and fauna. The former includes ancient shepherd’s trees, wild olives, Karoo sage and camphor bushes, amongst others. Fauna includes the elusive aardvark, the protected Cape mountain zebra, cheetah, buffalo, wildebeest, white rhino, ￼herds of antelope, giraffe, ￼meerkat and ￼leopard tortoise. Over 220 species of birds have been recorded, including the endangered blue crane and breeding pairs of black eagles. On game drives you are likely to see Kori bustard, secretary birds and a host of other raptors. In the riverine areas, brown-hooded kingfishers are relatively common.
Karoo Lodge sleeps up to 20 guests in garden cottages featuring additional outdoor showers and private patios, or in the restored homestead with its wide wraparound veranda. All suites open out to private patios with outdoor sofas and awesome views. Two large ‘Camdeboo’ suites overlook the eponymous plains, and two ‘Sibella’ suites overlook a waterhole, where birdlife abounds and animals come to slake their thirst every day.
The historic Manor is for the exclusive use of up to 8 guests. Services include a personal ranger, chef and butler, with nannies available on request.
Samara offers a delicious buffet breakfasts, and a choice of delectable mealtime experiences, indoors or outdoors, such as lawn picnics, poolside meals, or dining in a traditional boma, where you can feast under the stars.
Relax beside the fireside in the warm and inviting living room and cosy bar area, or on the sun loungers beside the pool; indulge in a pampering massage, or enjoy a game of tennis at Karoo Lodge.
The exclusive Manor House offers an array of exquisite facilities, including lounges, viewing areas and a 21m infinity pool that descends into a natural water hole where animals gather to drink.
Individual walks can be arranged from the lodge in summer. In winter most walks will be conducted in conjunction with a game drive.
Game drives on open safari vehicles are led by knowledgeable and informative guides. You will be able to get off to study the finer detail of the bush, and learn to track animals and approach them on foot.
Specialised safaris offer the opportunity to learn about Samara’s conservation efforts, plant a spekboom, visit the Tracker Academy, learn about the various research projects, or visit Khoisan rock paintings. Aardvark Safaris take place at night, with sightings best in the winter months.
Samara is a birdwatcher’s paradise.
Children of all ages are welcome at Samara.
Karoo Lodge offers special family programmes and a children’s play area.
Only children aged 8 years and older are allowed on scheduled game drives.