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Samara Private Game Reserve

Samara rhino and calf
This was the first safari stop on our 2,5 week family holiday around the Eastern Cape. I want to start off with some basic information about the reserve before I launch into my pros/cons as well as top tips!

Samara Private Game Reserve will be 20 years old this November and has come a long way from it’s humble beginnings. The reserve covers 70 000 acres and is home to a variety of wildlife including rhino (white), giraffe, cheetah’s and plenty of buck and antelope. As I sit here writing this I have just seen via social media that they have received 2 elephants into their boma. How exciting! The reserve is located in the Great Karoo; a 2,5 hour drive from Port Elizabeth and just 40 minutes from the historical town of Graaff-Reinet. The Karoo is malaria free which is a huge plus for anyone not wanting to expose themselves or their children to malaria and the necessary medications.

They have 2 lodges on the property; Karoo Lodge and The Manor. Karoo Lodge is where we stayed and was lovely. Unfortunately we didn’t get to see The Manor but that is a beautiful private use villa ideal for families or friends traveling together. It has 4 luxury suites with en-suite bathrooms as well as beautiful living areas, outdoor areas and an infinity pool. The villa comes with a private ranger and chef to cater to your every need!

Something I need to constantly remind myself when I’m on safari is that I’m very fortunate; I live in South Africa and have had the opportunity to visit many game reserves and go on plenty of game drives so I sometimes forget that this is not the same for everyone. So, bearing that in mind here goes my pros, cons and top tips for Samara!
  • due to the size of the reserve and the low density of animals, you often drive for quite some time before seeing any animals
  • the animals are still quite skittish when it comes to seeing the safari vehicle and so binoculars are a must
  • the staff are exceptionally friendly and helpful; nothing is too much trouble for them
  • the cheetah sightings are great as you have to enter the sighting on foot which gives it a much more authentic feeling than sitting on a vehicle
  • room choice: we stayed in a lodge suite and loved the location because our son could sleep in the room and we were right next door at dinner time which meant I was relaxed
  • my parents stayed in a karoo lodge suite which was more secluded so great for honeymooners or anyone wanting a bit more privacy. They have beautiful views out the front and offer indoor / outdoor showers which would be amazing in the hot summer months
  • weather: even though October is spring time we had very cold night time temperatures. I highly recommend taking warm gear throughout the year as the Karoo can get very cold at night, especially in winter

Drop us an email to find out more and to start your booking.
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