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Samara Private Game Reserve 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.
Samara Private Game Reserve has 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 it 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
- 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
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