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Samara Private Game Reserve
We had no expectations, as this was a first safari for all of us. We were impressed and very comfortable.
- BM, Inverness
Samara is one of the largest private reserves in South Africa with 70,000 protected acres of the malaria-free Greater Karoo. Located 55km from Graaff-Reinet, the fourth oldest town in South Africa and 260km from Port Elizabeth. The reserve encompasses the southern flank of the Sneeuberg mountain range and the Karoo Lodge is nestled below the escarpment. The reserve extends at the lower elevations and comprises part of the famous Plains of Camdeboo.
Skilled rangers lead morning and afternoon game drives deep into the reserve that is currently home to white rhino, mountain zebra, Burchell's zebra, giraffe and many more species. Predators include cheetah, which you can track on foot. The reserve is also home to over 180 species of bird. The wide open plains of the Karoo ensure some of the best stargazing in South Africa. Samara's campaign of rejuvenation seeks to rediscover the beauty of this incredible landscape. Since 1997 the objective has been to realise the lands potential both as an area of outstanding natural diversity and as a home to reintroduced endangered species. The diverse landscape of Samara includes four of South Africa's seven biomes: Grassland, Nama Karoo, Thicket and Savannah. A wide variety of aloe species can also be found, of which some of the oldest are 500 years old. In the month of July dense groups of aloe ferox add a splash of bright red and orange to the landscape. Lodge facilities also include a swimming pool, tennis court and children's activity room.
The Karoo Lodge houses three luxury suites and three private Karoo Suites separate to the lodge. All are of a very high standard and are decorated in traditional African colours. Each suite comprises of a large en suite bathroom, air-conditioning and a private porch. Karoo Lodge can accommodate up to 12 guests and children of all ages are welcome. The newly opened Manor House can accommodate up to eight guests and benefits from spectacular views over a large swimming pool and water hole. Perfect for families or small groups, the Manor House offers use of a dedicated ranger, chef and butler. There is also a new spa situated overlooking a quiet dam with an abundance of waterbirds. The two treatments rooms offer privacy and a wide range of relaxation therapies.
Best time to be there
October to May is the best time to visit the Cape. Game viewing is better during the drier months of April to September. The wildflower season is generally from mid August to mid September. The whale watching season runs from June to November.
11 hours 30 minutes/10 hours 30 minutes non-stop
GMT +2 hours
Not required for UK passport holders
Yellow fever certificate if arriving or in transit for more than 12 hours from an endemic area.
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