Samara Game Reserve (Eastern Cape) South Africa
Let us take you back in time to an Africa of old, where
herds of Eland and Springbok roam the Plains of Camdeboo and
the majestic Cheetah reigns supreme.
beautiful, is how award-winning Samara Private Game Reserve
in the Eastern Cape is best described. Elegant lodges
provide luxury accommodation nestled between an amphitheater
of mountains on 70,000 acres, where wildlife roams again. An
amazing life-changing and wonderfully relaxing experience
awaits, so come and walk with the cheetah as you celebrate
the rebirth of a unique piece of Africa and experience a
luxury safari in the Graaff-Reinet region of the Eastern
Samara is located in the Eastern Cape, near Graaff
Reinet; about 2 1/2 hours drive from Port Elizabeth. Guest
can self-drive directly to Samara or fly into Port Elizabeth
from where the lodge can assist with transfers. Samara also
boasts a private landing strip for direct charter to the
Surrounded by a natural amphitheater of mountains, Karoo
Lodge sits in perfect serenity in the reserve's pristine
wilderness. Combining colonial comforts with the essence of
Mother Nature, the Lodge treats you to exceptional service,
enabling you to relax and allow the tranquility of the
Karoo to envelop your soul.
If you choose, you can leave
the game for another day and indulge in the luxury of your
suite and let our experienced therapist ease your stress
away with her aromatic oils and local charm.
Our Lodge Suites are situated in the main homestead and
are light and airy, all opening out on to the wide
wrap-around veranda. Each has a luxury en-suite bathroom and
is air-conditioned. One extra bed can be accommodated for
families with a child.
Our Karoo Suites are individual Karoo style "cottages" in
the garden offering a bit more privacy. Each has a luxury
en-suite bathroom, is air-conditioned and has a fireplace.
They even have outdoor showers with magnificent views!
Our Sibella Suites are two delightful suites each with an
en-suite shower and sharing a wooden deck overlooking the
waterhole with abundant birdlife. They are both
The Manor at Samara
The Manor at Samara is for the exclusive use of up to 8
guests in ultimate luxury and total privacy with every whim
being anticipated by friendly but unobtrusive staff. Mark
and Sarah Tompkins built the Manor on the site of an old
house with title deeds dating back to Lord Charles Somerset.
The Manor House is available for rental when the Tompkins
family are not in residence.
You will arrive at this historic homestead and upon
entering, breathtaking views of this extraordinary Karoo
mountain landscape will unfold over a 21m infinity pool
which descends into a waterhole at which game can be present
in the early morning and late afternoon.
The Manor is unique in its warm design which reflects the
local landscape and traditions whilst retaining a lovely
light twist. The style of the Manor is the inspiration of
well known South African designer, John Zwiegelaar of John
Relax in four spacious luxury air-conditioned suites.
Beds are made up with the softest linen that lulls you to
sleep and all suites have large en-suite bathrooms with
separate showers and free standing baths. Unwind in the
large comfortable lounge where a crackling fire burns in the
winter months and the large glass doors to the patio are
cast wide open in the summer. Take time to read an
interesting book from the library in the cozy reading nooks.
Dining experiences include boma, veranda, dining-room and
breakfast room as well as various bush dining experiences.
Services include a personal ranger, chef and butler.
Secluded, wild and remote, Samara’s Mountain Retreat
offers you the experience of yesteryear and the opportunity
to reconnect with nature in its purest form. /p>
The Mountain Retreat is an exclusive use self catering
venue accommodating up to 10 guests. There are three
delightful double en-suite bedrooms in the main homestead
and a further two en-suite bedrooms are situated in the
beautifully restored Victorian barn. A comfortable living
room with fireplace and dining room complete the indoor
facilities. A wide wrap-around veranda provides the perfect
area for relaxing while contemplating the awesome view and a
jacuzzi on the veranda affords an ideal cooling-off spot. A
Karoo-style plunge pool is situated a short distance away
from the house. Essential power is provided by a generator.
Take leisurely walks to explore the ancient valley
landscape where rare rock art paintings of cheetah are
preserved. Guests will be accompanied on walks by an
experienced ranger who will be able to point out all the
small but unique things one may miss on a game drive. Game
drives are an optional extra.
Play Scrabble or Monopoly, challenge your loved ones to a
game of chess, or simply absorb the silky night skies under
the Milky Way, so close you can almost reach out and touch
The Mountain Retreat is the perfect getaway for a family
or group of friends wanting to escape from the hustle and
bustle of city living, to return to a slower pace of life
and experience the true wilderness.
Cheetah in the wild
Privileged to be home to the highly endangered Cheetah,
Samara also hosts a remarkable individual. Born a wild
Cheetah, Sibella’s life nearly ended at the hands of
hunters. After being savagely treated in captivity, she was
fortunate enough to be rescued and underwent life-saving
surgery and rehabilitation at the De Wildt Cheetah and
In December 2003, Sibella started a new chapter in her
life when she, along with two males, was released into
Samara. Despite suffering the occasional twinge from her
previous injuries, Sibella has proved herself to be a
capable hunter and has successfully reared 18 cubs in the
time she has been at Samara. As such, she epitomizes the
spirit of Samara as she plays a vital role in the
rejuvenation of a once endangered existence. This
exceptional cat has now contributed to 2% of the wild
Cheetah population in South Africa.
It has been estimated that the last wild Cheetah in the
area was seen 125 years ago. Cheetahs were heavily hunted in
the Great Karoo and Eastern Cape areas and the Samara
Cheetahs made conservation history as the first to return to
the area after 125 years.
Part of Sibella’s and Samara’s
Cheetah conservation success is the fact that Samara is free
of the predator competition found in Big Five reserves.
Without the pressure of natural predators such as lion and
spotted hyena, the Samara Cheetah populations have been able
Samara works closely with the Endangered Wildlife Trust
to ensure that this highly endangered species is given the
best chance of survival. To this effect Samara swops its
Cheetah populations with other reserves, thus ensuring that
the gene pool is as wide as possible.
Safari at Samara:
Unparalleled and humbling experiences await you at
Samara. With four of the country’s seven biomes, Samara’s
abundant wilderness preserves a complex and diverse
ecosystem, providing habitat for over 60 mammal species.
Among more common species, such as the Kudu and Duiker, the
secretive Aardvark and the once-endangered White Rhino roam.
Giraffes can be seen peeking over the thorny Acacia canopy,
while Cheetah crouch, hidden in the grass, waiting for an
opportunity to stretch their legs and test the speed of the
Whether ensconced in the comfort of an open game viewer,
or trekking through the fragrant Karoo bush, you will feel
the deep pulse of the Karoo that makes Samara truly magical.
Discover the secrets of Samara as you explore the
untouched Plains of Camdeboo that once staged massive
migrations of millions of Springbok. Fossils that predate
the dinosaurs and well-preserved Khoisan paintings offer a
fascinating insight into some of the historical intricacies
of our Earth’s past.
Begin the journey of revitalization on your 'birding
safari', where you can witness the hauntingly beautiful Blue
Crane mating dance, soaring pairs of Black Eagles near Eagle
Rock, witness the strutting Secretary Bird and marvel at the
wing span of the Kori Bustard - also plant a spekboom and
explore the ancient rock art before relaxing for an
afternoon of indulgence with spa treatments, Karoo cuisine
and sunset game drives.
A different approach to the usual Safari - be a part of
something more. Learn about our conservation efforts and
plant a spekboom to off-set your carbon footprint. Read
animal tracks as if reading a book, or simply let your
imagination go back in time as you view the ancient bushman
Samara Private Game Reserve is unique in that the
property consists of four Biomes - Nama-Karoo, Plateau
Grassveld, open Savannah and Thicket. You will be taken on a
memorable walk accompanied by one of our highly qualified
rangers, who will share his extensive knowledge of the
individual characteristics of each of these biomes.
Our Walking Safaris specialize in all aspects of getting
closer to nature and learning to track animals and approach
them on foot. Study the finer detail of the bush and
experience the feeling of wide open spaces around you - no
vehicles, no noise, no rush. Whether walking through a
river, up the mountains, or on the open plains of the Karoo,
we have something for every hiker.
A Safari that gives you the feeling of being on top of
the world. Travel up the steep mountain pass in a 4x4
vehicle and enjoy truly breathtaking scenery. View our
pristine landscape which will leave a picture in your mind
that lasts forever. Surrounded by mountains with the Plains
of Camdeboo spread out below you, imagine the largest
migration of Springbok which used to take place across the
The Aardvark is one of the most widespread mammals in
Africa, but also one of the most unseen creatures that
Africa has to offer. Take this rare opportunity to
experience these amazing creatures in their natural
environment by joining us on a Night Safari at Samara.
There are just over 200 species of birds recorded on
Samara Private Game Reserve, so this is a bird watcher’s
paradise. In August you are most likely to view the
endangered Blue Crane flocks of 250 – 300 birds, and may be
lucky enough to see Black Eagles soaring below you from
Eagles’ Rock, one of our magnificent view points.
Accommodation Rates: From $425 per person per night
sharing. Please contact us for a quote and suggested