PRIVATE GAME RESERVE – GREAT KAROO – EASTERN CAPE – DELUXE
Samara Private Game Reserve covers 70,000 acres of malaria-free wilderness in South Africa’s Great Karoo. Encompassing rugged mountains, deep valleys and the vast plains of Camdeboo, it’s a scenically stunning location.
Samara was founded on clear conservation principles and with one firm ambition: to rehabilitate the magnificence of the Eastern Cape’s Great Karoo. Since work began in 1997, the commitment and determination of the team has already paid dividends.
The once absent Cape Mountain Zebra now roams the plateau pastures, beautiful Blue cranes soar overhead and cheetah stalk the Camdeboo plains without predators. Yet Samara’s conservation efforts stretch far beyond wildlife conservation alone, rather their focus has been on the preservation of the Karoo’s natural biodiversity.
Conservation International places Samara at the junction of two global biodiversity hot spots – that is ‘ecological crown jewels’ requiring the highest level of protection – and therefore at the forefront of global conservation responsibility.
Samara takes this seriously and works tirelessly to remove alien species and remnants of the area’s more recent agricultural heritage, to protect the area’s distinctive flora and recreate the original habitat of the creatures being reintroduced.
Samara is now home to over 60 mammal species and 175 birds. Guests can marvel at herds of plains game, reminiscent of the springbok migration that once passed through the area; see cheetah cubs learn to stalk prey; and track the once-endangered White Rhino from the comfort of an open 4×4.
Both walking and game drives are available at Samara, along with bird watching excursions and trips to fossil and bushman painting sites; all making memorable experiences. Samara also caters for children of all ages and have a number of exciting programmes to keep them entertained and educated during their stay.
At the end of the day, the elegant colonial Karoo Lodge makes a peaceful retreat. Accommodating only twelve guests, its six luxurious air-conditioned suites are cool retreats. Furnished in shades of sage and parchment, they all enjoy horizon views of the striking landscape from wide verandas. Three Lodge Suites are situated in the main homestead and are light and airy, all opening out on to the wide wrap-around veranda. The three Karoo Suites are individual Karoo style “cottages” in the garden and are larger than the Lodge Suites.
The Manor at Samara caters to small, exclusive-use groups. Up to eight people, families or friends, can stay in the four spacious suites at the historic homestead. 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 cosy reading nooks or take a dip in 21m infinity pool. A dedicated ranger, chef and butler are always on hand to ensure a perfect stay.
The Mountain Retreat is an exclusive use 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 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 views. A jacuzzi on the veranda affords an ideal cooling-off spot. A Karoo-style plunge pool is situated a little away from the house.
The Karoo Kitchen is a definite highlight of a Samara stay. Handpicked organic garden produce, aromatic Fynbos flavourings and traditional Karoo lamb and springbok are blended to create gastronomic delights at every meal. Dining in the boma under the stars or on an intimate picnic overlooking the sweeping plains, culinary temptation abounds.
Tel: 01778 382 764