Samara Private Game Reserve offers an unforgettable safari experience for discerning travelers. Set on 70,000 acres of heart-stoppingly beautiful restored wilderness, the award-winning malaria-free reserve encompasses 4 vegetation biomes, including the unique 'Samara Mara', and a diversity of wildlife, including the Big Five. Two intimate lodges sleeping a maximum of 26 people lie nestled beneath an amphitheatre of mountains, offering guests the feeling of having this timeless landscape all to themselves.
Karoo Lodge is a lovingly-restored farmhouse catering for individual travellers, couples and families, sleeping up to 18 people. The Manor House is an elegant villa with 4 double bedrooms, which can also be booked exclusively. This option is ideal for families and groups seeking privacy, indulgence and complete relaxation.
Samara combines magnificent landscapes and wildlife viewing with understated luxury and a greater conservation purpose, delivering a safari for the soul. Recommended minimum stay 3 nights.
* Karoo Lodge: Nestled at the foot of an amphitheatre of mountains, Karoo Lodge combines colonial comforts and modern-day luxuries with a rustic and welcoming feel. It is the perfect place to relax and allow the tranquillity of the Karoo to envelop you – on the wide verandah in summer or by the fire in winter. Within the homestead, Karoo Lodge offers an inviting living room with a fireplace as well as a cosy bar. There is a small TV area off the bar. Antiques, family heirlooms and vintage books permeate the décor throughout. A large dining room with fireplace is used for indoor crystal dinners. When the weather is clement, candlelit dinners are set up on the verandah, on the lawn under the stars, or in the boma, a traditional reed enclosure warmed by a roaring fire. The pool is fenced off from the spacious main lawn and has a covered gazebo area for warm summer evenings. A curio shop is located near the reception. All the rooms have Wifi access.
* The Manor House: This elegant villa is unique in its warm design which reflects local traditions with a light, modern twist, interpreted through the eyes of talented South African interior designer John Jacob Zwiegelaar. Upon arrival at the Manor, your eye is drawn through the glass double doors flanked by beaded African artwork and traditional Karoo antiques to the breathtaking views beyond. The mountain landscape unfolds over a 21m infinity pool, descending to a waterhole visited by warthogs, monkeys and elephants. The Manor offers two living areas and two smaller breakaway lounging alcoves, a dining room, bar area, breakfast room and kitchen. Unwind by the fireplace where a crackling fire burns in winter and the large glass doors to the patio are cast wide open in summer. When the weather is fair, candlelit dinners are set up on the verandah, on the lawn under the purple-flowered Jacaranda tree, or out in the bush beneath a star-studded sky. A Karoo-style boma, fashioned out of an old water reservoir, is the perfect place for pre-dinner drinks around the fire. The Manor can also be booked exclusively for up to 8 adults. Sole-use guests enjoy a private vehicle and private guide, chef and host, as well as a daily tailor-made programme of activities. The entire villa has Wifi access.
Samara Private Game Reserve comprises 70,000 acres of breathtaking Big Five wilderness near Graaff-Reinet in South Africa’s malaria-free Eastern Cape province. The nearest national airport is in Port Elizabeth, 270km (a 2.5 hour drive) from the reserve. Port Elizabeth is serviced with daily flights from Cape Town and Johannesburg. Guests can self-drive to Samara, book a road transfer or charter a plane directly onto Samara’s 1.5km gravel airstrip. Nearby Graaff-Reinet boasts a 1.5km tarred runway with landing lights. Samara is a 40 minute drive or 15 minute helicopter flip from Graaff-Reinet.
In Room Facilities:
* Karoo Lodge, Karoo Suite: Set a short distance away from the main Karoo Lodge homestead, three Karoo Suites are standalone cottages in the traditional Karoo style. Each has a fireplace, air-conditioning and luxury en-suite bathroom with large separate bath and shower and two wash basins. Private covered patios with outdoor seating provide the ideal location for morning coffee or a nightcap under the stars. They even have outdoor showers in the traditional Karoo style. Two extra beds for children can be accommodated in these suites.
* Karoo Lodge, Lodge Suite: Four suites are located inside the main Karoo Lodge homestead. They are spacious, light and airy, with air-conditioning and en-suite bathroom with large freestanding bath and shower. These suites open onto the wide wraparound verandah with outdoor seating synonymous with traditional Karoo farmhouses. One extra bed for a child can be accommodated in these suites.
* Karoo Lodge, Sibella Suite: The two final suites at Karoo Lodge are named in honour of Sibella, our famous cheetah. The Sibella Suites are located a little walk away from the main homestead, by a waterhole where bird- and wildlife abounds. These smaller suites are interleading and provide ideal accommodation for families with young children. Each suite has a shower, basin and air-conditioning. The shared deck provides welcome shade during hot summer days.
* Manor House Suites: A restored homestead with title deeds dating back to Lord Charles Somerset, the Manor is an elegant villa with a unique ‘Karoo contemporary’ feel. The four spacious luxury suites each contain a separate bath and shower, air-conditioning and a private patio with outdoor seating – the ideal spot to sit and enjoy the early morning sounds of the wild, cup of tea in hand.
Activities include game drives, guided walks, wilderness picnics, cheetah tracking on foot, aardvark spotting (winter is best), birding, hiking, mountain biking and our luxury star bed (open October to April). Samara welcomes children of all ages with a dedicated children’s programme.