Samara Private Game Reserve - Karoo Lodge
is a passionate conservation undertaking, the leader in its area and a catalyst for change in the Great Karoo region of South Africa. Described as ‘heart-stoppingly beautiful’, the award-winning malaria-free reserve encompasses 70,000 acres of wilderness in the Great Karoo – South Africa’s magical heartland and a must-visit destination.
What is Samara:
- 70,000 acres of breathtaking wilderness across 4 biomes
- Family-owned and run for 20 years
- A conservation pioneer in the Great Karoo
- Much more than a Big Five `Ferrari safari`
- The `East Africa of South Africa` with vast herds of plains game
- Part of a greater vision to create South Africa`s 3rd largest protected area
- An ongoing journey that allows guests to give back
What sets Samara apart:
- Our 1.3 million acre conservation vision
- Landscapes that stretch into infinity
- Our family ethos & hospitality
- Unrivalled cheetah viewing on foot
Who should visit Samara:
- Africa 2nd-timers (or combine with Big Five safari)
- Couples & honeymooners
- Multigenerational families (kids welcome)
- Wilderness enthusiasts
- Guests searching for `transformative travel`, a holiday with meaning
- Young explorers looking for the road less travelled
- Recommended length of stay: 3-7 nights Signature Experience:
- Cheetah tracking on foot
- Luxury star bed sleep-out
- Wilderness picnics
- Exploring our Samara Mara
- Children`s programme
- Hiking and walking
- Samara is easily accessible by road or by air.
- Nearest international airport in Port Elizabeth.
- Self-drive from Cape Town, either along the famous Garden Route or the quaint and scenic Route 62.
- Combine with Graaff-Reinet`s Drostdy Hotel, only a 45 min drive or 15 minute helicopter flight away.
- Combine with Plettenberg Bay, with an affordable 45 min daily flight shuttle to Samara
- Combine with a Big Five game reserve in the Eastern Cape like Kwandwe Game Reserve.
Accommodation at Samara Private Game Reserve - Karoo Lodge:
The lovingly renovated farmhouse lies on the first property bought by the Tompkins family when they started Samara in 1997. Combining colonial comforts and modern day luxuries with a rustic and welcoming feel, Karoo Lodge 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 cosy fire in winter.
With nine double rooms of varying sizes, Karoo Lodge caters for individual travellers, couples and families. It can also be booked on an exclusive-use basis for up to 18 guests.
Three Karoo Suites are standalone cottages a short distance from the main homestead. Each has a fireplace, air-conditioning and luxury en-suite bathroom with large separate bath and shower and two washbasins. Private covered patios with outdoor seating provide the ideal location for morning coffee or a nightcap under the stars. These suites even have outdoor showers with magnificent views!
Four Lodge Suites are found inside the main 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.
We named our two final rooms in honour of Sibella, our famous cheetah. The Sibella Suites are located a little walk away by the waterhole where birdlife abounds and antelope, rhino and buffalo slake their thirst in the early morning and late afternoon. These suites are interleading and provide ideal accommodation for families with young children. Each suite has a shower, basin and air-conditioning. The shared wooden deck provides welcome shade during hot summer days.
Within the homestead, Karoo Lodge offers a warm and inviting living room with a fireplace as well as a cosy bar area. 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. There is also a fenced off children’s outdoor play area with sandpit, swings and other activities.
Extra beds for children can be accommodated in all rooms except the Sibella Suites. A curio shop is located near the reception. All the rooms have Wifi access.
Family-owned and family-run, Samara places great emphasis on making all of our guests feel part of the Samara family. We are passionate about educating the next generation of conservationists and opening their eyes to the wonders of the wild.
Children of all ages are welcome at Samara. A dedicated children’s menu is available at both lodges and special requests can be accommodated. All children receive a welcome pack on arrival.
The Samara Kids Programme caters exclusively to children and young teenagers. Qualified staff will take your brood off your hands and engage them in a variety of fun and educational activities whilst you relax and unwind.
Activities include, amongst others:
- Spoor identification
- Rock painting like the San people
- Dung spitting competitions
- African crafts
- Orienteering and navigating
- Sleep-outs (weather dependent). These can also be organised for the whole family!
- Facilities for football, croquet and table tennis are available all year round. The swimming pool at Karoo Lodge is fenced off for safety reasons.
When their parents are on a game drive or otherwise away from the lodges, children younger than 8 must be placed under the care of the experienced childminders available. We encourage them to take part in ‘active babysitting’, involving activities such as short walks, collecting bugs and playing in the dedicated children’s play area with sandpit, swing and slide fenced off from the main lawn (Karoo Lodge only). Babysitting for infants and toddlers is also available. The fee is R100 per hour, available all year round.