Samara Karoo Reserve

"What an exciting time to join the Samara team, in sharing their journey so far and their vision for the Karoo. The landscape is wild, their model is admirable and their project ambitious; with two female conservationists leading the charge."

Kath Kay

Award-winning Samara Karoo Reserve (previously known as Samara Private Game Reserve) is a conservation journey on 67,000 acres of born-again wilderness in the heart-stoppingly beautiful Great Karoo. This passionate rewilding project was started in 1997 by founders Mark and Sarah Tompkins who were inspired by tales of a long-lost Karoo.

An ambitious programme of land restoration and wildlife reintroduction has seen the return of more than a dozen mammal species, including the first lion, cheetah, black rhinoceros and elephant to step foot back on the land in over 130 years. Today, still pursuing Samara’s mission with as much fervour as its founders, is second generation Isabelle Tompkins.

Adopting a responsible tourism model to fund its conservation objectives, two luxury lodges sleeping up to 26 guests welcome discerning nature-lovers for exceptional wilderness and wildlife experiences in one of the lowest guest-to-land ratios in Africa. Activities on offer include game drives, bush walks, wilderness picnics, conservation activities, a star bed, fly camping, mountain biking and photographic safaris. Children of all ages are welcomed.

Located 270km from Port Elizabeth, Samara is easily accessible by road or by air yet retains a remote wilderness feel.

+ Conservation + Community Regeneration + Family Run + Big Five game drives +Sleep outs