- Located in the remote Great Karoo in the Eastern Cape, Samara Private Game Reserve offers a luxury safari amidst 70,000 stunning & dramatic wilderness acres. Samara uniquely encompasses 4 vegetation biomes offering a diversity of landscapes & wildlife – the Big 5, cheetahs, white & black rhinos, zebras, giraffes, springbok & black wildebeest.
- Samar offers 2 luxury lodges: The Karoo is a restored 1800’s homestead with 6 elegant suites featuring wide verandas, antiques, 19th-century art, zebra skins & 4 poster beds. The Manor is a sole-use homestead ideal for families or groups of 8. It features 4 sumptuous suites with beautiful ensuite bathrooms, a wrap-around veranda and a large infinity pool.
- Samara serves delicious cuisine paired with the best South African wines, and picnic-style feasts in the bush & mountains with stunning panoramic landscape views, complemented by gracious service.
- For the ultimate romantic experience you can have a helicopter picnic during the day on the ‘Samara Mara’ followed by a “Milky Way” star bed sleep-out at night.
- Try Samara’s amazing fly-camping safari which combines bush walking with a sleep-out in the wilderness.
- Cheetah, black rhino and springbok roam the extensive plains framed by dramatic purple mountains, whilst herds of Cape mountain zebra, wildebeest and eland cavort on our unique ‘Samara Mara’ – thousands of acres of plateau grasslands resembling the East African Serengeti.
EXCLUSIVE LUXE VOYAGER VIP BENEFITS & BEST PRICE
We negotiate rates & benefits for our clients directly with the hotels’ senior management. Our rates match or in many cases are lower than the best online rate for the property. Our clients also enjoy a suite of extra VIP privileges and recognition while staying at a partner hotel.
- Complimentary room upgrade on arrival.
- Daily complimentary buffet breakfast for two.
- Up to $100 dining or spa credit per stay, and or in-house dining / spa discounts.
- Welcome amenities (wine/chocolates/fruit) and card from the GM.
- Complimentary private airport transfers.
- Complimentary roll-away bed if required.
- Early check-in and late check-out.
- Complimentary Wi-Fi.
- Enhanced recognition through VIP status at all touch points in the guest experience.
A complete or partial suite of VIP benefits will be offered, subject to the property T&C, including availability, category of room & length of stay.
Experience the ultimate in luxury safari holidays at the beautiful 10,000 hectare Kariega Private Game Reserve in malaria-free Eastern Cape, South Africa. Prepare to be captivated by close-up viewing of the Big 5 – lion, elephant, rhino, buffalo and leopard as well as a multitude of other African wild game and bird species.
At Kariega, everything revolves around our twice-daily safari drives – the close-up encounters with African wildlife are the centre of guests’ unforgettable safari holiday. Our experienced game rangers will drive you out on safari every morning and afternoon/evening in open game-drive vehicles, traversing the valleys, grassy plains and African bushveld to bring you close to the Big 5 and other game roaming freely in their natural habitat. If you are fortunate, you may witness the lion hunting or feeding, or even the heartwarming social interactions of an elephant herd.
Kariega Game Reserve is the perfect setting for exciting safari holidays, with abundant game and spectacular viewing. Apart from lion and elephant, the game reserve is home to the other three members of the Big 5 – rhino, buffalo and leopard. Other species abound such as hippo, hyena, giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, eland, kudu, waterbuck and a variety of other antelope, as well as a myriad of bird species including the nesting crowned eagle, martial and fish eagles.
The game reserve is bordered in the east and west by the vast and dramatic Kariega and Bushmans river valleys. On safari drives you will explore many different habitats highlighting five different ecosystems – valley bushveld, savannah grasslands, fynbos, riverine forests and acacia woodland. The awe-inspiring African landscape will captivate your senses and the trees, grasses and plants of the Eastern Cape will divulge their secrets. Sometimes it is the hidden secrets of the bush which guests most treasure as memories of their safari holidays, the amazing intricacy of a spider’s web or the monumental work of a dung beetle. There is never a dull moment on safari drives; you never know what African bush experience awaits around the next corner.
At Kariega Game Reserve there are a number of walking trails that guests can enjoy with their ranger. Guided safari walks allow guests to experience the feel of the African bush and enjoy watching wildlife and birds on foot.
Settlers Drift is located on the Bushman’s River and is a great place for fishing.
The Bushman’s River provides a great river safari option. Guests can enjoy exquisite scenery and enchanting birdlife including the Crowned, Martial and African Fish Eagles. Guests to Settlers Drift can choose to arrive and depart by boat too
An abundance of bird and animal life makes for exciting game viewing whilst enjoying the peace and tranquility of the dramatic river valley. During one of the morning game drives, guests at Main Lodge, Ukhozi Lodge and The Homestead can enjoy a majestic cruise down the Kariega river. At River Lodge, an optional daily boat cruise takes guests down the Bushmans river, through the quaint village of Kenton-on-Sea and to its picturesque beaches. Settlers Drift guests can also enjoy boat cruises on the Bushmans river.
Take one the canoes for a leisurely paddle down either the Kariega or the Bushmans rivers and watch in blissful silence as the river birds and animals go about their daily business..
Samara Private Game Reserve is a stylish safari lodge in the heart of a malaria-free area within the Eastern Cape. Gaze out onto a vast landscape extending over 28,000 hectares where Africa’s most iconic creatures are free to roam. Accommodation is spread out between Karoo Lodge and Suites and The Manor. Karoo Lodge consists of a renovated farmstead, sleeping up to 18 clients. Enjoy fantastic facilities including open fireplaces and outdoor verandas. The three Karoo Suite cottages are fully air conditioned and set within their own gardens. The Manor is a large luxury villa with an infinity pool and a good range of scenic outdoor spaces.
Experience a phenomenal range of nature-based actives as you track down elephant, zebra and buffalo. You may also capture spectacular photographs of ferocious predators slinking through the dried vegetation. Game drives are operated regularly while guided walks give you more time to discover all the secrets of landscape.
Karoo Lodge, a lovingly renovated 1800s farmhouse encircled by a natural amphitheatre of mountains. 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, plus a limited number of extra children.
The luxurious Manor House, an exclusive-use villa ideal for families and groups looking for privacy, indulgence and complete relaxation, sleeps 8 in four luxury suites. The Manor is unique in its warm design which reflects the local landscape and traditions with a light, modern twist, interpreted through the eyes of talented South African interior designer John Jacob Zwiegelaar. Upon arrival your eye is drawn through the glass double doors flanked by beaded African artwork and traditional Karoo antiques to the breathtaking views beyond. Unwind as you watch the Karoo mountain landscape unfold over a 21m infinity pool.
The first of these, Karoo Lodge, is classically colonial in style, a brick and corrugated iron build, its front porch, stretch veranda and French doors all motifs from another era. Consisting of a main lodge and 6 suites, and set in grounds populated by rehabilitated cheetah, the lodge includes a lounge, dining room, library, pool, spa and bar. Furnished with beautiful antique side tables, slumber seats and, on the veranda, a set of chunky easy chairs, the lodge is comfortable, and smart.
Animal skins, carvings and animal patterns sit cheek to jowl with restrained ceramic pots and glassware, and the design is one that looks to have grown organically; yet retains an overall feel that is at once tasteful and welcoming. Homely, stylish, it sits comfortably with a service that is excellent, discreet, friendly, and with a standard of cuisine that is South African, delicious and caters very much for specific diets.
With room for up to 12 guests, the suites are divided according to location: lodge suites and Karoo suites, the former located in the main building, the latter in the property’s grounds. The Karoo suites, which possess the same verandas and corrugated iron roofs, are that bit more private than those situated in the lodge, and include a lounge area, double bed and en-suite bathroom. Both types – lodge and Karoo – are beautifully decorated, with individual four poster beds complimented by the same eclectic mix of antique, stressed hand-me-down and Lamuesque furniture. The bathrooms – Victoriana claw-foot bath, flush toilet, shower and twin sink – are equally fine.
The second of Samara’s properties, The Manor, is a private home belonging to Mark and Sarah Tompkins, who with the help of John Zwiegelaar (of John Jacob Interiors), built the property on land once owned by Lord Charles Somerset. A beautiful and very private stay, accommodates 8 and includes a lounge, dining room, breakfast room, veranda, pool and 4 suites. The bedrooms are very much like the lodge’s suites, but the shared areas are, as one might suspect, more of a specific style, with less of an Africana influence. The Manor comes with its own ranger, chef and butler. Please note that The Manor is only available at certain times and may be booked on an individual basis, as well as exclusively.
Samara’s third property, Mountain Retreat, sleeps 10, is advertised as perfect for families and large groups. With 3 in-house suites and 2 located nearby in a converted Victorian barn, there’s plenty of room. Cosy, built around a lovely fireplace, the property possesses an extraordinary view, and specialises in being the base from which guests explore the area on foot, wildlife drives being an optional extra.
Luxury Safari Tent/ Suite
Private tented suites (each 110m²) – each with an opulent bedroom and living area, full bathroom, indoor/outdoor shower, mini-bar, stunning views and private viewing deck. Rates include all meals, beverages, safari drive twice daily & river cruises..
Accommodated in air-conditioned log chalets, this Eastern Cape lodge is ideal for couples, families and friends. The lodge consists of 21 en-suite chalets, each with a lounge and living area, a private viewing deck and some with a private pool.
Balmy nights and clear skies make sleeping outside a tempting proposition. Our luxury star bed makes it irresistible
Have you heard of fly-camping? Read about Samara’s latest safari offering, combining a bush walk with a sleep-out in the wilderness
Food at Samara is served from our Karoo Kitchen, delivering lovingly-prepared fare rustled up by our local chefs. Expect mouthwatering meals using the freshest produce and recipes handed down from generation to generation, evoking that famous Karoo hospitality. Friendly yet unobtrusive service is a Samara hallmark, and the team will welcome you as part of the extended Samara family.
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 is malaria-free and welcomes children of all ages with a dedicated children’s programme.
What truly sets Samara apart is its unbeatable activities. Cheetah viewing and particularly cheetah tracking on foot is one of the reserve’s specialties and is an unforgettable experience. For the ultimate romantic experience you can have a helicopter picnic during the day on the ‘Samara Mara’ followed by a star bed sleep-out at night. Samara also takes conservation very seriously and has the ethos that when guests stay they become part of the ongoing conservation journey through animal re-introductions and the preservation of important habitat. It is one of only 2 private reserves in South Africa to have the desert-adapted black rhino, has recently introduced the elephant, and we are eagerly awaiting the introduction of the lion later in 2018. Your time here will be a holiday with meaning.
Settler’s Drift provides an infinity pool for afternoon laps.
Welcome to Main Lodge at Kariega Game Reserve. Children are very important people and we take great care in giving them the best experience ever. After all, happy children make a happy family! Our tailor-made children’s programme is mainly about having fun but we also believe your children should be inspired, excited, educated and exhilarated at the same time
The Kariega Wellness Centre is the perfect place to rest, relax and rejuvenate body, mind and soul. Situated at Main Lodge (but also available to Ukhozi and The Homestead guests) the Wellness Centre comprises two treatment rooms and a well equipped gym. Treatments for River Lodge guests are provided in the comfort of their own suite. The range of treatments and therapies include various relaxing or energizing massages, facials and the like.The Wellness Centre at Kariega Game Reserve, South Africa, provides pampering treatments in beautiful, tranquil surroundings.Spa treatments on offer include various relaxing or energising massages, facials and unisex treatments. The Wellness Centre is situated at the Kariega Main Lodge and serves all the lodges. Two spa treatment rooms and a gym can be found at the resort while River Lodge guests may enjoy spa treatments provided for them in the comfort of their suites.