Samara Karoo Reserve near Graaff-Reinet in the Eastern Cape’s Great Karoo region is a landscape of space, stars and silence. Its astonishing diversity of topographies, vegetation and arid-adapted wildlife makes Samara unique and distinctly different from other Eastern Cape game reserves. Mountain-top grasslands, dense Spekboom-covered valleys, winding river systems and flat plains combine to create one of South Africa’s most diverse safari destinations.
Family-owned and run, malaria-free Samara Karoo Reserve offers an adventure for the whole family – none of that waiting until the youngest child is old enough – this is a safari experience that welcomes children of all ages, even babies! Mother and daughter duo Sarah and Isabelle Tompkins are passionate about educating the next generation of eco-warriors and opening their eyes to the wonders of the wild.
On arrival at Samara, kids are enrolled in the Samara Cubs Programme. Suitable for toddlers from age 3 and up, this is a kid’s club – packed with fun activities and inspiring educational experiences – that sets a new standard. No soft play here – by the end of their Samara holiday, children can identify wild animal tracks, paint like the Khoi-San hunter-gatherers and carve a walking stick. Parents can opt to relax and unwind or join in – creating opportunities for the whole family to reconnect – with Nature and with each other.
Using the bush as an outdoor classroom, younger guests learn about everything from little bugs and beetles through to the ‘Funny Five’ – while connecting to the land by planting Spekboom. Children aged 8 and over are welcome to join parents on twice-daily game drives, while the younger ones can enjoy shorter family ‘bumble’ drives near the lodge and older kids and teens can embrace the thrill of the great outdoors with bush walks, sleep-outs, overnight trails and conservation activities.
There’s no better place to kick-start a life-long love affair with Nature whilst also educating the future custodians of our planet through a mixture of awe-in-action experiences and informative yet lively conversations. So much more than just a beach holiday, Samara promises a holiday children will remember and talk about forever.
Samara’s two luxury lodges, Karoo Lodge and The Manor, welcome discerning nature-lovers for exceptional wilderness and wildlife experiences in one of the lowest guest-to-land ratios in Africa. The Manor offers the ideal safari villa for families, sleeping up to eight in four spacious suites – when booked exclusively families can enjoy a private vehicle, guide, tracker and chef and experienced child/baby minders are also on hand.
SADC rates available from R4 990 per person per night (kids rate – for ages 3-14 years from R2 500 per person per night) inclusive of meals, selected drinks, twice daily safari drives, bushwalks and children’s activities.