Escape To Samara


Families with small children sometimes have concerns about whether or not safaris are child-friendly. While some lodges have age restrictions (for safety reasons), most safari lodges happily accommodate children. Having said that, not all lodges are ideally suited to families travelling with little ones. That’s why we love Samara.

Photo credit: Samara Private Game Reserve

Samara is 700km from Cape Town and is adjacent to Camdeboo National Park and Mountain Zebra National Park. Debbie recently stayed there with her husband and two children aged 1 ½ years and 4 years and reported that not only is it safe in terms of malaria (Hurrah! It’s malaria-free!), but it’s also ideal for spending quality family time together.

Samara is expansive – an unspoilt sanctuary and hidden gem that specifically caters for children and actively includes them in memory-making and adventure-taking. Amongst other things, children are entertained in an “outside classroom” which allows them to “get their hands dirty” and connect with mother earth. At Samara – the entertainment is natural world and the “games room” is the great outdoors. Child-minders are available on request and children are always included in Samara’s tradition where every guest plants a Spekboom.

Accommodating a maximum of 26 people, Samara is quiet and tranquil. In fact, you feel as if you pretty much have the whole place to yourself – which is rather rare.

In terms of conservation, Samara has reintroduced many indigenous species to the reserve including black rhino, cheetah, elephant, lion, eland, hartebeest and springbok. Since Samara was founded by Mark and Sarah Tompkins in 1997, tens of thousands of acres of land have been restored. With intent and strong direction, Samara is working alongside local stakeholders to create South Africa’s 3rd largest protected area of 1.3 million acres in this Global Biodiversity hotspot. Amidst the bird life, fauna and flora, Samara’s manor house and lodge are a nod the romance of the Karoo of a bygone era.

Debbie’s selected this excerpt to sum up her stay: Look at a tree, a flower, a plant. Let your awareness rest upon it. How still they are, how deeply rooted in Being. Allow nature to teach you stillness (Eckhardt Tolle).


OUR PLANET: The statistics, the scenery, the science




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