Trip Report – SAMARA Private Game Reserve

4The Karoo has a way of pulling you back….. particularly to Samara which is set in the heart of the Karoo, up against some deceivingly docile looking mountains, the Camdeboo range. The Karoo did not immediately grab me I cannot lie…. far too dry and scrubby, too harsh and hot and dodgy cell phone connectivity at best. However, without even realising it, the pockets of warm air that you drive through,  fragrant herbie wiffs,  shy and delicate antelope,  blue mountains,  night calls of owls and jackal, ancient gnarly white stemmed shepherds trees and the enveloping quietness and stillness creeps over you and into you so that you find yourself longing for another Karoo getaway….

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A girfriends ”Get Away From It All” weekend away started rather weirdly….Not a sight you expect to see on entering a game reserve…. You would have laughed to see our puzzled faces…. Where is the person who got the bicycle to this ‘middle of nowhere’ place…. is he okay, …why, what how…. ? We were to find out exactly a little later on ….

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A truly African homestead…. deep wraparound stoep ( verandah ) for long lunches, deep drinks and big happy sighs…. Cool in the summer and warm as toast in the winter months. The minute my galpal sat herself down, she reckoned, “this is it…I’m not moving ! ” 🙂 She says it’s so quiet and peaceful here that she thinks she must have suddenly gone deaf !
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One of Samara’s most delicate and dainty antelope…. Thought her to be a real little lady until our guide Gibson told us about her rather unsavoury habit of eating her lambs faeces and urine so that predators could not find it…. goodness…. survival tactics I guess 🙂
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Early morning CHEETAH TRACKING ! With less than 6000 cheetah left in the wild ( more threatened than rhino ) we need to support reserves that keep these beautiful creatures. Without people like us wanting to participate in cheetah tracking activities ( they are very hard to see in the wild – especially in such big reserves ) if the guests don’t see them the reserves don’t want to keep them. Two hours of driving, checking the signal beeps, anticipation growing as the signals increased until we eventually tracked on foot to within a few meters of this beautiful boy…. ( Thanks to my galpal Amanda Baldie for capturing such a great pic )

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AFRICAN ROLLER COASTER – what goes up, must come down ! From afar, these blue mountains look deceptively tame…until you start the incredibly steep ascent. Thrilling and exhilarating ! 🙂 The mount top plains suddenly open up to magnificent sightings of dancing black wildebeest, surprised mountain zebra, unfazed mountain reedbuck and just the most breathtaking vista’s….. Next time we are for definitely going to opt for the Day Trip & Lunch option to the top of the mountains !

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Rhino Rubbing Rock !
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South Africa’s national bird, the BLUE CRANE. Arriving at our sundowners spot overlooking the Paardekraal dam, we were rendered speechless as a multitude of these grey winged birds gracefully descended down over us to land on the pan, their distinctive chatty call filling the early evening around us… An absolute highlight of our time at Samara….

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THE MYSTERY OF THE BICYCLE SOLVED ! Given, a graduate of Samara’s Tracker College is the new and official Aardvark Tracker and Monitor. Not sure who I was happiest to see at first as we were SO thankful to Given for calling in to our guide Gibson, that the elusive aardvark was out and about for us to see 🙂 Of course the aardvark stole the show…. what an absolute privilege to spend time with her, on foot, watching her move about and dig for ants and termites. If you have aardvark high up on your bucket list, I would urge you to get to Samara asap and let Given give you a sighting to treasure forever !
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RHINO CONSERVATION at its best – Samara have dehorned their rhino so that they can safely continue to do their bit to increase our rhino populations…. we could hardly contain our excitement at seeing this little girl of only a few weeks old !
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MOUNTAIN ZEBRA up against the big blue mountains – just the most striking creatures.
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Sunset and sundowners over Paardekraal dam…. a most magical golden hour. A fitting end to our three day break-away. Already feeling the pull, we are sure to be back for another healthy dose as only the Karoo and Samara can deliver… Thank you Samara !

 

 

 

Samara have a variety of special rate packages, there is sure to be a package to suite your pocket and your time frame.
If you mention that you are enquiring after reading THIS blog, then you can expect a very special rate 🙂
Click here to enquire: Samara Special Rates
***We would very much like to offer a special EASTERN CAPE RESIDENTS SEPTEMBER SPECIAL of 20% off advertised rates valid from 1 – 30 September 2016.***

For more details on the reserve including where exactly they are located, please click here: Samara Private Game Reserve

You may also enjoy browsing their very interactive facebook page by clicking here : Samara on Facebook
Samara Private Game Reserve are also on  Instagram: Samara on Instagram

 

 

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