Samara Wildlife Volunteer Programme
Last Updated: October 2022
Samara is located in the Eastern Cape, near Graaff Reinet; about 2 1/2 hours drive from Port Elizabeth. Guests can self-drive directly to Samara or fly into Port Elizabeth from where the lodge can assist with transfers. Samara also boasts a private landing strip for direct charter to the lodge.
Accessing Samara By Road:
The recommended route from Port Elizabeth takes the R75 towards Graaff-Reinet for 258km. Turn right and take the R63 towards Pearston/ Somerset East for 7km. Turn left onto the Petersburg gravel road and drive 23km to reach Karoo Lodge.
Accessing Samara By Air:
Daily flights from Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town to Port Elizabeth. Air charters from Port Elizabeth to Samara (gravel airstrip) can be arranged on request.
Samara Private Airstrip
- Co-ordinates: 24 45.48 E, 32 26.34S
- Length –1500 m
Graaff-Reinet, a 40-minute drive away, has a 1,500m tarred runway with landing lights which can accommodate a Gulf Stream jet. Transfers from Graaff-Reinet can then be made either by road (40 min) or by helicopter (15 min) directly to the lodge..
About Samara Wildlife Volunteer Programme
Samara Private Game Reserve in South Africa is a hub of conservation and animal reintroduction efforts in the Great Karoo basin. As a volunteer you will work on ongoing wildlife research and management projecta as well as assist with community development ans enviromental education programmes.
For more detailed info see www.samara.co.za
Award-winning Samara Private Game Reserve sits on 70,000 acres of breathtaking wilderness south-east of Graaff-Reinet. Best described as ‘heart-stoppingly beautiful’, Samara uniquely encompasses four vegetation biomes offering a diversity of landscapes and wildlife. Endangered 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.
Samara boasts just two intimate five-star lodges, sleeping a maximum of 26 guests, so it will feel like you have this timeless landsape all to yourself when you gaze out for miles from the lookout points and dine under a canopy of stars. As well as providing a magical and romantic setting, Samara has agreater social and environmental purpose. The Samara project, started in 1997, seeks to recreate a sustainable Great Karoo ecosystem, and forms part of a greater vision to promote landscape-scale conservation in the region. When you stay with us, you'll delve behind the scenes of this conservation project, and your support will help contribute towards the achievement of this grand and worthwhile vision.
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.
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.
You’ll leave relaxed, revitalised and refreshed, vowing to return. That’s why we call Samara a Safari for the Soul.
Map and Directions to Samara Wildlife Volunteer Programme
off the R63 to Pearston,