Karoo Lodge: Information from the owner
- No. of rooms
About this information
All the information on this page is supplied to us directly from the lodge owner and reflects their view, not ours.
For Expert Africa's view, see our own full report on Karoo Lodge, which contains our own observations and views.
- Last updated by Owner
- 31 Jan 2020
Facilities at Karoo Lodge
- Property facilities
- Bar, Communal Dining, Eco Friendly, Internet Access (Complimentary), Kiddies Club, Laundry Service (Available), Malaria Free, Pool, Private Vehicle Available, Restaurant, Secure Parking, TV Room
- Room facilities
- Air Conditioning, Balcony / Deck, Bath, Dressing Gowns, Electrical Outlets, En-Suite, Fan, Fridge, Heater, Internet Access (Complimentary), Laundry Service (Available), Lounge Area, Mini Bar, Mosquito Nets, Outside Shower, Safe, Shower, Tea / Coffee, Verandah
- Activities on site
- Big 5, Bird Watching, Fine Dining, Game Drives, Game Viewing, Game Walks, Gourmet Picnic, High Tea, Night Drives, Rhino Tracking, Safaris, Sleep Outs, Walks (Guided)
- Nearby activities
- Art Galleries, Bird Watching, Child Friendly Activities, Cultural Tours, Game Drives, Game Viewing, Game Walks, General Sightseeing, Helicopter Rides, Hiking, Historical Tours, Mountain Biking, Museums, Natural History Tours, Safaris, Scenic Flights, Walks (Guided), Walks (Self Guided)
Room types at Karoo Lodge
Set a short distance away from the main Karoo Lodge homestead, three Karoo Suites are standalone cottages in the traditional Karoo style. Each has a fireplace, air-conditioning and luxury en-suite bathroom with large separate bath and shower and two wash basins. Private covered patios with outdoor seating provide the ideal location for morning coffee or a nightcap under the stars. They even have outdoor showers in the traditional Karoo style. Two extra beds for children can be accommodated in these suites.
Four Lodge Suites are located inside the main Karoo Lodge homestead. They are spacious, light and airy, with air-conditioning and en-suite bathroom with large freestanding bath and shower. These suites open onto the wide wraparound verandah with outdoor seating synonymous with traditional Karoo farmhouses. One extra bed for a child can be accommodated in these suites.
The two Sibella Suites are named in honour of Sibella, Samara's famous cheetah who became a world-renowned ambassadress for cheetah conservation. The Sibella Suites are located a little walk away from the main homestead, by a waterhole where bird- and wildlife abounds. These smaller suites are interleading and provide ideal accommodation for families with young children. Each suite has a shower, basin and air-conditioning. The shared deck provides welcome shade during hot summer days.
Activities at Karoo Lodge
Big 5 game drives
Consisting of 27,000 hectares covering 4 vegetation biomes and a variety of topographies, Samara offers a diverse safari, both from a landscape and wildlife perspective. Home to the 'Big Five' (lion, elephant, black rhino, buffalo and leopard), Samara offers twice-daily game drives to spot these charismatic creatures, as well as the multitude of other species that call the reserve home.
These include cheetah, giraffe and white rhino, as well as lesser-known desert-adapted species such as aardvark, bat-eared fox, meerkat, red hartebeest and springbok. The herds of black wildebeest, Cape mountain zebra and eland on the 'Samara Mara' - vast plateau grasslands rivalling the Serengeti for splendour - thrive amidst the spectacular scenery.
Birders are also catered for with over 225 species at Samara, including flocks of up to 200 endangered Blue Cranes in the winter months.
Family-owned and family-run, Samara places great emphasis on making all guests feel part of the Samara family. Samara is passionate about educating the next generation of conservationists and opening their eyes to the wonders of the wild.
Children of all ages are welcome at Samara. A dedicated children’s menu is available and special requests can be accommodated. Scheduled game drives with other guests at Karoo Lodge can only accommodate children aged 8 and older. Private vehicles to accommodate younger children can be arranged on request, depending on availability, and at extra cost. Shorter ‘bumble’ game drives and/or bush walks can also be organised during the middle of the day when other guests are not on drives.
The Samara Kids Programme caters exclusively to children and young teenagers. Qualified staff will take your brood off your hands and engage them in a variety of fun and educational activities whilst you relax and unwind. Activities include bush walks, spoor identification, rock painting like the San people, African crafts, orienteering and navigating, storytelling, sleep-outs (weather dependent).
When their parents are on a game drive or otherwise away from the lodges, children younger than 8 must be placed under the care of the experienced childminders available. They are encouraged to take part in ‘active babysitting’, involving activities such as short walks and playing outdoors. Babysitting for infants and toddlers is also available. The fee is R100 per hour, available all year round.
Milky Way Star Bed
What could be more romantic than curling up in your four-poster bed in a remote, secluded location, with only your loved one and the Milky Way for company?
Samara's raised tented platform on the Milk River provides a breathtaking romantic wilderness experience. Arrive at sunset for a picnic dinner and drinks. Watch as the local wildlife descend to the water to quench their thirst. Take in the spectacular views over the mountainous landscape, free of light and noise pollution. As the night sky develops, marvel at the Milky Way, pointing out different constellations with the aid of star books, before drifting off to sleep wrapped in a thick mohair blanket. Awaken to the big skies and birdsong of the Karoo as another beautiful day dawns in Africa.
The star bed platform comprises a bespoke handmade four-poster king sized bed with draped mosquito net. A small seating/dining area looks out over the river.
Terms and conditions apply. The star bed experience must be reserved at the time of booking. Weather-dependent.
Tracking wild cheetah on foot
One of the highlights of a stay at Samara is the opportunity to track wild cheetah on foot. Thanks to a number of habituated individuals, starting with the famous Sibella, Samara has been able to offer unrivalled wild cheetah viewing on foot to many years of Samara guests.
Several of Samara’s cheetahs have radio collars so that they can be tracked. This is essential given the type of terrain they live in – from hunting in the thicket adjoining the rivers to giving birth on steep mountain slopes. Depending on the vegetation, your Samara guide will also point out the signs of a cheetah’s presence – from tracks to dung to scratch marks on a tree trunk.
Samara is one of few private game reserves where walking forms an integral part of the safari experience. With fragile ecosystems and a ‘tread lightly’ policy, the preferred form of off-roading is on one's own two feet.
And what a way to explore the bush! Let Samara's experienced guides walk you through the four vegetation biomes, pointing out the signs of the wild invisible from the vehicle. Marvel at busy termites as they go about their daily business, listen out for the call of the Honeyguide leading you to wild honey and feel your senses heighten in every way as you navigate the sort of landscape our prehistoric ancestors dwelled in long ago.
Every tree, every rock and every track has a story to tell. Breathe in the silence and space so foreign to our everyday urban lives and feel yourself reconnecting to Nature. No one can fail to be moved by the sound of trickling water in a stream, the gentle whistling of the wind rustling the leaves, the sense of suspense and awe at walking to within metres of endangered cheetah and rhino.
If the conditions are right, you’ll get the opportunity to track these iconic animals on foot. What a privilege to enter their space and witness these animals living wild and free. An unforgettable and humbling experience awaits.
At Samara, the wealth of stunning landscapes positively begs to be the setting for a delicious meal, whether it be a well-earned breakfast buffet, light lunch in the shade of a shepherd tree or dinner under the stars. Aside from the beautiful locations, gourmet picnic food has a certain je-ne-sais-quoi that just epitomises holiday mode.
As well as dining on your lodge verandah or in the outdoors ‘boma’, a traditional reed enclosure at Karoo Lodge with a campfire at its centre, there are a myriad other dining options to enjoy at Samara. From a picnic lunch in the riverbed at the height of summer with cool water flowing past your toes, to the iconic mountain picnic experience on the Samara Mara, you’ll struggle to go back to dining in urban eateries.