Reviews of Samara Karoo Lodge
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Samara Karoo Lodge review
We were surprised to find that there was a locked gate with electronic code on the public road to Samara. You are instructed to call ahead to your accommodation to get the code; this assumes all guests have mobile phones which work in South Africa. Ours didn’t (and we subsequently found out that the signal is generally poor in the area) so we were stuck until another vehicle whose driver knew the code came along. It would be helpful for future visitors if Expert Africa could inform them of the code in advance.
Our room was comfortable, staff friendly and the food we had was good. However in spite of confirming they knew of Jane’s cheese allergy there was no attempt to provide any alternatives to dishes containing cheese which we thought disappointing. Grounds were well maintained and the pool looked inviting.
Jan was a good guide who we concluded must be part gazelle the way he scrambled up and down kopjes trying to track cheetah! We didn’t get to see any cheetah but we did have an excellent sighting of black rhino, though why a male rhino is named Beatrice is a mystery! A trip up the mountain provided some lovely views and new species of antelope but the drive up is very steep and close to the edge at some points. We had planned to go out late one evening in search of aardvark but in the end we had heavy rain that day and agreed to cancel it.
Great Safari at Samara Karoo Lodge
This was our second safari experience and we enjoyed the variations from our first. The game and landscape are very different in the Karoo. When the ranger was happy we could get out of the vehicle and go on foot. Seeing cheetah close up on foot was an unforgettable experience. Wildlife very diverse and interesting. Our ranger Tendi was another very knowledgeable guide.
We also enjoyed the fact that it is a small game lodge and the location with spectacular views from our "lodge" difficult to beat.
We realised after moving in, that due to a lapse our room had not been cleaned but this was quickly sorted out by the manager.
We would have appreciated advance warning we were expected to pay a conservation/volunteer fee, albeit a modest amount.
The food was excellent. Overall a wonderful experience.
Samara Private Game Reserve review
Very friendly, we liked the fact it was small so few other people there. Beautiful setting, well away from the rest of the world. Room was great, food excellent and plenty of local wildlife to interest us.
The weather was poor and we were telephoned by the lodge when we arrived in PE to advise not to travel up that day. We appreciated their thought and it was the right call.
Having arrived in the reserve we had a burst tyre. The Lodge managers organised a replacement and took all the hassle out of the problem.
Samara Sensational Scenery
After the long drive from Cape Town Semara came as a revelation. Set in an amphitheatre of mountains, the old farmhouse and surrounding cottages provide breathtaking scenery every time one steps out of the door. We had sun and clear visibility which allowed us to see the mountains in great detail.
The staff, rooms and facilities in the main lodge are simply wonderful. As a place to spend time in the high veldt it must be approaching the unbeatable. It is however a huge reserve and the animals seem both elusive and nervous. The same is true of the birds which while numerous rarely seem willing to be approached even by vehicle. This is not so in any camp we have visited in Botswana or indeed in Kwandwe which was our next stop.
It almost seems as if hunting is still going on in the reserve and making all the wildlife very nervous of any approaching vehicle. Taken to the top of one of the local mountains we were faced with yet another fantastic film set where the clear visibility allowed us to see mountains reportedly over 100 miles away. We walked to see cheetah but the penalty was the nerve jangling cold - it had been -2C at the lodge that morning!
A wonderful place to visit but not yet a top reserve for game or bird viewing.