Samara Private Game Reserve, my return visit. (Part 2)

I was rather stunned to find that the birdbath in front of reception had “vanished”.
It transpired that the buffalo herd had discovered it and
had tried to use it as a watering hole.
It had been designed for small, light feathered creatures
and not large bovines.
Buffalo,1…Birdbath, 0
Due to the lack of grazing in the area, the buffalo had headed for higher ground
and the birds had found other places to bathe and drink in.


Wandering around the verandah of the main lodge,
I came across these three milk urns.
I wondered what their back story might be.
Pre-game drive tea/ lunch is often served here…
weather permitting.


This is where the game drives depart from and return to.
On the cupboard on the left is a bowl of warm water and some towels…
 handy for getting rid of the dust at the end of a drive.
The view from this pair of chairs will keep visitors enthralled
 while they await the arrival of their ranger and his vehicle.


If the weather plays along, then meals can be enjoyed outside,
rather than in the dining room.
My wife enjoys a moment of quiet contemplation
before we headed off to see if we could find Cheetah and the ever elusive Aardvark.
During our 3 day stay we did manage to find the former,
the latter remained elusive and is therefore still on my “I-don’t-believe-they-exist” list…
together with Pangolin.


Not all the accommodation is in the main building…
There are 3 stand alone cottages, situated a short walk from the lodge.


Hidden by vegetation, they offer peace and solitude to those who stay in them.
And the views from their verandahs is superb.


I am told that this “slave bell” is purely for decoration.
Certainly during both my visits, I never heard it ring.
The cottage in the background is one of those offered to guests
who “want to be alone”.
In the dying rays of the early evening sun,
my wife enjoys a glass of wine while close by we can hear the sound of Zebra
 and Black Wildebeeste.
There is nothing quite like an African sunset.
And especially in the Karoo, where the sky seems to stretch further than the horizon.
Special moments to be shared with special people.
Back at the lodge…


Karoo Lodge as seen in the fading light…

Before going through to dinner,
guests can relax in the lounge…

Or in the adjacent bar area.
Each of the rooms in the public spaces have fireplaces.

The table décor is simple but adequate.
I get confused when there is a plethora of cutlery on a table.
If you are in the Karoo, then you HAVE to have the lamb.
As a result of their diet, the meat is the most succulent and tasty on offer.
I was almost prepared to forego dessert in order to have seconds!


Bush TV…
There is something hypnotic about a fire.


I was thinking that perhaps these crystal balls would offer
a glimpse as to what we might see on the next game drive.
Turns out, they were table decorations!


Almost time to switch off the light and enjoy a restful night.
This is the review that my wife wrote on Trip advisor:
“Samara is very special. We stayed in the beautiful old farmhouse (Karoo Lodge) that has 4 spacious bedrooms and a wrap around veranda. Beautiful mountain views and scenery that is hauntingly beautiful. The vegetation is different from the other game reserves (such as Kruger Park, Madikwe etc). The game viewing is not typical of safaris, sometimes guests will need to drive all the way up to the top of the surrounding mountains to see herds of mountain zebra, gemsbok, wildebeest and so forth. Cheetah tracking was fun and its the luck of the draw that you come across these beautiful creatures. We found one on our 3rd day , thank to the perseverance of our ranger Jan.
Cheetah were last seen over 125 years ago and by reintroducing them, they seem to have flourished.
Samara is not recommended for those who want to see the BIG 5 , rather this is for seasoned safari travellers who have been there and done it, and just want a different experience. 
I just loved Samara.The staff are truly incredible warm and friendly . 
The food is simple and delicious, and it is truly a balm for the tired soul.
It is a 3 hour drive from Port Elizabeth and at least 3 nights is advised.
 I look forward to returning to see what else has been achieved. The land was bought 20 years ago and 11 farms taken down , and all the foreign vegetation and fences were removed.
The land was allowed to rest for 10 years for the natural vegetation to grow back . A definite must do for those who love nature and to see what can be given back to the land and the community” .
To find out more about what this property has to offer,
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