While our Lodge staff focus on the exclusivity and luxury of the safari experience, Samara has a much wider vision of its future. With 70 000 acres at its disposal, Samara has space for everyone and its owners, Sarah and Mark Tompkins, are more than aware of the social, as well as ecological importance of their property.
Made up of 11 farms, Samara forms an essential part of the area’s heritage, and as such plays an important role within the local community. Not only are 90% of the staff from Graaff-Reinet and surrounds, but children from previously disadvantaged backgrounds are regularly invited to explore Samara. In association with the Mayor of Graaff-Reinet, educational visits are arranged for local schools, during which time the children experience the magic of the wilderness and learn about South Africa’s growing eco-tourism industry.
Samara encourages all its visitors to participate in these worthwhile causes. Pack for a Purpose is one such way. We are collecting books and DVDs on birds, wildlife, flora, fauna, etc. for our Tracker Academy and the Student Volunteers, as well as books, pencils, soccer balls etc. for the previously disadvantaged schoolchildren in Graaff-Reinet.
Conservation also means acknowledging the people who have lived in this area for generations. The majority of Samara staff are employed from the local community.
We have developed a relationship with the Vuyani Safe Haven in Graaff-Reinet, which cares for girls and boys up to the age of 14 who cannot live at home or who have been removed from their parents by the Courts or social workers. We organise environmental days for the children at Samara, and volunteers are also welcome to donate any new or used clothing, stationery, cash, etc. to the Haven. Visit their website at http://vuyanisafehaven.co.za/
Samara Private Game Reserve, Petersburg Road, off the R63 to Pearston, near Graaff-Reinet, Eastern Cape, 6280
Photos courtesy of Etienne Ooshuizen, Marolien Marais, Dook, Joy Bromilow as well as Samara Private Game Reserve Guests and Staff. Copyright Applies.