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In it for The Long Run

By Samara on September 12, 2020
We are delighted to announce our acceptance as a Fellow Member of The Long Run, a collection of the world's most sustainable travel businesses.

Collectively, The Long Run members help to conserve over 21 million acres of biodiversity, celebrating 120 different cultures and improving the lives of 750,000 people. By joining this movement, we have committed to a continuous journey of improvement towards excellence in sustainability by achieving a balance in the 4Cs – Conservation, Community, Culture & Commerce.

Our ultimate goal is to achieve the status of a Global Ecosphere Retreat, one of the world’s highest standards for privately protected areas.

For us, it’s the natural next step in Samara’s story, aligning our vision and values with like-minded businesses acting for a greater purpose. It is our hope that the recovery of tourism post-COVID will be founded on responsible, ethical and indeed regenerative experiences that benefit their local spheres of influence.

In pursuit of this objective, wherever in the world you decide to travel to next, consider making one of The Long Run members your destination, for a transformative holiday that also protects people and planet.

Kids on a bush walk at Samara Private Game Reserve, Great Karoo, South Africa

Read more about Samara below

Samara Private Game Reserve is a 67,000-acre conservation passion project located in the Great Karoo, South Africa’s vast heartland. Founded in 1997 by Mark and Sarah Tompkins, Samara has pioneered land-use change in the region, painstakingly restoring 11 former livestock farms into a born-again wilderness. Today, Samara is run by two generations of the Tompkins family, whose ultimate vision is to expand the conservation ethic beyond the reserve’s boundaries, working with local stakeholders to create a 3-million-acre conservation landscape.

Samara is extraordinarily diverse, representing five of South Africa’s nine vegetation biomes in a semi-arid Global Biodiversity Hotspot. Seventy mammal species and 225 bird species roam the reserve, including the first cheetah, lion, elephant and black rhinoceros reintroduced into the area in over a century. Samara actively engages in rehabilitating degraded landscapes, managing water catchments and regenerating carbon sinks, all the while functioning as a ‘living laboratory’ for researchers from around the world.

Accompanying this conservation commitment is a strong sense of social responsibility. Having launched an ecotourism venture in 2005, Samara now provides employment for 70 people, 76% of whom are from the local community, and organises an annual sports tournament for 700 youth. The reserve also functions as a training site for the Tracker Academy, an NGO that trains 16 students per year in the preservation of indigenous knowledge.

Just 26 guests at a time are invited to join Samara’s ongoing journey, with an emphasis on active participation in Samara’s projects. Accordingly, as well as the usual safari game drives, bush walks and wilderness picnics, Samara offers hands-on conservation sessions, personalised tours of rewilding projects and immersive experiences such as fly camping.


Samara Private Game Reserve is a pioneering conservation journey to regenerate South Africa’s Great Karoo landscape through rewilding & responsible tourism. Join us on 67,000 acres of heart-stoppingly beautiful born-again wilderness and follow our journey on Instagram.

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