It’s been (just over) 100 days since Marnus Ochse re-joined the Samara Team as General Manager, and he has been hard at work ever since building and improving the Samara experience. So, what has changed with Marnus at the helm? Read on to find out in this presidential-style roundup.
I’m excited to share with you my 100-day report – read on for all our exciting changes! – Marnus
1. Room renovations
We recently did a soft refurb on one of the Karoo Suite cottages at Karoo Lodge. The upholstery was updated with new, vibrant fabrics and classic Nguni skin rugs.
The new look lends a cosy feel to the suite as the eye is drawn out to the verandah and the mountain views beyond.
Imagine relaxing here with a nightcap in hand as you gaze at the famous Karoo stars. Bliss…
2. New Karoo menus
Working with Samara’s talented chefs, most of whom hail from the local area and have a knack for heartwarming Karoo cuisine, my wife Anneke and I have redesigned Samara’s menus to focus on our unique Karoo heritage using locally-sourced ingredients.
This new take on the Karoo Kitchen is full of old classics with a Karoo twist, South African delicacies and homemade favourites which are guaranteed to leave you wanting more!
Exhibit A – our Karoo-style Eggs Benedict on homemade roosterkoek bread. They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and in my opinion it can also be the most delicious!
The perfect antidote to those post-game drive hunger pangs.
3. Improved access
In case you missed last week’s newsflash, Samara is now easier to get to than ever (though I perhaps can’t take all the credit on this one…). A daily 60-minute scheduled flight to Graaff-Reinet from Plettenberg Bay creates the ideal beach-to-bush link, and a helicopter service in Graaff-Reinet offers transfers to Samara from the town which last just 15 minutes. Read all about it here.
4. A new twist on the Samara Mara picnic
In association with FlyKaroo Air Services, Samara now offers a luxurious and adrenaline-filled twist on our classic Samara Mara picnic. Instead of driving up Wolwekloof to get to the otherwordly landscape that is the Samara Mara, you’ll hop into FlyKaroo’s modern helicopter.
Once airborne, you’ll take a scenic flight over Samara’s tens of thousands of acres of wilderness…
… before being deposited atop the mountain plateau where your ranger awaits you. A quick walk or drive will lead you towards a picnic site that looks like it has been plucked from a movie setting.
Soak in the view, toast your loved ones and dig in to a delicious picnic. This experience is particularly well suited to a honeymoon or proposal. Find out more here.
5. Mountain biking trails
For the adventurous amongst our guests, I have created 4 mountain biking trails that take you through the property’s 4 vegetation biomes. Two guided routes provide opportunities for game viewing from the saddle. The first includes the iconic Samara Mara and is for experienced riders, while the second meanders through the Milk River thicket and provides a gentler ride.
Two non-guided routes allow those who want to get out and about in the vast Karoo wilderness to do so in an area without dangerous game. The Vulture Mountain cycle route will give you a serious workout, whilst the Wild Olive Grove route is perfect for a leisurely ride.
At this stage Samara cannot provide bikes, so if you are interested in venturing out on these trails you will have to bring your own equipment. Make sure to flag your interest when you book!
So it has been a productive 100 days for Marnus and the team… We look forward to the next 100 days, and hope you’ll join us to experience Samara for yourself.
Samara Private Game Reserve is a luxury 5-star destination with a passionate conservation mission set within breathtaking wilderness. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus or Instagram, or click here to start planning your stay with us today. A safari for the soul.