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Samara recognised by Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards 2023

By Samara on October 3, 2023
South Africa's unique Karoo region highlighted on the world stage as Samara wins prestigious hotel award.

Condé Nast Traveler today announced the results of its annual Readers’ Choice Awards. Samara Karoo Reserve, near Graaff-Reinet in the Eastern Cape’s Great Karoo region and home to the Big Five, over 60 mammal species and 225 bird species, was recognised in the Top 15 Resorts in South Africa.

The Readers’ Choice Awards, with their unparalleled legacy as the travel industry’s longest-running and most prestigious accolades, remain the ultimate symbol and acknowledgment of excellence within the travel sector.

This year, an astounding 526,518 Condé Nast Traveler readers globally shared their travel knowledge of the top hotels, cruises, countries, cities, resorts, trains, airlines, airports, spas, islands, luggage, villas, and tour operators.

We are thrilled at being honoured with this prestigious award”, says Isabelle Tompkins of Samara. “Every guest that stays with us is integral to our ongoing journey to conserve and celebrate the beauty and biodiversity of the Karoo. This accolade is a testament to the power of tourism with purpose and safari with soul. Thank you to all of our guests who voted for us.”

Born in 1997 of an ambitious vision to rewild 67,000 acres of former farmland, Samara Karoo Reserve is now one of South Africa’s most diverse safari destinations. Samara espouses a responsible tourism model focusing on slow and meaningful safari encounters that inspire a deep connection with the wild spaces of the Great Karoo. Three intimate luxury lodges welcome discerning nature-lovers for exceptional wilderness and wildlife experiences in one of the lowest guest-to-land ratios in Africa.

At the heart of every guest’s stay is a showcase of what makes the Karoo so special, from the quintessentially warm hospitality displayed by the Samara team to the Karoo menu of locally-sourced and regeneratively-farmed produce, not to mention the vast, soulful landscapes that linger in the mind long after leaving. Alongside the usual Big Five game drives and guided bush walks, guests can explore the Karoo’s rich history on a fossil tour, sleep out in a star bed under the celebrated Karoo night skies and track Samara’s most famous predator – the cheetah – on foot.

We are so proud to represent the Karoo on the global stage and encourage others to visit this special place.


The 2023 Readers’ Choice Awards are published in full on Condé Nast Traveler‘s website here.

The list of Top 15 Resorts in South Africa is as follows: #1 Londolozi Game Reserve, #2 Ulusaba Private Game Reserve, #3 Molori Safari Lodge, #4 Lion Sands Game Reserve, #5 andBeyond Phinda Private Game Reserve, #6 Grootbos Private Nature Reserve, #7 Lepogo Lodges, Noka Camp, #8 Morukuru Family, Madikwe Game Reserve, #9 Kapama Karula, #10 Morukuru Family, De Hoop Reserve, #11 Samara, #12 Tswalu Kalahari, #13 andBeyond Ngala Safari Lodge & Tented Camp, #14 Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve & Wellness Retreat and #15 Marataba Luxury Lodges.

Samara Karoo Reserve is a leading conservation journey to restore 67,000 acres of South Africa’s Great Karoo landscape and beyond through rewilding and responsible tourism. Staying at one of Samara’s lodges acts as a direct contribution to this vision.

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