Conservation is Samara’s raison-d’être. The reserve was born out of a conservation vision to restore and rewild a unique part of South Africa – a region that once witnessed the most impressive land-based migration on Earth, the springbok migration. Consulting expert ecologists throughout the land acquisition process, Samara’s founders sought to secure key conservation territory for maximum environmental impact. 67,000 acres later, Samara exhibits an astonishing diversity of topographies, ecosystems and wildlife, contributing to conservation on a regional, national and global scale.
The reserve falls into the western section of the Maputaland-Pondoland-Albany Thicket Global Biodiversity Hotspot, as designated by the Critical Ecosystems Partnership Fund, containing 15 endemic vegetation types. Nationally, Samara helps to conserve three under-represented biomes (Nama Karoo, sub-tropical thicket and grasslands) and sits within a SANParks priority area for grasslands conservation. Regionally, Samara forms the key stepping-stone in a project to link the Mountain Zebra, Camdeboo and Addo Elephant National Parks with private land in an ecological corridor covering 3 million acres.
An ambitious programme of wildlife reintroduction has brought previously-extirpated species and the ecosystem processes they generate back into the Great Karoo region, including the first cheetah, lion, elephant and black rhinoceros in over 100 years. Samara’s cheetah conservation programme has been particularly successful, with dozens of progenies of the founder group going on to populate reserves and national parks across sub-Saharan Africa. Other endangered species that thrive at Samara include the Cape mountain zebra and the blue crane, South Africa’s national bird.
Ongoing land rehabilitation projects employ local SMMEs for soil erosion control, alien vegetation eradication and reforestation using Spekboom, a plant that acts as an excellent carbon sequestrator, whilst an active research programme monitors and evaluates the impact of conservation decision-making on the landscape and its inhabitants.
Active conservation participation
Every guest that stays at Samara embarks on a holiday with purpose. You help us to achieve our conservation vision simply by choosing to support us.
For those who want to delve a little deeper, we also offer active participation in our various conservation projects.
To understand how a game reserve truly operates behind the scenes, we offer hands-on conservation sessions and personalised tours of our rewilding projects. These can be pre-booked at the time of reservation, or you can opt for our Conservation Journey package – a thoughtfully-crafted itinerary that enables participants to develop a meaningful understanding of Samara’s conservation efforts, without compromising on 5-star comforts.
Through our membership of The Long Run, we will strengthen our commitment to conservation by internalising sustainability into our conservation programmes, operations and decision-making. Conservation is not just about biodiversity and ecosystem services, but also encompasses the management of energy, water, waste and carbon impacts. As we embark on this journey of continuous improvement, we look forward to sharing our experiences with you.