Despite its feeling of remoteness, Samara is easily accessible by air and by road. The closest main airport is Port Elizabeth, which is serviced daily with flights to/from Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban. International guests traveling directly to Samara will need to fly into Johannesburg or Cape Town from abroad before transferring to Port Elizabeth on a local flight.
Once in Port Elizabeth, guests can rent a car and self-drive to Samara or be collected by our recommended transfer company in an air-conditioned vehicle. Car hire is available at the airport. The car does not have to be a 4×4 although a high clearance vehicle is preferable if available.
The journey takes 2.5 hours to Samara’s main entrance gate, with a further 15-18.4 km on an unpaved dirt road (distance dependent on which lodge you are driving to). This is a government road with some corrugation and potholes, especially after rain, and it is necessary to drive slowly on this section.
We can also help to arrange private transfers from/to other destinations. Many of our guests visit Samara as part of a wider itinerary including the Cape Winelands, Garden Route or other Eastern Cape game reserves.
A gate code will be provided in your pre-arrival communications. Please call Reception on +27 (0)49 8910 880 or +27 (0)49 940 0059 once you reach the first gate to tell us that you are on the reserve. You will lose cellphone reception shortly after the first gate.
Travel time to Samara entrance gate by road:
Should you want to fly directly into the Karoo, there are several options available. Samara has a 1.5km gravel airstrip for direct air access to the reserve in a charter plane. Charter flights can be arranged on request from destinations across South Africa. The airstrip is a 20 minute drive from the lodges.
The nearby town of Graaff-Reinet has a 1.5km tarred runway with landing lights which can accommodate a Gulf Stream jet. Transfers can then be made to Samara by helicopter (15 min) or by road (60 min).
Travel time to Samara by air:
Samara is the first private game reserve to partner with what3words, a global addressing system seeking to revolutionise the way we think about location.
what3words has divided the world into a grid of 3m x 3m squares and assigned each one a unique 3 word address, which means everyone, everywhere and everything now has an address and is easy to find – even the middle of the Karoo!
Search for Samara on what3words – the 3 word address for our front gate is ///rosters.plots.famous – much easier to remember than GPS coordinates!
Samara is ideally situated within driving distance of two of South Africa’s most renowned attractions: the Garden Route and the Cape Winelands, and within the country’s serene and beautiful heartland, the Karoo. Why not explore our beautiful country at your own pace by taking a roadtrip?
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