vervet monkey diet

Can I eat this?

Although vervets are born not needing much encouragement to drink their mother’s milk, they spend a good deal of their juvenile period learning what they can and cannot eat. Hanging out with mum and their older siblings gives them opportunities to witness what others are eating and learn to eat it as well. Different vervet…

Image (C) OranjeSafari.nl

The Big Five – an outdated concept?

It’s almost impossible to go on an African safari without hearing mention of the ‘Big Five’. This nickname denotes the animals traditionally seen as the most desirable to spot on a game drive: Lion, Elephant, Black Rhino, Leopard and Cape Buffalo. There’s no denying that the Big Five are impressive: each is an African icon…

scan00111

The Samara Story: 19 years of restoration

We recently celebrated an important birthday. Wednesday 9th November marked 19 years since the Tompkins family bought the first farm that would form the nucleus of Samara, and 11 years since our flagship Karoo Lodge welcomed its first guests. The Samara project has advanced in leaps and bounds since then, so to celebrate, here are…

Samara Private Game Reserve

Can I borrow that?

Our vervets are at the start of their birth season, and we’ve already seen 11 babies born over the last three weeks! It’s so exciting to see the females with new babies, so much so that we are going into the field an extra day a week to see if we have any new additions…

Image Credit: South African Tourism

Five Things to Do in Graaff-Reinet

Driving into the sleepy town of Graaff-Reinet, known as the Gem of the Karoo, is like taking a step back in time. The main road is lined with small businesses, coffee shops and art galleries, and is wide enough for two oxwagons to pass by one another. Established in 1786, it is the 4th oldest…

lucy-with-baby

The birth season has started!

Spring has sprung and we are happy to tell you all we have our first newborn baby monkey. We were all very excited last Tuesday to see the new baby. They babies are born with little pink wrinkly faces and black fur and so are very different from the adults. Our first monkey mother of…

tracking-temperature-with-balls-and-trees2

Tracking Temperature with Balls and Trees

As anyone who has visited the karoo in winter knows, it can be quite chilly one day and rather warm the next. This presents a unique obstacle to our vervets who have to deal with constantly varying temperatures. Along with monitoring how the vervets make friends who help keep them warm and observing how they…