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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…

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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…

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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…

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Good news in time for #WorldRhinoDay

In a world of sensationalist headlines and predictions of doom and gloom, it is refreshing to hear some good news for a change! This is particularly so in the ongoing fight against the rhino poaching crisis that has gripped South Africa since 2008. Recent statistics have shown a drop in the rate of rhino poaching…

Sibella with Chili & Pepper in 2012. Photo by Marnus Ochse

Remembering Sibella

This time last year, we shared with you the devastating news that Sibella had passed away during an altercation with a duiker. An incredibly special wild cheetah, she was a true ambassador for conservation whose story ‘From Tortured to Treasured’ has been told countless times around the world. One year on, her legacy continues at…

Pepper, photographed by Tendai Moyo

Cheetah Conservation Behind the Scenes

As part of our commitment to conservation best-practice, Samara works with the Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) on their South African Cheetah Metapopulation Project. This programme seeks to ensure the long-term viability of this iconic Big Cat by managing cheetah populations within a sound ecological framework, particularly amongst small fenced reserves. As part of this programme,…

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Slithering Weather

After some much-needed rain, Samara had an unusually warm couple of days for winter at the end of this week. And around here you can tell it’s warm when the snakes come out. Since they are cold-blooded, snakes spend most of the winter months more or less out of the way of the vervets and…