DATES WILL BE RELEASED SOON

The Great Karoo

Africa’s
Flourishing Savannah

Rewilding the African savannah with Sarah and Isabelle Tompkins in the Great Karoo

Gain unprecedented access to the conservation pioneers rewilding South Africa’s Great Karoo.

The journey sees you tracking lions, engaging firsthand with the cheetah reintroduction programme and learning from South Africa’s greatest conservation pioneers.

What to expect

A breathtakingly beautiful semi-desert region that until the 18th century had been home to the largest land-based migration on Earth: the springbok migration. It remains an awe-inspiring place where, immersed in a luxury lodge in the great savannah, you will discover the innovative rewilding programme undertaken by this steadfast mother-daughter team, to bring the wild back to the Great Karoo. The reserve comprises five of South Africa’s nine vegetation biomes and is located in one of 36 Global Biodiversity Hotspots, which is why the Camdeboo region is loosely translated from San language as Place of the Green Hills. In talks and workshops with South Africa’s leading wildlife biologists and scientists you will gain greater knowledge of the ecological significance of the land and the species that inhabit it. Combining habitat restoration, species reintroduction and community programmes, they are tackling three integral areas of the climate crisis; biodiversity, carbon and education. A truly exemplary destination where a thriving, self-sustained ecosystem is possible.

Conservation Impact

Once a thriving, biodiverse ecosystem of grasslands, South Africa's Great Karoo was roamed by epic herds of migrating Springbok and the mighty Cape Lion, before losing most of its wildlife to farming, fences and firearms. In 1997, Joburg-born Sarah and husband Mark Tompkins began their mission to restore the land to its former glory and magic and founded private game reserve, Samara Karoo. The Tompkins have since regenerated 67,000 acres of wilderness, and engaged in an ambitious programme of animal reintroduction, including the first wild cheetah back in the region in 125 years, the first elephants in over a century and, most recently, the first lions in 180 years. Samara's guests not only play a vital role in safeguarding the extraordinary landscape, but will leave truly empowered by the healing energy of nature.

Your Hosts

Mother-daughter team, Sarah and Isabelle Tompkins, are dedicated to protecting the Great Karoo and reintroducing species to their 67,000 acres of restored and protected land, with the aim to expand this to 3 million acres in the near future.

YOUR HOSTS

MEET YOUR HOSTS:
SARAH AND ISABELLE TOMPKINS

Two generations of Tompkins family running Samara 
Bought the first of now 11 farms in 1997, Monkey Valley
Donated their land to Africa’s first ‘Tracker Academy’

Mother-daughter team, Sarah and Isabelle Tompkins, are dedicated to protecting the Great Karoo and reintroducing species to their 67,000 acres of restored and protected land, with the aim to expand this to 3 million acres in the near future.

Originally from Johannesburg, Sarah and husband Mark Tompkins had known the Great Karoo as a desolate place that had lost all its wild beauty and abundant wildlife. In 1997, the Tompkins visited Monkey Valley farm and fell in love with its green and lush landscape following the recent rains. The couple decided to buy it, removed fencing and livestock and let the land recover for a few years before turning it into their rewilding passion project.

Today, 24 years later, Sarah runs the reserve with daughter Isabelle, who has inherited her parents’ drive to expand and protect the beautiful, semi-arid lands of the Great Karoo and holds the belief that humans should be “a part of nature, not apart from it”.

A GLOBALLY UNIQUE PERSPECTIVE
ON CONSERVATION IN ACTION

DETAILS

PRICE ON REQUEST 
Based on two people sharing
Small group experience
Limited to FOURTEEN guests

INCLUDED

OVERNIGHT IN CAPE TOWN
AIRPORT TRANSFERS
DOMESTIC CHARTER FLIGHTS
FULL BOARD THROUGHOUT
PRIVATE LODGE ON THE RESERVE
DAILY GAME DRIVES
EXTRAORDINARY TALKS BY LOCAL CONSERVATIONISTS
ENGAGEMENT WITH WILDLIFE SCIENTISTS

DATES

DATES RELEASED SOON
Limited availability
Travel subject to application

At a Glance: Samara
The Great Karoo

67,000

acres of restored wilderness, with the wider goal to restore three million acres

Up to 10

tonnes of carbon sequestered per hectare of Spekboom

17

mammal species reintroduced to the reserve since 1997

OUR FOCUS - The Great Karoo

Once a thriving, biodiverse ecosystem of grasslands, thicket, savannah, forest and Nama Karoo plains, South Africa’s Great Karoo was periodically roamed by epic herds of migrating Springbok and the mighty Cape Lion, before losing most of its wildlife to farming, fences and firearms. In 1997, The Tompkins founded Samara Karoo Reserve began their mission to restore the land to its former glory by regenerating the landscape and are engaging in an ambitious programme of animal reintroduction, including the first wild cheetah in 130 years, the first black rhinoceros and first elephants in 150 years and, most recently, the first lions in 180 years. Samara’s guests not only play a vital role in safeguarding the extraordinary landscape, but will leave truly empowered by the healing energy of nature and the impact of their visit on the ground.

The Field Report