EARTHY: A barn bedroom at Mountain Retreat.

l Set in a natural amphitheatre, KAROO LODGE combines colonial comforts with Mother Nature. Light and airy suites are situated in the main homestead, all opening out onto a veranda. A luxury en-suite bathroom and air conditioning come standard, and an extra bed can be added for families with a child. Centrally located, you can either head off for a game drive, or stay put and enjoy a pampering aromatherapy massage. Spacious Camdeboo Suites have enough space for two extra beds for families with children. Karoo Suites are private Karoo-styled cottages in the garden with a luxury en-suite bathroom, air con, fireplace and outdoor showers. Two air-conditioned Sibella Suites offer an en-suite shower and shared wooden deck overlooking a waterhole with abundant birdlife.

l Wild and remote, the solitude of Samara’s MOUNTAIN RETREAT gives you the opportunity to reconnect with nature. An exclusive-use venue accommodating up to 10 guests, there are three double en-suite bedrooms in the main homestead and two en-suite bedrooms in a beautifully restored Victorian barn. A wrap-around veranda is the perfect place for contemplation, while the homely living room’s fireplace and large dining room complete the indoor facilities. A generator provides the power. Guests can take walks with experienced rangers. Game drives are an optional extra. Pre-booking self-catering using a Build a Karoo Basket menu allows you to order home-cooked meals served in the dining-room and boma, or on the veranda. Read, eat, play chess or Scrabble, or simply absorb the beauty of the night sky under the Milky Way. A good spot for a family or friends wanting to escape the hustle and bustle of city living.

l The luxury MANOR HOUSE is for the exclusive use of eight guests. Mark and Sarah Tompkins built the Manor on the site of an old house with title deeds dating back to Lord Charles Somerset. This historic homestead offers views of the Karoo mountain landscape over a 21m infinity pool which descends into a game waterhole. Styling is inspired by designer John Zwiegelaar of John Jacob Interiors. Relax in four spacious air-conditioned suites with soft linen, large en-suite bathrooms with separate showers and free-standing baths. Unwind in the large comfy lounge where a crackling fire burns in the winter and large patio doors are open in summer. Dining experiences include boma, veranda, dining-room and breakfast room and various bush dining experiences. Fabulous services here include a personal ranger, chef and butler.


l Samara is 270km from Port Elizabeth, so unless you’re touring by car, it’s best to fly to Port Elizabeth and hire a car to get you to the reserve. - Cape Times