Wednesday 18 October 2023

Samara Karoo Reserve Recognised With Condé Nast Traveler’s 2023 Readers’ Choice Award

Samara Karoo Reserve, near Graaff-Reinet in the Eastern Cape’s Great Karoo region and home to the Big Five, over 60 mammal species and 225 bird species, was recognised in the Top 15 Resorts in South Africa.

The Readers' Choice Awards, with their unparalleled legacy as the travel industry's longest running and most prestigious accolades, remain the ultimate symbol and acknowledgment of excellence within the travel sector.

This year an astounding 526,518 Condé Nast Traveler readers globally shared their travel knowledge of the top hotels, cruises, countries, cities, resorts, trains, airlines, airports, spas, islands, luggage, villas, and tour operators.

“We are thrilled at being honoured with this prestigious award”, says Isabelle Tompkins of Samara. “Every guest that stays with us is integral to our ongoing journey to conserve and celebrate the beauty and biodiversity of the Karoo. This accolade is a testament to the power of tourism with purpose and safari with soul.”

Born in 1997 of an ambitious vision to rewild 67,000 acres of former farmland, Samara Karoo Reserve is now one of South Africa’s most diverse safari destinations. Its responsible tourism model focuses on slow and meaningful safari encounters that inspire a deep connection with the wild spaces of the Great Karoo. Three intimate luxury lodges welcome discerning nature-lovers for exceptional wilderness and wildlife experiences in one of the lowest guest-to-land ratios in Africa.

At the heart of every guest’s stay is a showcase of what makes the Karoo so special, from the quintessentially warm hospitality displayed by the Samara team to the Karoo menu of locally sourced and regeneratively farmed produce, not to mention the vast, soulful landscapes that linger in the mind long after leaving. Alongside the usual Big Five game drives and guided bush walks, guests can explore the Karoo’s rich history on a fossil tour, sleep out in a star bed under the celebrated Karoo night skies and track Samara’s most famous predator – the cheetah – on foot.

“We are proud to represent the Karoo on the global stage and encourage others to visit this special place," concludes Tompkins.

The 2023 Readers' Choice Awards are published in full on Condé Nast Traveler's website at


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