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Exploring Africa Since 1688

Monday, April 27, 2009

The Manor at Samara Game Reserve, voted Conde Nast Traveller UK Hotspot

Newsflash: One of our favorite lodges, The Manor at Mark and Sarah Tompkins's 28,000-hectare Samara Private Game Reserve, was just voted onto the Conde Naste Traveller UK's Hot Spots 2009 list. That's an addition to an already healthy list of accolades including: Top 101 Hotels in the World - Tatler (UK) December 2006, The Top 50 Romantic Destinations - Travel and Leisure USA February 2006, Harper’s Bazaar - The 15 greatest safari experiences in Africa, March 2008 (to name a few) .

The Manor at Samara is for the exclusive use of up to 8 guests in luxury, air- conditioned en suite rooms with views over an extraordinary Karoo mountain landscape.

Congratulations Samara!

Read about it at Conde Naste Traveller or the transcript below.

The Manor, South Africa

When you first drive onto Mark and Sarah Tompkins's 28,000-hectare Samara Private Game Reserve (once 11 farms) in the Great Karoo, your heart sinks a little. There's a lot of scrub, and seemingly little else. But once you enter this house, with four en-suite bedrooms, your spirits lift. Looking out from the cool verandahs of the former farmhouse, the mountains rise dramatically, the horizon stretches forever, the pool scattered with purple jacaranda blooms seems impossible to resist. By the end of day one you're smitten, thanks to the views from clifftops over the Camdeboo plains, the sunset skies washed with delicate oranges and streaked with violent reds, and the mountaintop grasslands dotted with Burchell's zebra. As well as the reserve's game - all sorts of antelope, giraffe, rhino and cheetah (which can be tracked using GPS and are habituated enough to walk right up to) - highlights include 500-year-old Shepherd trees, the land
scape and the manor's restful, pale interiors, designed by local star John Zwiegelaar of John Jacob Interiors. Meals are prepared with obvious passion by self-taught Iris Adams (whose recipes are stored in her head), one of 70 reserve staff hired locally.

WHEN TO GO April-May; September-November.
ROOM TO BOOK One of the rooms with French doors opening onto the veranda.
The Manor: The Manor sleeps eight

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