Did you know?
Sibella the cheetah has contributed 2% to South Africa's wild cheetah population.
Samara Private Game Reserve nestles amongst 28 000ha of achingly beautiful wilderness in a hidden valley deep in the Karoo desert of the Eastern Cape.
Your first impressions will be of vast spaces and overwhelming quiet. However, when you go tracking cheetahs on foot at Samara, you’ll discover that this part of the Karoo is also home to an abundance of wildlife, including Samara's iconic cheetahs.
The first cheetah to come here was Sibella, almost dead at the hands of hunters and then confined in brutal captivity. She was rescued, survived life-saving surgery and was rehabilitated at the famous Ann van Dyk Cheetah Centre (formerly known as the De Wildt Cheetah and Wildlife Trust).
Released along with two males at Samara in 2003, Sibella has has never looked back. She has successfully raised 20 cubs and become a much-loved and admired Samara institution. You will probably see Sibella and some of her offspring when you go tracking cheetahs at Samara.
Samara Game Reserve works closely with the Endangered Wildlife Trust to make sure that the endangered cheetah species will continue to survive. So that the gene pool is kept healthy, Samara swops its cheetahs with other reserves.
An interesting innovation in tracking was the CyberTracker. Not intended to replace ancient human tracking skills, it merely complements them. A Tracker Academy has been launched at Samara Game Reserve, and with the help of the CyberTracker, master tracker Karel Benadie was able to impart his exceptional tracking skills to the next generation.
Your day of tracking cheetahs begins at dawn. After coffee and muffins, you climb into a game vehicle to drive to where cheetahs were last seen. Then it's on foot with a tracker and the hunt begins. So keep your eyes open and your senses honed.