Worldwide campaign to raise awareness of the decimation of some of the country’s most recognised animal species and how Samara is working to help prevent this
Samara Private Game Reserve is a 70,000-acre reserve in the heart of the Great Karoo, near Graaff-Reinet, the fourth oldest town in South Africa. It is a place of history and magic and the endless blue skies and dusty plains of the semi-desert Karoo will ca
ptivate you. Fuel works with Samara to highlight their conservation work with endangered species such as cheetah, white rhino and the blue crane and raise awareness of the terrible rhino poaching that is currently decimating the species in southern Africa.
The Reserve itself is stunning, comprising 70000 acres of teeming wilderness populated by over 60 mammal species. Spot the endangered white rhino, cheetah, giraffe, a variety of antelope and bird species – and much more! Samara is home to four of South Africa’s seven biomes and the landscape is simply stunning. Take a step back in time by seeing prehistoric fossils and Bushman paintings, a reminder of the people and animals that once roamed this land.
Privileged to be home to the highly endangered Cheetah, Samara hosted a remarkable individual. Born a wild Cheetah, Sibella’s life nearly ended at the hands of hunters. After being savagely treated in captivity, she was fortunate enough to be rescued and underwent life-saving surgery and rehabilitation. In December 2003, Sibella started a new chapter in her life when she, along with two males, was released into Samara. Despite suffering the occasional twinge from her previous injuries, Sibella proved herself to be a capable hunter and successfully reared 18 cubs in the time she lived and roamed at Samara. As such, she epitomises the spirit of Samara as she played a vital role in the rejuvenation of a once endangered existence. This exceptional cat contributed to 2% of the wild Cheetah population in South Africa.
It has been estimated that the last wild Cheetah in the area was seen 125 years ago. Cheetahs were heavily hunted in the Great Karoo and Eastern Cape areas and the Samara Cheetahs made conservation history as the first to return to the area after 125 years.
Part of Sibella’s and Samara’s Cheetah conservation success is the fact that Samara is free of the predator competition found in Big Five reserves. Without the pressure of natural predators such as lion and spotted hyena, the Samara Cheetah populations have been able to thrive.
Samara works closely with the Endangered Wildlife Trust to ensure that this highly endangered species is given the best chance of survival. To this effect Samara swops its Cheetah populations with other reserves, thus ensuring that the gene pool is as wide as possible.