I took a vacation to Samara without my kids and here is why I don’t regret it.


I was hosted by Samara Game Reserve in exchange for my review.

I have been married for 8 years (not that long but long if you know what I mean). One of the things that helps my husband and I reconnect is traveling together. We are both entrepreneurs with hectic schedules so even though we are together all the time – we are often apart. I know that it sounds crazy – but it is different because recently all our communication seems to be work-related.

We both love adventures and because it was our anniversary in April, we decided to celebrate with a 2-day getaway at SAMARA Private game reserve without the kids.

I know that by now, many of you may be judging me already wondering as to how could I be so selfish and leave my 3 kids behind to go on a holiday? Honestly, I don’t think that what I did was selfish… I needed to be a wife, to be myself – not the person who tends to lose herself – the person who sometimes gets lost in the role of motherhood. 

Leaving your kids is always the hardest, they shed some tears, you shed some tears (probably more tears than the kids) but over time, they become so much better at this. I knew that my kids were in good hands because they were with family that they love and adore. I also think that it is important for children to learn that they can live without you and that you will return.

I know that not every couple has the opportunity to travel without their kids but if you can, do it! Don’t feel guilty about it (well, try not to) and go somewhere different – a place where you both could experience something new together.

Why Samara Private Game Reserve?


Samara offered us exactly what we needed to unwind and recharge before coming back to the crazy schedules and tantrums.

It is peaceful, closer to nature and homely. We stayed in a huge room that had a view worth waking up to every morning and had a tub worth taking a picture in. For the Gram, of course. 😉

Samara Game Reserve

Samara Private Game Reserve is literally in the middle of nowhere somewhere in the Eastern Cape with very little cell phone reception. It is a place you would visit when you want to switch off, unsubscribe from the world for a few days and enjoy every precious moment with your loved one. It is a place to create memories and rediscover each other – rediscover life.

Samara Game Reserve

About Samara:

Award-winning Samara Private Game Reserve is located on 70,000 acres of wilderness in the Great Karoo, offering breath-taking views over the Plains of Camdeboo.


Situated approximately 270km from Port Elizabeth and 53km from the nearest town of Graaff Reinet, Samara offers easy access to visitors on excellent roads.

Important: This area is certified as malaria free.

The one important piece of information that I picked up about Samara and the team during my stay is that it isn’t just another game reserve with fancy game drives to try and impress you. You feel part of the family from the moment you arrive there. The focus on conservation is in their DNA.


It is an authentic African experience which will leave you content and give you a better understanding of our wildlife and the way that they live.

Our experience:

Honestly, I don’t think that I can sum up my experience in one blog post because it was one of those trips that I will never forget.

  • We went on morning and afternoon game drives and bush walks which were just breathtakingly beautiful.
  • We had drinks during sunsets in an audience of Rhinos and near Elephants.
  • We witnessed a lion hunt and a baby warthog die in front of her mom. This was a bit overwhelming for me but reminded me about the reality of life.
  • Even though waking up super early in the mornings were a bit difficult for me, it was so worth it. The view, the mountains, the sounds of the animals and then the milky way view at night was just the cherry on top of this 5-star experience.
  • The ambiance was the perfect setting for my husband and I to celebrate 8 years of marriage together.

Is Samara only for adults?

Samara isn’t just for adults however I won’t advise you to take kids younger than 10-years –old along – purely because the game drives may be a bit too much for them.

They do have a variety of age-appropriate fun and educational activities, including: ‘outdoor classroom’ bush excursions within the lodge grounds, track identification, rock painting, African crafts, t-shirt making, orienteering and navigating, storytelling and board games.

Babysitting services are also available.

What can you do at Samara?

A maximum of 26 guests stay in two, five-star luxury lodges: Karoo Lodge – a renovated farmstead overlooking an amphitheatre of mountains and The Manor – a luxury villa with private pool, chef, butler, and ranger that can be booked exclusively or by private individuals.

Activities on offer at Samara include game drives, guided walks, a luxury star bed experience, wilderness picnics, birding, mountain hikes, indoor and outdoor dining, mountain biking and conservation activities.

Here’s why I don’t regret not taking the kids

My husband and I needed the alone time. It was great for our marriage.

  • We held hands – something that we haven’t done in a long time. After all, there are tiny hands that need holding. There is always one kid in the middle of us. I know that it sounds crazy but holding hands says a lot without saying anything.
  • We had a bed all to ourselves – This was HUGE for me! 😛 There were no tiny feet kicking us every 5 minutes.
  • We even got a full night sleep (until the early morning wake-up call). Pure Bliss!
  • We remembered why we are still tolerating each other (haha) and what we have achieved together.
  • We had time to reflect and be grateful for the little (or not so little) family we created.

I think that we all need a break – for our physical and mental health. 2 days were enough for us. When we got back, all we wanted to do was spend time with the kids and give them a million kisses.

Good news: Samara is making it easier on our budget. Rejuvenate!

Stay for 4 nights and pay for only 3!

Samara Private Game Reserve is offering a Winter special from 1 June – 31 August 2019, where guests stay for 4 nights, but only pay for 3 – equivalent to 25% off their stay.

For more information, visit www.samara.co.za or call 031 262 0324.

This was a trade exchange with Samara.

Facebook Comments

Hi, I’m Shan. I’m an entrepreneur and a sucker for good adventures. I was listed in Forbes Africa 30 under 30 2019 and just recently launched my start-up – MomSays.

Find me on: Web | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

I was hosted by Samara Game Reserve in exchange for my review.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *