Private Karoo Game Reserve in the Western Cape

Planning a South African safari adventure into the country’s vast and untamed Karoo? Inverdoorn is a boutique Big Five Karoo game reserve nestled within the beautiful and malaria-free Western Cape region. Beyond picturesque winelands, white-sand coastlines and mountainous landscapes, wide-open plains and incredible views set the stage for incredible wildlife encounters and luxurious safari lodge stays, only a 2.5 hours’ drive from Cape Town.

Two male elephants walking through the Western Cape’s Karoo.

The Tankwa Karoo

The Karoo gets its name from the Afrikaans word “karo”, meaning ‘hard’ or ‘dry’, which was probably derived from from Khoikhoi word “garo“, meaning “desert”. This vast semi-arid region stretches across hundreds of kilometres, showcasing diverse landscapes which range from dramatic mountain ranges (the Table Mountain Ridge) to sprawling plains famous for ancient fossil sites and historic Khoisan rock art. Inverdoorn itself is situated within the Tankwa Karoo, a smaller region known for its abundant wildlife and breathtaking starry nights.

A herd of Cape Buffalo walking towards the camera at Inverdoorn Private Game Reserve, the best safari near cape town
Herd of Cape Buffalo at Inverdoorn Private Game Reserve.

Karoo Cheetah Conservation Project at Inverdoorn

Once home to an impressive wild cheetah population, the Karoo’s endangered wild cheetahs have only recently seen a hopeful return after being declared ‘regionally extinct’ since the late 1980’s. Inverdoorn Private Game Reserve is a sanctuary for wildlife in the Western Cape, with various animal rehabilitation projects and conservation programmes dedicated to restoring the Karoo’s natural wildlife heritage.

From being part of the team that helped reintroduce South Africa’s Big 5 animals back into the Western Cape, to founding South Africa’s leading Karoo cheetah conservation centre, Inverdoorn’s wildlife conservation projects, habitat rewilding programmes, and animal rescue initiatives are all part of a larger vision to ensure a thriving future for the Karoo’s extraordinary biodiversity.

Cheetah seen at Inverdoorn Private Game Reserve, Karoo Safari.

Incredible Scenery and Rare Sightings

The Karoo’s semi-arid climate and unique vegetation, consisting of shrubs, grasslands, small trees, fynbos succulents and South Africa’s endemic renosterveld biome, is home to a surprising abundance of specially adapted wildlife and plants.

There are over 200 species of wildlife living within the reserve, including lions, elephants, cheetahs, springbok, zebras, giraffes, and a variety of native antelope species. Birdwatchers will also love the natural abundance and vast landscapes of the Karoo, where they can spot over 150 species of birds, including the Verreaux’s Eagle and Greater Flamingo. Keen safari-goers should also keep an eye out for the 59 reptile species that call the reserve home.

two yellow mongoose peaking out from their ground burrow, featured on Inverdoorn's wildlife gallery
Yellow Mongoose den seen during a morning game drive.

Boutique Big Five Karoo Game Reserve

Romance and seclusion are synonymous with the Karoo, and Inverdoorn’s boutique Karoo Game Reserve experience is the perfect getaway for those seeking an intimate and personalised South African Big Five safari.

Unlike the larger and commercialised game reserves, Inverdoorn offers guests the chance to unwind and relax in nature. Here, privacy and service excellence are the focus of our safari lodge. Escape the everyday and reconnect with the remote beauty and tranquility of the Western Cape’s wilderness, where the only sounds are the calls of the animals and the rustle of wind through the ancient Karoo landscape.

Relaxing on the chalet terrace overlooking the Karoo.

Activities and Game Drives

The highlight of any South African safari experience is an open-air vehicle game drive, and Inverdoorn’s Karoo game reserve is no different. Led by experienced rangers, guests will have the chance to sight the famous Big Five animals (lion, elephant, leopard, rhino and buffalo) and other free-roaming large game on an afternoon, sunset or early morning game drive.

Situated on a 10 000 hectare wildlife conservancy, the reserve is home to all the animals one would expect to see on a Karoo safari, including giraffes, cheetahs, caracal, springbok, eland, blesbok, meerkats, aardvarks, ostriches, and so much more.

Learn more about the wildlife of the Karoo.

Lioness standing in front of a safari vehicle at Inverdoorn Private Game Reserve.

Your time at Inverdoorn’s Karoo game reserve isn’t limited to 4×4 game drives. Inverdoorn’s exciting selection of safari activities and add-on experiences means you can elevate your adventure and get up-close to the land and wildlife. Guests can book a Karoo E-bike Tour, Horseback Trail, Karoo High Tea, Romantic Safari Picnic, and even a private Birdwatching Safari Tour.

‘Safari Sundowners’ during an evening game drive at Inverdoorn Private Game Reserve.

The Diversity and Beauty of South Africa

The Karoo is massive! Occupying nearly 40% of South Africa’s land and spanning over 400 000km2, the Karoo stretches across four provinces: the Eastern Cape, the Western Cape, the Northern Cape, and the Free State. This diverse region boasts a unique semi-desert landscape with dramatic mountain ranges, vast plains dotted with succulents, and a star-studded night sky unlike any other.

For travellers looking to experience the true wilderness and beauty of South Africa, untouched and uninfluenced by man, a private Karoo game reserve like Inverdoorn offers the perfect opportunity to explore this vast and ancient region.

Stargazing at Inverdoorn. Image source: Craig Howes

Luxury Safari Accommodation in the Karoo

Sleep underneath the starry Karoo skies and enjoy the true tranquility of the wild with an overnight safari at Inverdoorn Private Game Reserve. All bookings include welcome drinks on arrival, all meals, use of the lodge facilities and two guided game drive safaris through the reserve.

For a truly luxurious experience in the heart of the Karoo, Inverdoorn’s Ambassador Collection offers a romantic five star stay with incredible views overlooking the Karoo. For more budget-friendly options, the Tankwa Chalets and Lodge Rooms are perfect for groups or families seeking an immersive and personalised overnight safari experience close to Cape Town.

View all Inverdoorn’s boutique safari accommodation options.

4x4 Safari Vehicle driving through Inverdoorn Private Game Reserve on a winter safari tour through the Karoo.
Inverdoorn safari vehicle crossing a river in the middle of the Karoo. Image source: Travel Couple

Getting to your Karoo Safari (Directions to Inverdoorn)

Inverdoorn is conveniently located only a 2.5 hours’ drive from Cape Town, making it perfect for a weekend getaway or safari adventure close to the city. Whether you’re self-driving or looking for a relaxing transfer, Inverdoorn has you covered.

For those who prefer to explore the scenic route at their own pace, the reserve offers detailed directions and a helpful map to guide you from Cape Town. Just remember, the closest fuel station is located in Ceres, so fill up before you head out.

If you’d rather sit back and enjoy the scenery, Inverdoorn provides a return shuttle service for an additional fee per person. Private transport and fly-in charters can be arranged upon request.

Private pool in front of the Ambassador Suites. Image source: African Safari Mag

Book Your Big Five Karoo Game Reserve Adventure

Don’t miss out on the incredible opportunity to visit one of South Africa’s wildest and untamed regions, the Karoo. With so much to see and do, this once-in-a-lifetime safari destination offers incredible sightings of some of Africa’s most unique and elusive wildlife.

Book your stay at Inverdoorn Private Game Reserve and experience the wonders of a Karoo safari for yourself.

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