Samara’s conservation vision is to restore one of South Africa’s most spectacular landscapes, driving ecological corridors to create the country’s third largest protected area.

Two centuries ago, South Africa’s vast semi-arid heartland bore witness to one of Nature’s most epic migrations, when millions of springbok trekked across the Great Karoo in pursuit of pastures new. Predators including the now-extinct Cape lion and packs of wild dog journeyed with them across the grasslands; desert-adapted black rhino frequented the dense thickets; elephants bathed in the deep pools of perennial rivers.

Fences and firepower soon put paid to this impressive spectacle, and the wilderness was turned to farmland. Until recently, the Karoo’s wild past had largely been forgotten.

This changed in 1997, when Samara’s founders bought up 11 former livestock farms in the heart of the Karoo and embarked on an ambitious project to recreate what once was. Since then, 67,000 acres have been painstakingly rewilded and thousands of indigenous animals reintroduced, including the first cheetah, elephant and lion to return in over a century.

Today Samara’s conservation vision extends beyond its borders to the creation of South Africa’s third largest protected area by linking three national parks in a Global Biodiversity Hotspot – in the very same landscape those springbok once roamed.

The Friends of Samara Trust was set up to deliver the environmental and social development projects integral to Samara’s vision, including wildlife conservation, the preservation of indigenous knowledge, landscape restoration and grass-roots community engagement.

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Empowers Africa has partnered with Friends of Samara Trust in order to provide a cost-effective solution to fundraising in the United States by acting as their fiscal sponsor. Any donations made here will be granted to the Friends of Samara Trust, which works in partnership with Samara.

Empowers Africa uses Stripe to process credit card donations. Stripe has very stringent security rules which may lead to declined credit card transactions. If you are experiencing trouble processing your donation, kindly contact Nadia Derelieva at (917) 328-1611 or via email:

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Cheetah Conservation

Vital work to save this endangered species


Samara is one of the most successful cheetah reserves in South Africa, having provided a home for almost 50 of these endangered wild creatures since reintroducing the first cheetah back in the Great Karoo in 180 years back in 2003. Samara works with the Endangered Wildlife Trust to maintain genetic diversity through translocating cheetah across sub-Saharan Africa.

Your donation will support our cheetah research, monitoring and translocation efforts.

Read more about our cheetah conservation

Anti-Poaching Unit

Dedicated rangers protecting rhinos & elephants


A team of rangers works around the clock to protect critically-endangered black rhino, white rhino and elephant from poachers intent on selling their horns and tusks into the illegal wildlife trade. COVID-19 has exacerbated this threat across the country due to the absence of eyes and ears on the ground, the drying up of funds as tourism has come to a standstill and the increasing desperation of local communities.

Your donation will support our ongoing anti-poaching efforts, including training, provision of equipment, expansion of facilities and ranger salaries.

Heritage Day Cup

Sports tournament for underprivileged youth

The Samara Heritage Day Cup was launched in 2018 in recognition of the challenges of unemployment, drug use and gender violence facing local youth. The annual sports tournament during which hundreds of youth compete in netball and football matches takes place in our local town of Graaff-Reinet on Heritage Day, 24 September. Its aim is to use sport to keep local youth off the streets and to motivate them to fulfil their personal ambitions.

Your donation will support the provision of equipment, prizes and organisational logistics.

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General Donations

If you do not have any specific project in mind and wish the organization to use their own discretion, please click here.

Donations can also be made by check or wire transfer:

Checks should be made out to “Empowers Africa” and should be mailed to:

Empowers Africa
2 Beekman Place, Ste. 18B
New York, NY 10022
(917) 328-1611

Kindly note in the memo section of the check that funds are for Samara. Or email us at

For wire transfer details or more information, please email us at

Empowers Africa has been approved as a U.S. public charity, contributions to which are tax deductible for U.S. federal income tax purposes under Section 501(c)(3) [EIN: 32-0403737] of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code.

Thank you for your support!