The malaria-free Roam Private Game Reserve is located in the Karoo’s semi-arid desert region in South Africa and is one of the Western Cape’s lesser known reserves. This is one of the few reserves where visitors have the opportunity to enjoy a luxury safari combined with a complete conservation experience. The Swartberg mountains form the backdrop to this 5000-hectare reserve characterised by deep rock-filled canyons, dry riverbeds, acacia scrub, and hardy succulents.
The reserve’s claim to fame is its cheetah population. These majestic cats were recently re-introduced into the wild having previously existed in the area hundreds of years ago. While out game drive, guests can enjoy tracking cheetah and getting up close to the cats. Also, visitors can learn about bird ringing, observe plains game in the wild, and indulge in the typical activities synonymous with an African safari.
The reserve is about a six-hour drive outside of Cape Town, along a very popular tourist route called Route 62. Roam is close to both Cape Town and the Garden Route. Visitors can fly into Cape Town International Airport and connect to the small airport of George along the Garden Route.
Cheetah, caracal, and jackal are some of the resident predators in Roam Private Game Reserve. Guests can also expect to see a variety of antelope species, as well as more than 240 different types of birds.
Roam Private Game Reserve experiences cold temperatures in June and July, while the hottest months are between December and February. Moderate temperatures can be experienced in the shoulder months of April and September.
There are currently three adult cheetahs in the reserve, and the female has recently given birth to cubs. The cheetahs were introduced into the reserve as part of an ongoing conservation project to rewild species into the reserve that once roamed freely in the area. Herds of buffalo, zebra, giraffe and over 13 species of antelope (including the springbok) can also be spotted. Small predators such as the bat-eared fox, caracal, jackal, and meerkat are frequently spotted.
Birding in the Karoo is incredible, and visitors can spot a few desert-adapted species while at Roam. There are over 240 species in the reserve, a few of which include the pale chanting goshawk, Karoo Lark, Verreauxs’ eagle owls, and cinnamon-breasted warbler.
There’s no typical safari season at Roam Private Game Reserve. The interior of the Western Cape suffers from extreme temperatures. In summer, it’s excruciatingly hot, while winters are bitterly cold. April and September offer moderate temperatures, but mornings tend to be chilly. The coldest months are June and July, while the hottest months are from December to February.
The safari experience at Roam is varied. Visitors can expect to learn plenty about conservation while simultaneously enjoying the spoils of a luxury safari experience. Mornings start with a lengthy game drive combined with a brief walk to observe the cheetah up close. Short sunset drives in the evenings to a scenic gorge provide plenty of opportunities to spot nocturnal creatures and owls.
Roam’s focus is to conserve and restore wildlife and protect the biome of the area. Conservation safaris are the order of the day at Roam. Guests can track meerkats, cheetah, get involved in bird ringing, and even help restore vegetation. Other activities include mountain biking (there are four different routes), running, and bush walks.
Accommodation-wise, there are three options operated by the same lodge. There’s a luxury lodge offering gourmet cuisine, a splash pool with a deck area, sundowners, and game drives. A rustic tented explorer camp caters to the adventurous at heart and is ideal for small groups seeking a proper rustic bush experience.