Camp 1980 Bnr Merriman Camp 1982 Bnr Merriman Camp 1983 Bnr Jxs Team 1988 Bnr

WHERE IT ALL BEGAN

John X MerrimanAfrican Safaris outfitted by John X Safaris was introduced to the world in 1983 where Rick and Sue van Zijl owned and operated a small Country Hotel and General Dealership, called John X House & Store at the tiny outpost of Merriman in the Great Karoo. Merriman was named after John Xavier Merriman, the last premier of the Cape Colony, which in 1910 became part of what was then the Union of South Africa.

Merriman was company headquarters until 1996, when Rick and Sue acquired their first land towards fulfilling their dream of creating a Big 5 Game Reserve. John X Safaris headquarters was then moved to the tiny hamlet of Sidbury, 45 km west of Grahamstown in the Eastern Cape. Six years later, Lalibela was established as a Big 5 Game Reserve and the home of John X Safaris.

In 2016, after twenty years at Lalibela, John X Safaris once again took a further step forward in our proud history with the acquisition of a new base and home in the game rich region of Bedford in the diverse Eastern Cape, creating arguably the greatest hunting destination the safari enthusiast has ever seen.

With over 33 years experience as an international outfitter, John X Safaris has retained its renowned concessions in South Africa, as well as expanded its operations to include Mozambique, Botswana, Namibia, Cameroon, and Zambia.

After 33 years we’re still continuing the fine tradition of African hunting….

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Endorsed Outfitter

Bc 7423 Boddington Endorsed Logo Outfitter Final (2)

Craig Boddington chose to endorse John X Safaris and recognize us as one of the top outfits in the world.
Craig Boddington Endorsed Outfitter

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What People Are Saying

"A wonderful experience! John X and our PH Gary treated us beyond our expectations. We will definitely be back."

~ Richard & Luther Dietrich '12 from USA

"Carl--Mozambique! What a magnificent place to share with you. Heat, bugs, smoke from grass burning to renew the cycle of life-sustaining new growth. Native huts and gardens with people living much as they did 200-300 years ago. But the same John X, dedication to a great hunting experience and the same quality trophies that I found with you in South Africa. It was truly an experience I will remember for the rest of my life.
Thanks!"

~ Paul A. Brisso '13 from USA

"Our 2014 reunion tour was much more than I dreamed of. The John X team members all went way above their positions to make me feel like family. From the quality of trophies harvested, the fantastic meals, and great accommodations to the camaraderie in the evenings, everything was perfect. A very special thank you to my PH, Stix, his patience and encouragement in helping me harvest extremely nice mature trophies will never be forgotten."

~ Dave Moser '14 from

"Jonathan gave me the best time ever. Carl has been so great and friendly. I will never forget this journey. It feels so sad that I have to go home now. I'll be back next year. Thank you so much Jono. You brought so much fun and experience into the hunt. You gave me a memory for a lifetime. Thank you everyone!"

~ Mikael Wallenstam '12 from

"Gracias por unos dias fantasticos en compania de todos ustedes que lo hacen posible. Siempre los tendre en mi memoria por la buena caza que ustedes proporcionan muchas gracias por todo."

~ Manuel Revenga Garcia '12 from Spain

"I had a great experience and spent time with a professional, knowledgeable, and capable guide. I did not think a second safari was on the cards, but after being here with Juan MacDonald and the John X staff I will be back again.
Thanks Juan!"

~ Mark Swanberg ' 13 from