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

What People Are Saying

Great staff, beautiful properties and awesome guides! Thank you for an exceptional safari.

~ Jess Stout '15 from

Thanks Rusty for always telling me what to do! Thanks to Carl and his whole family. Fantastic! Would have liked to be younger to be able to enjoy all these memories more often and for a longer time.

~ Hans Tornskog '15 from

"All in all a well run operation with good camps and first class PH’s."

~ Jay & Evelyn Coffelt '13 from

Carl as usual another great job. A true professional - What will be next?

~ Dave Kjelstrup '15 from

I want to thank Carl and the entire staff (Greg, Bless, Joseph, & Aneri) for taking care of me during my stay with John X Safaris. This was truly a life/game changing trip that I will treasure forever. Look forward to seeing y'all again.

~ Chris Perdomo '15 from

"This was our third trip to SA with Carl and John X Safaris. Needless to say it will not be our last. We truly have found our home from home at John X Safaris in the East Cape. To Carl, Trish, Brett and staff we express our greatest gratitude for your kindness, professionalism expertise, and friendship. Until safari 4 we wish you all continued success and achievement!"

~ Brett Wright '14 from