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

"My June 2014 hunt with your group should be considered a once in a lifetime event, a dream come true. I cannot thank you and your entire team for the hospitality, friendship, professionalism - the comments could go on and on. Your team took care of every detail. This is too awesome of a trip not to share with my family. I will be bringing my daughter out next June to allow her this incredible experience. Thanks again and I look forward to seeing you soon."

~ Mike Jarvis '14 from

This trip exceeded all of my expectations! We will be back. Thank you for everything.

~ Kevin Burlingame '15 from

My First African Safari and I took a 51” Kudu followed by a 44” Sable, 22” and 20” Impalas, 37” Gemsbuck, impressive Blue and Black Wildebeest, 30+” Waterbuck, and a beautiful Nyala. Can life get any better? Yes it can, as the staff, accommodations, food, and hunting properties, are all second to none!

Thank you Greg and John X Safaris for making my safari experience a memory of a lifetime!

~ Scott '13 from

Martin my brotha. He always put me on the big one's. John X Safaris what a spectacular experience from start to finish!

~ Dominic Corrado '15 from

"A wonderful experience - 50 years in the making. The entire staff was outstanding. Especially memorable because I hunted with my son, son-in-law and a good friend. It cannot get any better; hunting in the North was an added bonus I was not expecting. A wonderful, magic place to be on safari."

~ Dave Tyner '12 from USA

"Unbelievable! Another trip that Carl and the entire John X Safaris team made more special than the previous. I've been over hunting with my father, alone, and now with my son. Carl has gone above and beyond to make each trip more exciting than the previous. The people, lodging, food, and staff are second to none in the world. John X Safaris truly helps you find The Spirit of Africa! It goes beyond the hunt. It's a culture, a lifestyle, a way of life. John X Safaris helps find that special spot for me, each time being different, and does nothing but guarantees a return trip from this hunter. Each time I leave, I cannot wait to return to Lalibela. This trip was no different. My hats off to Carl and the entire John X Safaris team. I am truly honoured to belong to the John X Safaris family, and to be able to call so many of you my friends. Thank you!"

~ Luther Dietrich '14 from