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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Jxs Ctb15Make the memories last for a lifetime ... purchase a Coffee Table Book filled with beautiful photos & stories of that season's safaris. Purchase Here.

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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

"Juan did an excellent job as PH and Steven worked hard as tracker and skinner. Top quality accommodations, friendly atmosphere and Willem was a great host. John X showed me again that they are a 1st class operation. Many thanks to Carl, Gary and all the staff for a job well done!"

~ Jim Haselberger '12 from USA

"We had an absolutely fabulous time. Everyone was very nice and friendly. When we come back to South Africa this will definitely be our destination."

~ The Arts '12 from USA

"This was my first safari and it was more fun than what I had imagined. Every stalk and kill was better and better, I couldn't have asked for a better experience! Greg was a great PH, he taught me so much about everything from the plants, animals, hunting and South Africa's culture. I really enjoyed every part of my stay and am looking forward to visitng again. Thanks again, Robyn"

~ Robyn Nakroshis '12 from USA

We loved having Stix as our PH!! He entertained us with stories of African culture and life, while finding us world class animals. Not only did the hunt far exceed expectations, we also met many wonderful people. The high point was a 45" sable. Thank you John X Safaris for the adventure of a lifetime!

~ Graten Beavers '15 from

Always an enjoyable quality experience. After six years of trying... A Bushpig!

~ Lawrence Trunk '15 from

"I don't know where to begin. Rusty and John X Safaris are a class above anyone else. I grew up as a ranch kid dreaming of Africa. I never thought I could have the experiences and such that I did. Rusty was a PH after my own heart. He had the desire and drive as I did. Nothing but beautiful old mature males were taken. I experienced a lifetime of memories in seven days. It's been said that 'the only man to envy is he who has not experienced his first African Safari'. I know now that is true. Thank you to Carl and John X Safaris, as well as my man Rusty for a dream realized.
I will be back again in 2016 or 2017...."

~ Cole Taggart '14 from