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

"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

"So much more than what we expecting! Over the top service with a great team! Thanks again Carl and team!"

~ Kelly & Suzanne Edwards '14 from

"John X Safaris you did it again! When preparing for your 2nd safari you wonder if it will ever be able to top your 1st - but it can! Every experience was new, unique and a lot of fun! The smiles were many and the memory banks are full! The accommodations were as per usual second to none. The people are the best and we now have an extended family in South Africa. Glen Harry is the hunter’s paradise and the challenge it poses is a must for the experienced
hunter. Thanks again friends for all the fun and memories. Until we meet again!"

~ Heather & Louie Lantz '14 from

"John X did it again! I never would have guessed my 2nd safari with John X would be able to be better
than my first. Carl did everything he could to make each hunting experience world-class. I cannot thank Carl and the staff enough. I am bringing my son on his first safari next June. Hopefully time will fly by! Until we meet again …"

~ Luther '13 from

"Great Hunt. Great Time. Carl is very accommodating. The patience & diligence in selecting trophy animals speaks loudly of the quality hunt that John X & Staff are known for."

~ Paul & Sandra Dellva '13 from

"John X Safaris deliverd again.Thanks Carl and all the staff for a fantastic time.
Thanks Carl and Zwayi for your hard work,we had some of the best hunts with the Black Springbok and the magic Kalahari Springbok, not to mention the quickest Klipspringer hunt ever.
Tack så mycket för i år. See you all next year."

~ Bertil Friman '13 from Sweden