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

"Rich tradition combined with world class staff – John X Safaris. I would like to thank John X Safaris and all the staff for a true once in a lifetime South African experience. Eight species in nine days! This was our first African Safari and John X Safaris and staff exceeded our expectations! We look forward to returning again and again."

~ Chad & Jennifer Fraughton '13 from

"... The Lalibela camp is a fascinating place and the staff is extremely efficient and professional, very willing to please."

~ Petter & Hagen Einang '12 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

"Some experiences impact you for the rest of your life. This father and son safari was definitely one of them. The bonding we had is irreplaceable. We each had our sights set on various species and the trophies we’re taking home have surpassed our wildest dreams. "Crums Man" you will not find a better PH/Tracker combo than Greg and Bless - They made everyday a new adventure with new friends. Thanks to everyone at John X Safaris for making this dream come true."

~ D. & J. Tomcheck '14 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

"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