African 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.
To further enhance the team, in the early 1990's Dave Harwood came on board to handle our clients in the United States. Dave has spent over 40 years hunting big game with almost 30 of those years spent hunting internationally. He is a five term past President of a Safari Club International Chapter, a member of the Dallas Safari Club and the International Professional Hunters Association. In addition, Dave is a Certified Travel Consultant and owner of Harwood Travel, LLC. Part of his job is to help our clients coordinate their flight and travel itineraries in and to Africa.
After 33 years we’re still continuing the fine tradition of African hunting… It is our goal to continue to produce the finest trophies for our clients while at the same time providing an unforgettable African experience!
JXS Current Rates
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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
"What an adventure for my 12 year old son and myself. Our first safari was incredible. Many thanks to Carl, his staff, and our professional hunter, Stix. They worked patiently with my son and put him into perfect situations. We did not imagine that we would have such great success.
Thank you for the wonderful trophies and unforgettable experience."
"Our African experience have left us with a lifetime of memories. Our ranger Kelly went above and beyond the call of duty to make sure we saw all of the animals. The food was fine dining at it's best. We also want to thank Carl for our hunts of a lifetime! His hunting experience is world class, so was the hospitality he showed us. We loved it 100% ...... Perfect!"~ Randall & Cherie De Freece '12 from USA
"Everything was great. Top three hunts ever. I will be back!"~ Martin Osthulm '13 from
""Good effort, especially considering some tough weather conditions. Very enjoyable hunts in nice habitat – good attention to detail of hunter preferences. We’ve had a good time!"~ Greg & Janice Mensik '13 from
"Had a wonderful time with Rusty. The experience of a lifetime. Thank you so much for the wonderful memories. I will always remember my time in South Africa. The entire group is totally an A+ TEAM."~ Tom Ingstad '13 from
Martin my brotha. He always put me on the big ones. John X Safaris what a spectacular experience from start to finish!~ Dominic Corrado '15 from