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
Our John X Safaris experience was outstanding. The food was perfect and our accommodations were superb. Ed Wilson our PH went above and beyond our expectations to make sure our hunts were memorable. I would be honoured to recommend John X Safaris and our PH Ed Wilson to anyone considering a safari in South Africa. We cant wait to return!
Thanks again to everyone especially Carl, Ed and Stix.
"This was our third trip to SA with Carl and John X Safaris. Needless to say it will not be our last. We truly have found our home from home at John X Safaris in the East Cape. To Carl, Trish, Brett and staff we express our greatest gratitude for your kindness, professionalism expertise, and friendship. Until safari 4 we wish you all continued success and achievement!"~ Brett Wright '14 from
"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
"I had a great hunt with outstanding accommodations. I took great trophies in both the coastal and Karoo areas. My PH, Mike Currie, did a great job locating and judging the animal. His stalking skills go unmatched. I will have lots of memories of this hunt."~ Dwight Moser '14 from
"The total safari was all above any expectations! The staff and lodging was professional and very kind, always willing to please. The hunting was very good, conducted in a professional, safe, and fun environment. Our PH T-bone was the best!"~ Wade Fairchild '14 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