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
"I had an amazing time hunting my Kudu, Zebra and Ostrich with my friend, Carl."
Hunter (age 13 at the time)
"No matter how many times we hunt with John X Safari's, each time is a new adventure with world class animals, accommodations and service. We always cherish our time and the memories made with our friends from John X!"~ Eric & Kristie Arnette '14 from USA
"We cannot thank John X Safaris and the amazing staff enough for our wonderful family vacation. Each of us had exactly the experience that we had hoped for and as a family we will remember our trip as an all-time favorite!"~ The Pitts Family '14 from
Memories of crawling through thorn bushes, mud and laying on ant piles waiting for a huge horned animal to step out into the clearing. Taking numerous magnificent trophies and hanging out with the great members of John X Safaris and Gunwerks team will be memories that last. The nightly stories with the gang were awesome. Keep doing what you do... Trevor Krueger - Gunwerks~ Trevor Kruger '15 from USA
Thank you to Carl and the entire staff at John X Safaris. The accommodations and overall experience in the camps were exceptional. A special thanks to my friend and PH Rusty. The trophy quality and fun we had hunting together in the coastal areas and the Karoo was second to none.
Thanks for a truly unforgettable safari. See you in the future.
"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