Tigers in the Karoo


stamp3Tiger Canyon

This 3000-hectare reserve of grasslands, canyons and flooded wetlands in the South African Karoo has been set aside by conservationist and photographer John “JV” Varty as an “experiment” to help conserve the tiger.  He currently has 20 tigers which are kept in enclosures and present amazing photographic opportunities.  Some, like Shy Boy, have been born at Tiger Canyon and have never known a different life. Others have been bought from tiger breeding projects to give a life in the wild. His mission is to ensure none are ever placed in captivity.

How we rate Tiger Canyon

Wildlife starstarstarstarstar
Wilderness starstar
Facilities starstar
Vehicles starstar
Flexibility starstarstarstarstar

What you will see

Exceptional tiger viewing and sightings of cheetah are virtually guaranteed.

When to visit

The reserve can be visited any time of the year.

Why we loved it

  • Excellent tiger and cheetah photography
  • Stunning landscapes
  • The experience of meeting JV (the founder of Londolozi)

What it costs

It costs R1500 per person per game drive–and you will need a minimum of three drives. This does not include transport to Tiger Canyon, which is a one-hour drive from Bloemfontein, nor accommodation and transfers to Phillipolis, which lies a 30-minute drive from Tiger Canyon. Please note that there are plans in place for accommodation at Tiger Canyon.

Photographers need to know

Tigers do not occur naturally in the Karoo–so some might argue that this is not an authentic experience. However, this is a conservation project and you will get awesome pictures. Be prepared for some feeding of animals to get the shots.