Gawie and Yolandi did a fantastic job of running the nThambo Tree Camp in the Klaserie. With their infectious nature, welcoming persona and creative ideas; they made sure guests left nThambo wanting to return. Both Gawie and Yolandi left nThambo to work in the Marakele National Park.
New lodge managers, Chad and Kelly, have slotted into their new position as lodge managers with ease. Let’s chat to them about their first impressions, their history and what brought them to nThambo.
Where did you work before making the big move to nThambo Tree Camp?
Before moving to nThambo I worked at Cheetah Plains Private Game Reserve and Chad worked at Nkorho Bush Lodge, both of which are situated in the Northern Sabi Sands.
What has been a highlight at nThambo?
Kelly : The highlight for me has been the guests that we have had, getting to know the staff and having a lioness walk straight past my house.
Chad: The positive feedback that we have received from guests since starting here at nThambo Tree Camp and the amount of spectacular sightings that I have witnessed. I have seen Wild dogs on a kill and a leopard with cubs. Also seeing the 2 dominant males ‘The Good and The Bad’ a few days back was awesome!
Why did you choose to take the position at nThambo Tree Camp?
We both really enjoyed meeting Courteney and Cecilia and felt that they had the right philosophy and similar ideas to us. We were both wanting to work at a lodge together and were ready for the next challenge and adventure in our lives.
Do you have anything new that you are looking to implement at the camp?
No big plans as yet as we have only been here a week but we are certain that will come with time. We just want to make this lodge the absolute best it can be and make sure our guests have an amazing experience that they will never forget.
Let’s chat about wildlife. What is your favourite wildlife sighting?
Kelly: My favourite animal is a leopard. Unfortunately, due to the fact that I have been so busy in the lodge I have not been able to partake in a drive as yet so have not seen any leopards here at nThambo yet. I hope to get out there on a drive as soon as possible.
Chad: My favourite animal is also a leopard and I have had 3 different sightings of leopards in the week that I have been at nThambo.
Do you have any valuable advice for those going on their first safari?
Our advice for first time visitors on safari would be to never have specific expectations. Nothing is ever guaranteed in the bush and every day is very different from the last. Always have your camera ready – you don’t want to be caught off guard when something exciting happens. Have fun and try to enjoy the peaceful beauty of this picturesque place.