You live and work at Morukuru Family Madikwe. Does this beautiful environment inspire you to tackle your job with greater enthusiasm than if you were working from an office park? Working in the bush dictates that you have a passion for your environment. I grew up loving the bush, so it feels like home. My purpose is to allow our guests to have a similar experience.
Your husband, Dohan, is a guide/ranger and you work together as a team. Do you have any tips for juggling home and work life? Do you schedule in downtime - and what are your favourite things to do to counterbalance life at the lodge? Working with your spouse is challenging, but we have firm boundaries. We have a rule that we only discuss work at work, but we take only 30 minutes to discuss it at home if necessary. We love to relax by appreciating where we are - enjoying a casual barbecue or catching up on tv shows.
You don’t work alone - you are part of a team. How important is cooperation between colleagues, and how do you support each other?For any team to be successful, communication is the most important thing. I’m committed to keeping my team up to date - and sometimes, there isn’t time for a meeting, so I need to be creative about looping everyone in. My experience is that happy team members deliver their best at work. So communication, empathy and agility are what I aim for.
Morukuru Family Madikwe is a special place. For some guests, this is their first bush experience. What impressions do you hope to stay with them? I hope that guests leave with wonderful memories and a new awareness of the bush and what an exceptional environment it is. I hope that guests leave having enjoyed the whole bush experience and had a wonderful holiday.
Explain how you create individual touches for each guest party. One of the perks of this job is that I get to meet so many different guests and personalities. As Morukuru Family is an exclusive-use property, we can be flexible and respond to each guest as an individual. We are committed to treating every single guest like a VIP and welcoming them into our special Morukuru party.
If you could give out advice to your guests before they arrive - what would you tell them? Number one - the bush is not like the movies! LOL! Remember that out in the bush; anything can happen. Mother Nature runs the show. I would encourage guests to submerge themselves into nature as a whole and enjoy learning from our experienced guides, who can interpret and explain every detail.
Living and working in the bush makes you a bona fide bushbaby - but where do you like to visit when you get some vacation time? Being a nature lover, I love heading to the beach. The priority for any down time is to spend time with Dohan and reconnect with our families.
Tell us about your most memorable bush experience/sighting? I was still a student and had never been out in an open game vehicle. I got the opportunity to go on a night drive with a guide. It was already dark when we found a full mane male lion just relaxing in the middle of the road. We got really close, and we could hear other lions vocalising in the distance. The roar from this male was so mighty that I felt the vehicle rattle. It was clear to me right then and there that my destiny was to leave the city lights behind and work in the bush.
You have a fabulous food and beverage team - is food a passion? How involved do you get with sharing ideas and recipes with your team, and do you have a favourite cuisine? Both Dohan and I love food, but I'm not a big cook. Baking is my thing, and I love experimenting with new recipes. I enjoy all types of food, so it’s hard to narrow it down - but I have a soft spot for traditional South African dishes. I have shared some of my favourite recipes with our excellent chefs.
Each meal at Morukuru Family Madikwe is remarkable and an experience. Is it a team effort, and what goes into planning a bush breakfast, a hide lunch or a dinner with a view? It is a 100% team effort; each department puts in so much effort to make it the best meal. Those spaces present the perfect backdrops; we rely on good weather, bring our A-Game, and our guests have a fabulous time.
What is your favourite drink to enjoy while watching a perfect Madikwe sunset? I prefer the classic South African liqueur Amarula on the rocks or a glass of white wine.