July 2, 2022

Travel with Impact: Conservation at Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve

The human desire to connect with the natural world and appreciate its beauty is stronger than ever. Those seeking to ensure that their journey has a positive impact will find this at Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve in South Africa.

Sabi Sabi is situated in a recognised biodiversity hotspot, home to the ‘Big Five’ and beyond with 47 large mammal species, more than 300 species of birds and a plethora of smaller animals. As a family-owned private reserve established for more than 40 years, the vision originally set out by the owners is still adhered to today in its conservation philosophy: to bring the landscape to life for guests whilst acting as custodians of the land and its rightful inhabitants. This encompasses the flora and fauna that form South Africa’s heritage and the local communities. 

By observing strict safari etiquette for more than four decades, guests are treated to encounters in which animals which are completely relaxed and are seen engaging in entirely natural behaviours. During their experience at Sabi Sabi, guests are educated on the wildlife they see, the landscape and importantly, the conservation work being carried out by the dedicated guest-facing and behind-the-scenes family at Sabi Sabi. The highly trained rangers, trackers and staff are predominantly drawn from local Shangaan communities, while education initiatives for these adults and children is also a key focus.

Throughout the global pandemic, Sabi Sabi continued operating without guests, to invest in the team and ensure they continue to develop their skills and training.  As a result, many have flourished and were able to realise long-held dreams. Tshwarelo Mathebula – who started as a butler – always wanted to better his training.  With the assistance of funding received from guests, he attended a local hotel school and today is in training to join the management of the food and beverage department at Earth Lodge.  Doc Temba, one of Sabi Sabi’s trackers, is now one of the trainee rangers.  Doc realised his potential and love for teaching, and recently passed his FGASA Level 1 exams as well as completing Sabi Sabi’s intensive ranger training, Nkombe Camp.  

The Sabi Sabi Foundation, which oversees and supports community initiatives, continued its commitment to Sabi Sabi’s local community. Despite tourism being harshly affected, they maintained the much-needed support to the most vulnerable. The Foundation was fortunate to receive full funding for the first innovative solar powered water tower, with construction currently underway.  On completion of the tower, several water outlets will be positioned within the community, alleviating the need to travel far distances to access clean, fresh water.  

Behind the scenes, the daily habitat management, anti-poaching initiatives and wildlife research in association with Panthera has continued. As travel returns, each guest is assured of their personal contribution to the valuable work undertaken with the collection of the Sabie Game Reserve (SGR) Conservation Levy of R220 (VAT inclusive) per person per night. This supports conservation, security and access-control and the anti-poaching initiatives. 

Combining unparalleled luxury in each of its four unique lodges with respectful yet thrilling wildlife encounters, guests at Sabi Sabi will leave awestruck by the majesty of the natural world and inspired to make more conscious choices as a result. 

Sabi Sabi has always encouraged our team to be aspirational as well as inspirational. Many of our work family members have embraced their remarkable talent and used opportunities provided to climb the ranks and influence their colleagues to do the same. This motivation is testament to our philosophy of integrating community in tourism operations and providing the necessary resources for career advancement. We believe in promoting internally and encourage individuals to reach their goals within the hospitality sphere. 

In the early stages of the pandemic, Sabi Sabi Leadership made a commitment to ensure the Sustainability of the guest experience. We offered job security to our amazing team who make up the Heart and Soul of our experience. We continued whatever training was planned and several staff returned having qualified with additional skills while being prevented from work due to global lockdowns. Our priority was to secure skills so that when tourism bounced back we would welcome guests from all over the world with the same, if not improved, service and hospitality. 

One of these success stories is Tshwarelo Mathebula, who – when the pandemic forced our lodges to lockdown and our staff placed on furlough – left as a waiter and returned as the Assistant Manager of Little Bush Camp. 

Tshwarelo knew from an early age he would one day be successful in the hospitality industry. His remarkable progress can be attributed to his ambition and self-motivation. Today he assists in managing the intimate Little Bush Camp. 

Tshwarelo worked for a landscaping company that routinely conducted work at Earth Lodge. With his ‘can do attitude’ and kind demeanor, he soon found rapport with our team. During his off-time, Tshwarelo would visit the lodge and offer his assistance wherever help was needed – be it helping housekeeping service suites or even learning to cook. In 2015 he was offered employment at Earth Lodge as a night butler. This position enabled him to upskill himself in various departments and he soon became extremely efficient as an all-rounder. 

He joined the front of house hospitality department in 2017 as table attendant and made an impression not only on management, but also on our guests. To the extent that some of our amazing guests who asked him about his dreams and aspirations, were so impressed that they offered to fund a hospitality course at a nearby Hotel School for Tshwarelo. 

One of these success stories is Tshwarelo Mathebula, who – when the pandemic forced our lodges to lockdown and our staff placed on furlough – left as a waiter and returned as the Assistant Manager of Little Bush Camp. 

Tshwarelo knew from an early age he would one day be successful in the hospitality industry. His remarkable progress can be attributed to his ambition and self-motivation. Today he assists in managing the intimate Little Bush Camp. 

Tshwarelo worked for a landscaping company that routinely conducted work at Earth Lodge. With his ‘can do attitude’ and kind demeanor, he soon found rapport with our team. During his off-time, Tshwarelo would visit the lodge and offer his assistance wherever help was needed – be it helping housekeeping service suites or even learning to cook. In 2015 he was offered employment at Earth Lodge as a night butler. This position enabled him to upskill himself in various departments and he soon became extremely efficient as an all-rounder. 

He joined the front of house hospitality department in 2017 as table attendant and made an impression not only on management, but also on our guests. To the extent that some of our amazing guests who asked him about his dreams and aspirations, were so impressed that they offered to fund a hospitality course at a nearby Hotel School for Tshwarelo. 

One of these success stories is Tshwarelo Mathebula, who – when the pandemic forced our lodges to lockdown and our staff placed on furlough – left as a waiter and returned as the Assistant Manager of Little Bush Camp. 

Tshwarelo knew from an early age he would one day be successful in the hospitality industry. His remarkable progress can be attributed to his ambition and self-motivation. Today he assists in managing the intimate Little Bush Camp. 

Tshwarelo worked for a landscaping company that routinely conducted work at Earth Lodge. With his ‘can do attitude’ and kind demeanor, he soon found rapport with our team. During his off-time, Tshwarelo would visit the lodge and offer his assistance wherever help was needed – be it helping housekeeping service suites or even learning to cook. In 2015 he was offered employment at Earth Lodge as a night butler. This position enabled him to upskill himself in various departments and he soon became extremely efficient as an all-rounder. 

He joined the front of house hospitality department in 2017 as table attendant and made an impression not only on management, but also on our guests. To the extent that some of our amazing guests who asked him about his dreams and aspirations, were so impressed that they offered to fund a hospitality course at a nearby Hotel School for Tshwarelo. 

No items found.
July 2, 2022

Travel with Impact: Conservation at Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve

The human desire to connect with the natural world and appreciate its beauty is stronger than ever. Those seeking to ensure that their journey has a positive impact will find this at Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve in South Africa.

Sabi Sabi is situated in a recognised biodiversity hotspot, home to the ‘Big Five’ and beyond with 47 large mammal species, more than 300 species of birds and a plethora of smaller animals. As a family-owned private reserve established for more than 40 years, the vision originally set out by the owners is still adhered to today in its conservation philosophy: to bring the landscape to life for guests whilst acting as custodians of the land and its rightful inhabitants. This encompasses the flora and fauna that form South Africa’s heritage and the local communities. 

By observing strict safari etiquette for more than four decades, guests are treated to encounters in which animals which are completely relaxed and are seen engaging in entirely natural behaviours. During their experience at Sabi Sabi, guests are educated on the wildlife they see, the landscape and importantly, the conservation work being carried out by the dedicated guest-facing and behind-the-scenes family at Sabi Sabi. The highly trained rangers, trackers and staff are predominantly drawn from local Shangaan communities, while education initiatives for these adults and children is also a key focus.

Throughout the global pandemic, Sabi Sabi continued operating without guests, to invest in the team and ensure they continue to develop their skills and training.  As a result, many have flourished and were able to realise long-held dreams. Tshwarelo Mathebula – who started as a butler – always wanted to better his training.  With the assistance of funding received from guests, he attended a local hotel school and today is in training to join the management of the food and beverage department at Earth Lodge.  Doc Temba, one of Sabi Sabi’s trackers, is now one of the trainee rangers.  Doc realised his potential and love for teaching, and recently passed his FGASA Level 1 exams as well as completing Sabi Sabi’s intensive ranger training, Nkombe Camp.  

The Sabi Sabi Foundation, which oversees and supports community initiatives, continued its commitment to Sabi Sabi’s local community. Despite tourism being harshly affected, they maintained the much-needed support to the most vulnerable. The Foundation was fortunate to receive full funding for the first innovative solar powered water tower, with construction currently underway.  On completion of the tower, several water outlets will be positioned within the community, alleviating the need to travel far distances to access clean, fresh water.  

Behind the scenes, the daily habitat management, anti-poaching initiatives and wildlife research in association with Panthera has continued. As travel returns, each guest is assured of their personal contribution to the valuable work undertaken with the collection of the Sabie Game Reserve (SGR) Conservation Levy of R220 (VAT inclusive) per person per night. This supports conservation, security and access-control and the anti-poaching initiatives. 

Combining unparalleled luxury in each of its four unique lodges with respectful yet thrilling wildlife encounters, guests at Sabi Sabi will leave awestruck by the majesty of the natural world and inspired to make more conscious choices as a result. 

Sabi Sabi has always encouraged our team to be aspirational as well as inspirational. Many of our work family members have embraced their remarkable talent and used opportunities provided to climb the ranks and influence their colleagues to do the same. This motivation is testament to our philosophy of integrating community in tourism operations and providing the necessary resources for career advancement. We believe in promoting internally and encourage individuals to reach their goals within the hospitality sphere. 

In the early stages of the pandemic, Sabi Sabi Leadership made a commitment to ensure the Sustainability of the guest experience. We offered job security to our amazing team who make up the Heart and Soul of our experience. We continued whatever training was planned and several staff returned having qualified with additional skills while being prevented from work due to global lockdowns. Our priority was to secure skills so that when tourism bounced back we would welcome guests from all over the world with the same, if not improved, service and hospitality. 

One of these success stories is Tshwarelo Mathebula, who – when the pandemic forced our lodges to lockdown and our staff placed on furlough – left as a waiter and returned as the Assistant Manager of Little Bush Camp. 

Tshwarelo knew from an early age he would one day be successful in the hospitality industry. His remarkable progress can be attributed to his ambition and self-motivation. Today he assists in managing the intimate Little Bush Camp. 

Tshwarelo worked for a landscaping company that routinely conducted work at Earth Lodge. With his ‘can do attitude’ and kind demeanor, he soon found rapport with our team. During his off-time, Tshwarelo would visit the lodge and offer his assistance wherever help was needed – be it helping housekeeping service suites or even learning to cook. In 2015 he was offered employment at Earth Lodge as a night butler. This position enabled him to upskill himself in various departments and he soon became extremely efficient as an all-rounder. 

He joined the front of house hospitality department in 2017 as table attendant and made an impression not only on management, but also on our guests. To the extent that some of our amazing guests who asked him about his dreams and aspirations, were so impressed that they offered to fund a hospitality course at a nearby Hotel School for Tshwarelo. 

It was a proud moment when Tshwarelo enrolled as a dedicated student at the Greater Kruger Hotel School in February 2019. His course consisted of theory and practical applications via a digital learning platform, enabling him to fulfil his role at Earth Lodge and support his wife and 2-year old daughter. 

While the challenges of 2020 made it difficult for many people to fulfil their dreams, Tshwarelo was not deterred. During the national lockdown, students were able to attend class twice and had to divert to completing the course online. Currently studying for his final exams at the end of October, Tshwarelo is confident that he will be completing his studies. “I love Sabi Sabi and I love people, and especially helping them,” he remarks. “I believe this has helped me through my studies. My hope is to continue working as hard as I can, and to do whatever I can, to stay with Sabi Sabi and eventually further myself.” 

The Sabi Sabi family is incredibly proud of Tshwarelo and inspired by his determination. We have no doubt that he will succeed in reaching his goals and realising his dreams. We support him every step of the way. 

July 2, 2022

Travel with Impact: Conservation at Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve

The human desire to connect with the natural world and appreciate its beauty is stronger than ever. Those seeking to ensure that their journey has a positive impact will find this at Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve in South Africa.

Sabi Sabi is situated in a recognised biodiversity hotspot, home to the ‘Big Five’ and beyond with 47 large mammal species, more than 300 species of birds and a plethora of smaller animals. As a family-owned private reserve established for more than 40 years, the vision originally set out by the owners is still adhered to today in its conservation philosophy: to bring the landscape to life for guests whilst acting as custodians of the land and its rightful inhabitants. This encompasses the flora and fauna that form South Africa’s heritage and the local communities. 

By observing strict safari etiquette for more than four decades, guests are treated to encounters in which animals which are completely relaxed and are seen engaging in entirely natural behaviours. During their experience at Sabi Sabi, guests are educated on the wildlife they see, the landscape and importantly, the conservation work being carried out by the dedicated guest-facing and behind-the-scenes family at Sabi Sabi. The highly trained rangers, trackers and staff are predominantly drawn from local Shangaan communities, while education initiatives for these adults and children is also a key focus.

Throughout the global pandemic, Sabi Sabi continued operating without guests, to invest in the team and ensure they continue to develop their skills and training.  As a result, many have flourished and were able to realise long-held dreams. Tshwarelo Mathebula – who started as a butler – always wanted to better his training.  With the assistance of funding received from guests, he attended a local hotel school and today is in training to join the management of the food and beverage department at Earth Lodge.  Doc Temba, one of Sabi Sabi’s trackers, is now one of the trainee rangers.  Doc realised his potential and love for teaching, and recently passed his FGASA Level 1 exams as well as completing Sabi Sabi’s intensive ranger training, Nkombe Camp.  

The Sabi Sabi Foundation, which oversees and supports community initiatives, continued its commitment to Sabi Sabi’s local community. Despite tourism being harshly affected, they maintained the much-needed support to the most vulnerable. The Foundation was fortunate to receive full funding for the first innovative solar powered water tower, with construction currently underway.  On completion of the tower, several water outlets will be positioned within the community, alleviating the need to travel far distances to access clean, fresh water.  

Behind the scenes, the daily habitat management, anti-poaching initiatives and wildlife research in association with Panthera has continued. As travel returns, each guest is assured of their personal contribution to the valuable work undertaken with the collection of the Sabie Game Reserve (SGR) Conservation Levy of R220 (VAT inclusive) per person per night. This supports conservation, security and access-control and the anti-poaching initiatives. 

Combining unparalleled luxury in each of its four unique lodges with respectful yet thrilling wildlife encounters, guests at Sabi Sabi will leave awestruck by the majesty of the natural world and inspired to make more conscious choices as a result. 

Sabi Sabi has always encouraged our team to be aspirational as well as inspirational. Many of our work family members have embraced their remarkable talent and used opportunities provided to climb the ranks and influence their colleagues to do the same. This motivation is testament to our philosophy of integrating community in tourism operations and providing the necessary resources for career advancement. We believe in promoting internally and encourage individuals to reach their goals within the hospitality sphere. 

In the early stages of the pandemic, Sabi Sabi Leadership made a commitment to ensure the Sustainability of the guest experience. We offered job security to our amazing team who make up the Heart and Soul of our experience. We continued whatever training was planned and several staff returned having qualified with additional skills while being prevented from work due to global lockdowns. Our priority was to secure skills so that when tourism bounced back we would welcome guests from all over the world with the same, if not improved, service and hospitality. 

One of these success stories is Tshwarelo Mathebula, who – when the pandemic forced our lodges to lockdown and our staff placed on furlough – left as a waiter and returned as the Assistant Manager of Little Bush Camp. 

Tshwarelo knew from an early age he would one day be successful in the hospitality industry. His remarkable progress can be attributed to his ambition and self-motivation. Today he assists in managing the intimate Little Bush Camp. 

Tshwarelo worked for a landscaping company that routinely conducted work at Earth Lodge. With his ‘can do attitude’ and kind demeanor, he soon found rapport with our team. During his off-time, Tshwarelo would visit the lodge and offer his assistance wherever help was needed – be it helping housekeeping service suites or even learning to cook. In 2015 he was offered employment at Earth Lodge as a night butler. This position enabled him to upskill himself in various departments and he soon became extremely efficient as an all-rounder. 

He joined the front of house hospitality department in 2017 as table attendant and made an impression not only on management, but also on our guests. To the extent that some of our amazing guests who asked him about his dreams and aspirations, were so impressed that they offered to fund a hospitality course at a nearby Hotel School for Tshwarelo. 

It was a proud moment when Tshwarelo enrolled as a dedicated student at the Greater Kruger Hotel School in February 2019. His course consisted of theory and practical applications via a digital learning platform, enabling him to fulfil his role at Earth Lodge and support his wife and 2-year old daughter. 

While the challenges of 2020 made it difficult for many people to fulfil their dreams, Tshwarelo was not deterred. During the national lockdown, students were able to attend class twice and had to divert to completing the course online. Currently studying for his final exams at the end of October, Tshwarelo is confident that he will be completing his studies. “I love Sabi Sabi and I love people, and especially helping them,” he remarks. “I believe this has helped me through my studies. My hope is to continue working as hard as I can, and to do whatever I can, to stay with Sabi Sabi and eventually further myself.” 

The Sabi Sabi family is incredibly proud of Tshwarelo and inspired by his determination. We have no doubt that he will succeed in reaching his goals and realising his dreams. We support him every step of the way. 

Travel with Impact: Conservation at Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve

Words by
Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve
July 2, 2022
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The human desire to connect with the natural world and appreciate its beauty is stronger than ever. Those seeking to ensure that their journey has a positive impact will find this at Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve in South Africa.

Sabi Sabi is situated in a recognised biodiversity hotspot, home to the ‘Big Five’ and beyond with 47 large mammal species, more than 300 species of birds and a plethora of smaller animals. As a family-owned private reserve established for more than 40 years, the vision originally set out by the owners is still adhered to today in its conservation philosophy: to bring the landscape to life for guests whilst acting as custodians of the land and its rightful inhabitants. This encompasses the flora and fauna that form South Africa’s heritage and the local communities. 

By observing strict safari etiquette for more than four decades, guests are treated to encounters in which animals which are completely relaxed and are seen engaging in entirely natural behaviours. During their experience at Sabi Sabi, guests are educated on the wildlife they see, the landscape and importantly, the conservation work being carried out by the dedicated guest-facing and behind-the-scenes family at Sabi Sabi. The highly trained rangers, trackers and staff are predominantly drawn from local Shangaan communities, while education initiatives for these adults and children is also a key focus.

Throughout the global pandemic, Sabi Sabi continued operating without guests, to invest in the team and ensure they continue to develop their skills and training.  As a result, many have flourished and were able to realise long-held dreams. Tshwarelo Mathebula – who started as a butler – always wanted to better his training.  With the assistance of funding received from guests, he attended a local hotel school and today is in training to join the management of the food and beverage department at Earth Lodge.  Doc Temba, one of Sabi Sabi’s trackers, is now one of the trainee rangers.  Doc realised his potential and love for teaching, and recently passed his FGASA Level 1 exams as well as completing Sabi Sabi’s intensive ranger training, Nkombe Camp.  

The Sabi Sabi Foundation, which oversees and supports community initiatives, continued its commitment to Sabi Sabi’s local community. Despite tourism being harshly affected, they maintained the much-needed support to the most vulnerable. The Foundation was fortunate to receive full funding for the first innovative solar powered water tower, with construction currently underway.  On completion of the tower, several water outlets will be positioned within the community, alleviating the need to travel far distances to access clean, fresh water.  

Behind the scenes, the daily habitat management, anti-poaching initiatives and wildlife research in association with Panthera has continued. As travel returns, each guest is assured of their personal contribution to the valuable work undertaken with the collection of the Sabie Game Reserve (SGR) Conservation Levy of R220 (VAT inclusive) per person per night. This supports conservation, security and access-control and the anti-poaching initiatives. 

Combining unparalleled luxury in each of its four unique lodges with respectful yet thrilling wildlife encounters, guests at Sabi Sabi will leave awestruck by the majesty of the natural world and inspired to make more conscious choices as a result. 

Sabi Sabi has always encouraged our team to be aspirational as well as inspirational. Many of our work family members have embraced their remarkable talent and used opportunities provided to climb the ranks and influence their colleagues to do the same. This motivation is testament to our philosophy of integrating community in tourism operations and providing the necessary resources for career advancement. We believe in promoting internally and encourage individuals to reach their goals within the hospitality sphere. 

In the early stages of the pandemic, Sabi Sabi Leadership made a commitment to ensure the Sustainability of the guest experience. We offered job security to our amazing team who make up the Heart and Soul of our experience. We continued whatever training was planned and several staff returned having qualified with additional skills while being prevented from work due to global lockdowns. Our priority was to secure skills so that when tourism bounced back we would welcome guests from all over the world with the same, if not improved, service and hospitality. 

One of these success stories is Tshwarelo Mathebula, who – when the pandemic forced our lodges to lockdown and our staff placed on furlough – left as a waiter and returned as the Assistant Manager of Little Bush Camp. 

Tshwarelo knew from an early age he would one day be successful in the hospitality industry. His remarkable progress can be attributed to his ambition and self-motivation. Today he assists in managing the intimate Little Bush Camp. 

Tshwarelo worked for a landscaping company that routinely conducted work at Earth Lodge. With his ‘can do attitude’ and kind demeanor, he soon found rapport with our team. During his off-time, Tshwarelo would visit the lodge and offer his assistance wherever help was needed – be it helping housekeeping service suites or even learning to cook. In 2015 he was offered employment at Earth Lodge as a night butler. This position enabled him to upskill himself in various departments and he soon became extremely efficient as an all-rounder. 

He joined the front of house hospitality department in 2017 as table attendant and made an impression not only on management, but also on our guests. To the extent that some of our amazing guests who asked him about his dreams and aspirations, were so impressed that they offered to fund a hospitality course at a nearby Hotel School for Tshwarelo. 

It was a proud moment when Tshwarelo enrolled as a dedicated student at the Greater Kruger Hotel School in February 2019. His course consisted of theory and practical applications via a digital learning platform, enabling him to fulfil his role at Earth Lodge and support his wife and 2-year old daughter. 

While the challenges of 2020 made it difficult for many people to fulfil their dreams, Tshwarelo was not deterred. During the national lockdown, students were able to attend class twice and had to divert to completing the course online. Currently studying for his final exams at the end of October, Tshwarelo is confident that he will be completing his studies. “I love Sabi Sabi and I love people, and especially helping them,” he remarks. “I believe this has helped me through my studies. My hope is to continue working as hard as I can, and to do whatever I can, to stay with Sabi Sabi and eventually further myself.” 

The Sabi Sabi family is incredibly proud of Tshwarelo and inspired by his determination. We have no doubt that he will succeed in reaching his goals and realising his dreams. We support him every step of the way. 

Project Feature
• Issue no. 1

Travel with Impact: Conservation at Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve

Words by
Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve
November 19, 2022
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The human desire to connect with the natural world and appreciate its beauty is stronger than ever. Those seeking to ensure that their journey has a positive impact will find this at Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve in South Africa.

Sabi Sabi is situated in a recognised biodiversity hotspot, home to the ‘Big Five’ and beyond with 47 large mammal species, more than 300 species of birds and a plethora of smaller animals. As a family-owned private reserve established for more than 40 years, the vision originally set out by the owners is still adhered to today in its conservation philosophy: to bring the landscape to life for guests whilst acting as custodians of the land and its rightful inhabitants. This encompasses the flora and fauna that form South Africa’s heritage and the local communities. 

By observing strict safari etiquette for more than four decades, guests are treated to encounters in which animals which are completely relaxed and are seen engaging in entirely natural behaviours. During their experience at Sabi Sabi, guests are educated on the wildlife they see, the landscape and importantly, the conservation work being carried out by the dedicated guest-facing and behind-the-scenes family at Sabi Sabi. The highly trained rangers, trackers and staff are predominantly drawn from local Shangaan communities, while education initiatives for these adults and children is also a key focus.

Throughout the global pandemic, Sabi Sabi continued operating without guests, to invest in the team and ensure they continue to develop their skills and training.  As a result, many have flourished and were able to realise long-held dreams. Tshwarelo Mathebula – who started as a butler – always wanted to better his training.  With the assistance of funding received from guests, he attended a local hotel school and today is in training to join the management of the food and beverage department at Earth Lodge.  Doc Temba, one of Sabi Sabi’s trackers, is now one of the trainee rangers.  Doc realised his potential and love for teaching, and recently passed his FGASA Level 1 exams as well as completing Sabi Sabi’s intensive ranger training, Nkombe Camp.  

The Sabi Sabi Foundation, which oversees and supports community initiatives, continued its commitment to Sabi Sabi’s local community. Despite tourism being harshly affected, they maintained the much-needed support to the most vulnerable. The Foundation was fortunate to receive full funding for the first innovative solar powered water tower, with construction currently underway.  On completion of the tower, several water outlets will be positioned within the community, alleviating the need to travel far distances to access clean, fresh water.  

Behind the scenes, the daily habitat management, anti-poaching initiatives and wildlife research in association with Panthera has continued. As travel returns, each guest is assured of their personal contribution to the valuable work undertaken with the collection of the Sabie Game Reserve (SGR) Conservation Levy of R220 (VAT inclusive) per person per night. This supports conservation, security and access-control and the anti-poaching initiatives. 

Combining unparalleled luxury in each of its four unique lodges with respectful yet thrilling wildlife encounters, guests at Sabi Sabi will leave awestruck by the majesty of the natural world and inspired to make more conscious choices as a result. 

Sabi Sabi has always encouraged our team to be aspirational as well as inspirational. Many of our work family members have embraced their remarkable talent and used opportunities provided to climb the ranks and influence their colleagues to do the same. This motivation is testament to our philosophy of integrating community in tourism operations and providing the necessary resources for career advancement. We believe in promoting internally and encourage individuals to reach their goals within the hospitality sphere. 

In the early stages of the pandemic, Sabi Sabi Leadership made a commitment to ensure the Sustainability of the guest experience. We offered job security to our amazing team who make up the Heart and Soul of our experience. We continued whatever training was planned and several staff returned having qualified with additional skills while being prevented from work due to global lockdowns. Our priority was to secure skills so that when tourism bounced back we would welcome guests from all over the world with the same, if not improved, service and hospitality. 

One of these success stories is Tshwarelo Mathebula, who – when the pandemic forced our lodges to lockdown and our staff placed on furlough – left as a waiter and returned as the Assistant Manager of Little Bush Camp. 

Tshwarelo knew from an early age he would one day be successful in the hospitality industry. His remarkable progress can be attributed to his ambition and self-motivation. Today he assists in managing the intimate Little Bush Camp. 

Tshwarelo worked for a landscaping company that routinely conducted work at Earth Lodge. With his ‘can do attitude’ and kind demeanor, he soon found rapport with our team. During his off-time, Tshwarelo would visit the lodge and offer his assistance wherever help was needed – be it helping housekeeping service suites or even learning to cook. In 2015 he was offered employment at Earth Lodge as a night butler. This position enabled him to upskill himself in various departments and he soon became extremely efficient as an all-rounder. 

He joined the front of house hospitality department in 2017 as table attendant and made an impression not only on management, but also on our guests. To the extent that some of our amazing guests who asked him about his dreams and aspirations, were so impressed that they offered to fund a hospitality course at a nearby Hotel School for Tshwarelo. 

July 2, 2022

Travel with Impact: Conservation at Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve

The human desire to connect with the natural world and appreciate its beauty is stronger than ever. Those seeking to ensure that their journey has a positive impact will find this at Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve in South Africa.

Sabi Sabi is situated in a recognised biodiversity hotspot, home to the ‘Big Five’ and beyond with 47 large mammal species, more than 300 species of birds and a plethora of smaller animals. As a family-owned private reserve established for more than 40 years, the vision originally set out by the owners is still adhered to today in its conservation philosophy: to bring the landscape to life for guests whilst acting as custodians of the land and its rightful inhabitants. This encompasses the flora and fauna that form South Africa’s heritage and the local communities. 

By observing strict safari etiquette for more than four decades, guests are treated to encounters in which animals which are completely relaxed and are seen engaging in entirely natural behaviours. During their experience at Sabi Sabi, guests are educated on the wildlife they see, the landscape and importantly, the conservation work being carried out by the dedicated guest-facing and behind-the-scenes family at Sabi Sabi. The highly trained rangers, trackers and staff are predominantly drawn from local Shangaan communities, while education initiatives for these adults and children is also a key focus.

Throughout the global pandemic, Sabi Sabi continued operating without guests, to invest in the team and ensure they continue to develop their skills and training.  As a result, many have flourished and were able to realise long-held dreams. Tshwarelo Mathebula – who started as a butler – always wanted to better his training.  With the assistance of funding received from guests, he attended a local hotel school and today is in training to join the management of the food and beverage department at Earth Lodge.  Doc Temba, one of Sabi Sabi’s trackers, is now one of the trainee rangers.  Doc realised his potential and love for teaching, and recently passed his FGASA Level 1 exams as well as completing Sabi Sabi’s intensive ranger training, Nkombe Camp.  

The Sabi Sabi Foundation, which oversees and supports community initiatives, continued its commitment to Sabi Sabi’s local community. Despite tourism being harshly affected, they maintained the much-needed support to the most vulnerable. The Foundation was fortunate to receive full funding for the first innovative solar powered water tower, with construction currently underway.  On completion of the tower, several water outlets will be positioned within the community, alleviating the need to travel far distances to access clean, fresh water.  

Behind the scenes, the daily habitat management, anti-poaching initiatives and wildlife research in association with Panthera has continued. As travel returns, each guest is assured of their personal contribution to the valuable work undertaken with the collection of the Sabie Game Reserve (SGR) Conservation Levy of R220 (VAT inclusive) per person per night. This supports conservation, security and access-control and the anti-poaching initiatives. 

Combining unparalleled luxury in each of its four unique lodges with respectful yet thrilling wildlife encounters, guests at Sabi Sabi will leave awestruck by the majesty of the natural world and inspired to make more conscious choices as a result. 

Sabi Sabi has always encouraged our team to be aspirational as well as inspirational. Many of our work family members have embraced their remarkable talent and used opportunities provided to climb the ranks and influence their colleagues to do the same. This motivation is testament to our philosophy of integrating community in tourism operations and providing the necessary resources for career advancement. We believe in promoting internally and encourage individuals to reach their goals within the hospitality sphere. 

In the early stages of the pandemic, Sabi Sabi Leadership made a commitment to ensure the Sustainability of the guest experience. We offered job security to our amazing team who make up the Heart and Soul of our experience. We continued whatever training was planned and several staff returned having qualified with additional skills while being prevented from work due to global lockdowns. Our priority was to secure skills so that when tourism bounced back we would welcome guests from all over the world with the same, if not improved, service and hospitality. 

One of these success stories is Tshwarelo Mathebula, who – when the pandemic forced our lodges to lockdown and our staff placed on furlough – left as a waiter and returned as the Assistant Manager of Little Bush Camp. 

Tshwarelo knew from an early age he would one day be successful in the hospitality industry. His remarkable progress can be attributed to his ambition and self-motivation. Today he assists in managing the intimate Little Bush Camp. 

Tshwarelo worked for a landscaping company that routinely conducted work at Earth Lodge. With his ‘can do attitude’ and kind demeanor, he soon found rapport with our team. During his off-time, Tshwarelo would visit the lodge and offer his assistance wherever help was needed – be it helping housekeeping service suites or even learning to cook. In 2015 he was offered employment at Earth Lodge as a night butler. This position enabled him to upskill himself in various departments and he soon became extremely efficient as an all-rounder. 

He joined the front of house hospitality department in 2017 as table attendant and made an impression not only on management, but also on our guests. To the extent that some of our amazing guests who asked him about his dreams and aspirations, were so impressed that they offered to fund a hospitality course at a nearby Hotel School for Tshwarelo. 

It was a proud moment when Tshwarelo enrolled as a dedicated student at the Greater Kruger Hotel School in February 2019. His course consisted of theory and practical applications via a digital learning platform, enabling him to fulfil his role at Earth Lodge and support his wife and 2-year old daughter. 

While the challenges of 2020 made it difficult for many people to fulfil their dreams, Tshwarelo was not deterred. During the national lockdown, students were able to attend class twice and had to divert to completing the course online. Currently studying for his final exams at the end of October, Tshwarelo is confident that he will be completing his studies. “I love Sabi Sabi and I love people, and especially helping them,” he remarks. “I believe this has helped me through my studies. My hope is to continue working as hard as I can, and to do whatever I can, to stay with Sabi Sabi and eventually further myself.” 

The Sabi Sabi family is incredibly proud of Tshwarelo and inspired by his determination. We have no doubt that he will succeed in reaching his goals and realising his dreams. We support him every step of the way. 

Conservation Stories

Travel with Impact: Conservation at Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve

Words by
Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve
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The human desire to connect with the natural world and appreciate its beauty is stronger than ever. Those seeking to ensure that their journey has a positive impact will find this at Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve in South Africa.

Sabi Sabi is situated in a recognised biodiversity hotspot, home to the ‘Big Five’ and beyond with 47 large mammal species, more than 300 species of birds and a plethora of smaller animals. As a family-owned private reserve established for more than 40 years, the vision originally set out by the owners is still adhered to today in its conservation philosophy: to bring the landscape to life for guests whilst acting as custodians of the land and its rightful inhabitants. This encompasses the flora and fauna that form South Africa’s heritage and the local communities. 

By observing strict safari etiquette for more than four decades, guests are treated to encounters in which animals which are completely relaxed and are seen engaging in entirely natural behaviours. During their experience at Sabi Sabi, guests are educated on the wildlife they see, the landscape and importantly, the conservation work being carried out by the dedicated guest-facing and behind-the-scenes family at Sabi Sabi. The highly trained rangers, trackers and staff are predominantly drawn from local Shangaan communities, while education initiatives for these adults and children is also a key focus.

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Throughout the global pandemic, Sabi Sabi continued operating without guests, to invest in the team and ensure they continue to develop their skills and training.  As a result, many have flourished and were able to realise long-held dreams. Tshwarelo Mathebula – who started as a butler – always wanted to better his training.  With the assistance of funding received from guests, he attended a local hotel school and today is in training to join the management of the food and beverage department at Earth Lodge.  Doc Temba, one of Sabi Sabi’s trackers, is now one of the trainee rangers.  Doc realised his potential and love for teaching, and recently passed his FGASA Level 1 exams as well as completing Sabi Sabi’s intensive ranger training, Nkombe Camp.  

The Sabi Sabi Foundation, which oversees and supports community initiatives, continued its commitment to Sabi Sabi’s local community. Despite tourism being harshly affected, they maintained the much-needed support to the most vulnerable. The Foundation was fortunate to receive full funding for the first innovative solar powered water tower, with construction currently underway.  On completion of the tower, several water outlets will be positioned within the community, alleviating the need to travel far distances to access clean, fresh water.  

Behind the scenes, the daily habitat management, anti-poaching initiatives and wildlife research in association with Panthera has continued. As travel returns, each guest is assured of their personal contribution to the valuable work undertaken with the collection of the Sabie Game Reserve (SGR) Conservation Levy of R220 (VAT inclusive) per person per night. This supports conservation, security and access-control and the anti-poaching initiatives. 

Combining unparalleled luxury in each of its four unique lodges with respectful yet thrilling wildlife encounters, guests at Sabi Sabi will leave awestruck by the majesty of the natural world and inspired to make more conscious choices as a result. 

Sabi Sabi has always encouraged our team to be aspirational as well as inspirational. Many of our work family members have embraced their remarkable talent and used opportunities provided to climb the ranks and influence their colleagues to do the same. This motivation is testament to our philosophy of integrating community in tourism operations and providing the necessary resources for career advancement. We believe in promoting internally and encourage individuals to reach their goals within the hospitality sphere. 

In the early stages of the pandemic, Sabi Sabi Leadership made a commitment to ensure the Sustainability of the guest experience. We offered job security to our amazing team who make up the Heart and Soul of our experience. We continued whatever training was planned and several staff returned having qualified with additional skills while being prevented from work due to global lockdowns. Our priority was to secure skills so that when tourism bounced back we would welcome guests from all over the world with the same, if not improved, service and hospitality. 

One of these success stories is Tshwarelo Mathebula, who – when the pandemic forced our lodges to lockdown and our staff placed on furlough – left as a waiter and returned as the Assistant Manager of Little Bush Camp. 

Tshwarelo knew from an early age he would one day be successful in the hospitality industry. His remarkable progress can be attributed to his ambition and self-motivation. Today he assists in managing the intimate Little Bush Camp. 

Tshwarelo worked for a landscaping company that routinely conducted work at Earth Lodge. With his ‘can do attitude’ and kind demeanor, he soon found rapport with our team. During his off-time, Tshwarelo would visit the lodge and offer his assistance wherever help was needed – be it helping housekeeping service suites or even learning to cook. In 2015 he was offered employment at Earth Lodge as a night butler. This position enabled him to upskill himself in various departments and he soon became extremely efficient as an all-rounder. 

He joined the front of house hospitality department in 2017 as table attendant and made an impression not only on management, but also on our guests. To the extent that some of our amazing guests who asked him about his dreams and aspirations, were so impressed that they offered to fund a hospitality course at a nearby Hotel School for Tshwarelo. 

It was a proud moment when Tshwarelo enrolled as a dedicated student at the Greater Kruger Hotel School in February 2019. His course consisted of theory and practical applications via a digital learning platform, enabling him to fulfil his role at Earth Lodge and support his wife and 2-year old daughter. 

While the challenges of 2020 made it difficult for many people to fulfil their dreams, Tshwarelo was not deterred. During the national lockdown, students were able to attend class twice and had to divert to completing the course online. Currently studying for his final exams at the end of October, Tshwarelo is confident that he will be completing his studies. “I love Sabi Sabi and I love people, and especially helping them,” he remarks. “I believe this has helped me through my studies. My hope is to continue working as hard as I can, and to do whatever I can, to stay with Sabi Sabi and eventually further myself.” 

The Sabi Sabi family is incredibly proud of Tshwarelo and inspired by his determination. We have no doubt that he will succeed in reaching his goals and realising his dreams. We support him every step of the way. 

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