NEW TEAM MEMBERS
At the beginning of September, we bid a very fond farewell to GMs Henk and Janine Ferreira, who are off an exciting new adventure, and welcomed fresh faces Ashleigh Gibson and Dylan Pons in their place. This vibrant young couple have a shared love of the bush and an enthusiastic approach to what is a challenging role in a remote location – we can’t wait to watch them make it their own!
We also welcomed a number of new field guides to the Makuleke private concession recently; Philip and Christa Harmsen and Keagan Osler. Feedback so far as been extremely complimentary and we are so enjoying the daily photographic updates from the team too.
There have been a number of very exciting developments impacting the guest experience at The Outpost and Pel’s Post in the last few months:
Pel’s Post refurbishment
Storm damage caused by Cyclone Freddy earlier in the year offered us the opportunity to completely revamp the decking at Pel’s Post; a project which was completed a few weeks ago. The indoor flooring as well as the outdoor decking, walkways and stairs were replaced with hard-wearing garapa timber while new glass stacking doors have been installed in place of the blinds in the main guest area.
New game vehicles
Anyone who operates a property in a location as remote as the northern Kruger will probably be familiar with the intense wear-and-tear inflicted on equipment by the rugged landscape. The previous generation of game vehicles were no exception – suffering from ongoing and extremely disruptive mechanical issues – so we were delighted when a shiny fleet of brand new custom-fitted Land Cruisers arrived to replace them.
As part of our efforts to create an experience that is unexpected, meaningful and considered, while offering a welcoming feeling of home, various departments at our two lodges in the Makuleke private concession benefitted from external training this year.
Our carefully-selected partners helped to revise and refine our front of house, housekeeping, spa and culinary offerings, including a dramatic – and delicious! – update to the menus, introducing Healing Earth spa products across the property, new uniforms for all staff and improved SOPs across the board.
In an effort to reduce our environmental impact, we are thrilled to be installing 118 x 550W solar panels at The Outpost which will provide 65 kWp, effectively powering the entire lodge. Not only is this a much more cost-effective and carbon-friendly solution than the current diesel generator (which will become a source of backup power in case of emergencies) but it allows us to also reduce noise pollution, maintenance hassles and the logistical challenges of operating a lodge in one of the remote parts of South Africa.
WILDLIFE & CONSERVATION
The seductive beauty of the northern Kruger’s unique landscapes is a huge part of the appeal of this extraordinary place. Sky-scraping baobabs, vertiginous sandstone gorges, wide-open grasslands and thick riverine forests can all be found here, filled with the most diverse plant and animal life in the Park.
The latest addition to the wilderness experience here is a young family of lions, translocated from Balule Private Game Reserve at the end of August. It is hoped that the female and her three cubs will help to establish a resident pride in this part of the reserve, helping to improve biodiversity as well as enriching the wildlife experience for guests.