The Team @ Khaya Ndlovu
Trevor is an astute businessman with a deep passion for the African bush. Khaya Ndlovu would not have been developed without Trevor’s foresight and style; He is a pioneer and his vision is one of the reasons, Hoedspruit is on the map. Trevor has skilfully assembled this beautiful lodge with a dedicated team of staff members who clearly love their jobs. He understands that people are the greatest investment, which is evident in the professional, efficient and friendly way his staff go about their day.
Despite his busy schedule, Trevor is available and part of the team. He is not only hard working; he is fun and kind and has a wealth of knowledge on an array of topics. Most evenings; Trevor is there to host his guests at dinner, he makes them feel included and special. For Trevor; it is personal, he makes you feel welcome and part of the Manor House family.
If it wasn’t for her adoring partner in crime, Trevor; no one would ever know that this member of the team is a former, champion race-horse trainer. Lisa; the Manor House matriarch, will make you feel as if you are a part of her extended family, effortlessly and without pretence. A passionate animal lover, she will invariably have an orphaned bush- baby, covertly nestled somewhere in the folds of her clothes and plays foster mum to the legendary Georgina, a role in which she really did earn her stripes.
George validates the old adage that Malawians take the African cake when it comes to friendliness and service excellence…He does his nation proud! Top of his year at the South African Butler Academy, George is a consummate, professional standout of the Khaya Ndlovu Manor House team. His beautiful smile is contagious, and compliments an impeccable manner. With little fuss and an innate understanding of his guest, George excels in making one feel like royalty.
Shane is a man committed to keeping your mouth watering and your tummy full. Watch his smile run around his face, as he presents his delectable dinner menus, always ready with a joke on board. Exceptionally talented at his chosen profession, his happy persona and sumptuous cuisine will remain etched in your forever memories, long after your departure from Khaya Ndlovu.
Her vivacious and bubbly nature ensures that Nel is the perfect manageress. No request is too big for Nel to meet; you just need to ask! She is a friendly, caring professional who runs a tight ship of helpful, kind staff, all of whom respect her enormously.
There is always one person who feels like the glue of a family, Princess is Khaya Ndlovu’s answer to trinepon and another one who keeps the hunger pangs at bay. Princess’s story is well-worth telling, having started at Khaya Ndlovu six years ago as a pot-washer. Forever peeping around the scullery door, Princess absorbed every detail of the preceding chefs’ meal preparation and today this self-taught sous-chef will produce a meal that will leave you smacking your lips.
Don’t be fooled by this softly-spoken, sweet-hearted guy. Beneath that quiet disposition, lies a wealth of knowledge. Passionate about the bush and its inhabitants, Peter courteously guides you through the activities in the area. He is an avid bird-watcher and will enthral you with his enthusiasm for birds and the bird-ringing process, which is used the world over, as a useful research tool.
Is it possible for anyone to really have eyes in the back of their heads? This guy sure does; a quietly-spoken guide who will go out of his way to ensure you have the most authentic and exciting game-drive experience ever! Not one to use a radio, rushing from one sighting to another, Honest will use his instinctive God-given talent to track down those elusive sightings. Some guys just have it and he is one of them – the yen for adventure and the innate ability to seek the indefinable!
Samuel grew up on the back of a feisty thoroughbred race-horse in his native Zimbabwe. He was instrumental in setting up and training the anti-poaching guards to ride, overseeing the rhino protection patrols on the reserve. At every opportunity, he assists Honest on the tracking seat, a skill he has developed, thanks to the hours he has spent on anti-poaching trails.
An hour in these healing hands will leave you feeling relaxed and energised. Victoria is proud of her spa, which she rules with an iron hand.
The silent thirst and hunger assassin, Sebastian seems to always be there to make sure you are well fed and watered and whined. A gentle kind and professional member of the team, if there is anything you need, he will make sure you receive it.
Cici is a personal life saver for mums and dads, who are in desperate need of some time out. Children can be exhausting, and mum and dad are tired too, but Cici makes it look like the easiest thing in the world. Toddlers are drawn to her loving, warm character and love their time being cared for by the best African mama you have ever met. Parents are able to sit back and enjoy the Manor House experience, relaxed in the knowledge that their precious, little bundles of super-charged joy, are in the safest most loving arms.
Ethans; renowned for the best cappuccinos ever. A quiet member of the Khaya team; Ethans - in the most gentle and subtle manner unique to herself, will make sure that your meals are delivered on time and your glasses remain charged – all served with the customary Shangaan smile.
After spending a year working in the garden, Jabu joined the waiting-staff on the deck and was re-christened Jabulani (“Happy” in Shangaan) by the management. What’s that about and early bird and a worm? This is one early bird; always up and about before the sun rises, preparing the deck and surrounds for the day ahead and ready to meet every requirement of every guest.
If there is one person you need in your team, it’s Shannon. This no-nonsense marketing guru will keep you informed and up to date with all the latest activities in the region and ensure you rest easy at night in the most comfortable Manor House accommodation. She instinctively knows what will suit your needs and will ensure that every desire is met. It’s well-worth having her on your side.
This very special, adopted daughter of Trevor and Lisa’s is very much part of the Manor House team – or put it this way – in her own mind she is. Apart from her devoted parents, the rest of the staff, check gingerly that she is not about when making their escape to their respective wheels. Orphaned when less than a week old, Georgina truly believes she is a human / thoroughbred horse and not a zebra, but sorry for some – those displays of zebra affection, sometimes involving teeth, can be just a bit too boisterous! One day, it is hoped that Georgie will be accepted by a wild herd on the reserve and live out her days where she belongs, naturally and in the bush.
There is nothing on earth quite as cute as a Lesser Bush-baby; the smallest members of the primate family, affectionately and commonly called a nag-aapie, (night-ape) due to their nocturnal status. These arboreal babies often fall from their nests when they are too young to fend for themselves. This is where Lisa comes into the picture. After spending three or so months in her care, whilst most of them rehab themselves and head off into the garden, “Arpie Ten and Eleven” have taken up residence in the thatch on the Manor House deck. It is not uncommon for Aapie Ten to join the guests at meal times, snatching a morsel off their dinner plates before leaping into the rafters in search of insects and other delicious nag-aapie food.
On approaching this feline Goddess, the reason for her name will become plainly apparent! Most of her day is spent lounging around, but at times she does fancy herself as a big-game hunter and will eagerly deliver the corpse of a locust or mouse on the cherished Saruk Mir Persian that adorns the Manor House entrance hall.
That knowledgeable and helpful voice on the end of the line belongs to Jess. She is service-driven and will make sure that all those necessary extras like the airport transfers, dietary requirements etc are taken care of.
Having been orphaned whilst still in primary school and not wishing to burden his favourite auntie with his care for longer than necessary, Surprise had no option but to seek employment very early on in life. Arriving at the Khaya Ndlovu Manor House gate begging for work, as a young 18-year-old, Surprise set about mowing the lawn and watering pot plants in the garden. It was not long before his infectious character and disarming smile had captured the attention of Nel, and Surprise’s role at Khaya Ndlovu was quickly elevated. He has become a firm favourite with all our guests supporting George and Seb with a charismatic service that belies his humble beginnings.
Following in the footsteps of her friend Princess, Della also started out in the scullery washing dishes, but it soon became apparent to her that this was not the career choice of a life-long ambition! After a stint at a chefs’ training school, Della returned to Khaya Ndlovu to further her passion in the kitchen. By her own admission, breakfast is her favourite meal to prepare, and judging by the delicious Eggs Benedict that she whips up so proficiently, she certainly has this breakfast dish taped!