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The Royals of SAFARISM!

Updated: Mar 4

I bet not many of you know that SAFARISM has its very own Royal family!

I am of course talking about the Prince of Thornybush River Lodge and the Princess of Khaya Ndlovu Manor House; both of whom are dedicated to keeping mouths watering and tummies full!

The Prince of Thornybush River Lodge

Prince was forced to teach himself to cook at the tender age of 11 after his mother became gravely ill. With younger siblings needing to be fed, Prince assumed the responsibility of chief cook at his childhood home in Hlukani, bordering the Kruger National Park.

In between school, tending to the family’s vegetable garden and the odd game of roadside soccer, Prince produced meal after meal for his grateful family, and so ignited a passion that was to last a lifetime.

As soon as he had graduated from school, Prince applied to the Singita Cooking Institute, an upliftment programme that the school offers. He was naturally thrilled to be one of ten successful candidates to complete the 18-month apprenticeship from an original application of over 200. Graduation day dawned and Prince was snapped up by the team at Singita Sabi Sand where he had the privilege of working with many culinary masters including the food magician, Liam Tomlinson.

Prince joined the Thornybush River Lodge in 2017 where, in his own words ‘’he has the freedom to be creative,’’ an immensely important factor in his chosen career.

Anyone who has sampled any of Prince’s delicious meals including his signature Caesar salad with a twist will surely agree that this man’s culinary talent knows no bounds.

The Princess of Khaya Ndlovu

Princess’s working life started out with a menial bush-clearing job in the Nelspruit area. She recalls a humorous, but at the time frightening incident, that quickly jolted her into finding different work. The bush-clearing team were working deep in a thick and over-grown scrub-thorn forest, and Princess needed to relieve herself. She ambled along a game path, closer to the river to escape the eyes of her co-workers. “Just as a I squatted down to wee,” giggles Princess, “a water monitor came ambling out of a thicket next to me.” She recalls that at first, she thought that it was a crocodile and let out a blood curdling scream, falling on her bum! Removing the paper-thorns from her rear-end that evening, Princess decided that the time had come to find alternative employment.

It was therefore thanks to the innocent water monitor that Princess started at Khaya Ndlovu scrubbing dishes in the scullery. She had always dreamed of learning to cook and as the scullery is adjacent to the kitchen, she was able to peep around the corner and keep a watchful and secretive eye on the chef of the day.

Not long after her first day of work at Khaya she asked if she could try her hand at cooking a staff meal, and the rest is now history for this self-trained Princess of the Khaya Ndlovu kitchen. “But it was not all plain sailing” chuckles Princess. With no formal chef training, she had to work her way around all the different kitchen products “and in the early days, the yoghurt-like tubs of Pine Gel could quite easily land up in the cold room, whilst the white wine could be safely found in the cleaning cupboard!”

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Hoedspruit, 1380

Limpopo Province 

South Africa