There is an old adage that “the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world”. It is in this spirit, as South Africa celebrates Women’s Day on the 10th August, that we acknowledge and pay tribute to the exceptional women of Sabi Sabi, those at the forefront and those behind the scenes, who have played such a vital role in forging the company into the international icon it is today.
Since its inception 3 ½ decades ago, director and co-owner Jacqui Loon has been the creative force at Sabi Sabi. Her extraordinary vision has shaped our four beautiful lodges, and her passion has inspired the people who work there. A gifted artist, her decorative flair is evident in every corner, and her magnificent portraits of the people of Africa grace the lodge walls with guests clamouring to take them home.
Each of the Sabi Sabi luxury lodges is captained by a team of strong and wonderful women, who individually have their own families and somehow they all manage to balance operating their families, their lodges and staff of the greater Sabi Sabi family with apparent ease.
Warm, gracious Lauren Wyndham is the Manager of Bush Lodge. An exceptional lady who is the gentle driving power behind so many new innovations at the lodge. Under her stewardship Bush Lodge has seen the construction of the immensely popular EleFun Centre, which is managed by Larney and provides a fun and safe environment for visiting children. The Bush Lodge team includes a host of women in pivotal positions including the Front Office Manager – Lyndie, Boutique Manager – Lizbeth, Housekeeping – Fatuma and our intrepid group of female rangers, and not forgetting our warm and ever welcoming hospitality staff all of whom ensure that this world class lodge runs like clockwork.
Selati Camp’s manager, Ashleigh Heasman, brings her distinctive creativity with delightful touches at this most romantic of lodges. Homemade delicacies freshly prepared by Chef Gift, are laid out in the suites at evening turn down. Guests are made to feel completely at home and special occasions are uniquely celebrated. Big 5 safari experiences are led by Selati Camp’s two rangers, one of whom is, of course, a woman.
Little Bush Camp’s Alta van Zyl is known for her warm hearted welcome, with guests particularly enjoying the special panache that she brings to the lodge – visitor’s personal favourites are provided at mealtimes and the team take great pride in arranging different surprise locations for breakfasts, lunches or romantic dinners – Alta has a style that guests adore. Her team pays meticulous attention to each suite ensuring that visitors are comfortable, well cared for and given a complete 5-Star experience.
Earth Lodge is run with friendly, caring precision by Nadia Schoeman, supported by her management and safari team. A former top ranger at Sabi Sabi, Nadia combines her love of the bush with a flair for homemaking that is evident throughout the lodge. The Earth Lodge team combine the efforts of the staff from Amani Spa – managed by Krystal, Liezel, Assistant Lodge Manager and the wonderful Goodness and Marcia, who welcome each dining guest as if they were long lost friends – together these women work in harmony in running this world renowned iconic lodge.
We must make mention of the support staff at all of the lodges who take such care of our visitors from around the world. They complete the fabulous team of women who are the heart and soul of Sabi Sabi.
This formidable team of women managers is just the tip of the iceberg – women are at the heart of all operations at Sabi Sabi.