The Garonga Diaries: Lions, Mischief & Maintenance

A generally quiet week at Garonga (with the exception of some lion antics). The weather has become kinder and the extreme cold has departed for the moment. Every day now brings us 1 minute closer to summer. Fascinating I know.

The main event this week has been the Garonga lion pride that cornered/ambushed a kudu cow at the Boma fence by the farmhouse at Sunday dusk. To hear this poor young lady screaming and pining for her mum whilst she was being savaged by these lions did bring some quietness to us all. The lions, when devouring a prey, suddenly look very different; angry, violent, and intent on causing harm to anybody who even thinks of coming to disturb them. Not the cute little pussy cats anymore.

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The Garonga Diaries: All Change! Weather, Staff, Cables an All!

What a week it has been at Garonga Safari Camp!

Cooler Weather Sets In

The weather has definitely taken a turn for the worse across the whole country (see grey skies above!) We are lucky here in the Lowveld, even though it is still pretty bloody nippy. I can’t imagine what it is like in the hills and mountains around the Eastern Cape, Free State and Highveld. Snow on the mountains most definitely. Anyway, keep busy and you keep warm.

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Lockdown Reading with ‘The Garonga Diaries’

Written by Bernie Smith, Founder and Owner of Garonga Safari Camp.

Having just completed our normal annual close down for a month with our spring cleaning, maintenance, deep cleaning by outside agencies, emptying of drains, cleaning and polishing of floors, it was a bit of a knock to now be given another few months (I’m assuming) to carry on with this.

There is only so much you can clean or do; or so we thought. However, this gives us plenty of opportunity now to really get behind the scenes of what can be improved. I have a huge list already.

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Behind the scenes at Garonga: Meet the Housekeeping Team

Meet the invisible angels … the ones who miraculously make up the rooms and public areas but nobody sees them.

We all know that cleanliness is high on the list of importance of running a lodge and these ladies are all very proud of their duties and responsibilities, and each take great care in presenting a clean, immaculate room. In addition to the rooms they also take on other duties such as laundry, preparing The Bush Bath, and setting up The Sleepout. Even though a lot rests on their shoulders, these ladies continue to work quietly and diligently through their tasks.

Introducing the team…

Buhle:
Buhle oversees the housekeeping and laundry department and is also our massage therapist, which she is brilliant at! Originally from Zimbabwe, Buhle has been at Garonga for over 3 years now. She has a great rapport with her team, and she takes on this additional responsibility with enthusiasm.

Margaret:
Margaret has been employed at Garonga since day 1, which speaks true to her loyalty. Her housekeeping duties are at Little Garonga and she performs her tasks extremely well and with great pride, knowing that it is only her responsible for the more luxurious rooms at Little Garonga.

Garonga House Keeping Team
Senty

Dorah:
Dorah has been at Garonga for 18 years now so is a seasoned veteran of looking after guest rooms. She is very quiet but gets on with her tasks with great determination and pride. Being an ex-school teacher, she is well respected by all staff and assists greatly with their personal queries.

Delphine:
Delphine is fairly new to the camp and has been with us for just over 3 years. Having suffered tragic family problems, it is admirable how she has continued her tasks with such pride and enthusiasm.

Senty:
Affectionately referred to as ‘The Scruffy One’, Senty is extremely proud of her appearance and very professional in her duties. She has been at Garonga now for 17 years and is a great asset to the team.

Garonga House Keeping Team
Senty

Christine:
Having been at Garonga for 18 years, Christine is responsible for laundry and the public areas of Little Garonga, as well as assisting Margaret when the camp is full. Christine has a great sense of humour and enjoys light banter which is always great fun to work with. She is extremely professional and proud of her work.

Garonga House Keeping Team
Eunice

Eunice:
Eunice has been at Garonga for 16 years. She has the great responsibility for the laundry at the main camp, which demonstrates her careful nature with what she does especially considering some guests’ clothing can be very fragile and expensive. She also ensures the cleanliness and tidiness of all the public areas and you will always see Eunice with a smile on her face.

Garonga House Keeping Team
Eunice

Phyllis:
Phyllis has been at Garonga for just over 8 years and has the unenviable task of looking after Bernie’s (otherwise known as ‘Mr. Grumpy’) house. Diligent and highly intelligent, Phyllis is always up for a good old natter and enjoys partaking in the occasional discussion on current affairs. She keeps Bernie informed on any staffing problems or issues so he can then sort them out quickly.

These ladies are all such an asset to our team and are an integral part of making Garonga what it is. They give the rooms that loving touch so when you climb into bed, it feels like home!