Our site relies on Javascript, but your browser appears to have it disabled. Please enable it to be able to use this site.
Close
Cheetah Plains is managed by Jan, responsible for Management and Marketing.
R6445 - R9990/night
Suitable for up to 2 people

Loading contact form...
Dinner al fresco - Cheetah Plains, in Sabi Sand / Kruger National Park, South Africa
— Jan: “The beauty about Cheetah Plains is that it’s in the world famous Sabi flats. It’s one of the best big 5 destinations in the world in my opinion.”
Interview By:

— How did you end up opening a safari lodge in South Africa?

Jan: “My father was a Dutch hotelier, so I grew up in the hotel business. When I first came out of school I opened a few restaurants in Pretoria, but as early as 1994 I got the option of buying a share in a game lodge in Botswana. I had grown up in the bush, but it was the game lodge in Mashatu Botswana that allowed me to experience life in the bush again and I completely I fell in love with it.

So in 1994 my wife, Jaci, and I opened our first lodge in Madikwe called Madikwe River Lodge. We sold that in 1997 and went to Mozambique to open another lodge there on the river. In 2000 we opened Jaci’s Lodges in Madikwe and now we have just taken over the management of Cheetah Plains.”
Dinner al fresco - Cheetah Plains, in Sabi Sand / Kruger National Park, South Africa
— Dinner al fresco

— Tell me a little bit about Cheetah Plains, the safari lodge.

Jan: “Cheetah Plains is owned by a great friend of mine, Jaapie Van Niekerk. Jaapie is a developer and we are responsible to make his lodge known to international and local guests, making sure that their stay is exceptional. The beauty about Cheetah Plains is that it’s in the world famous Sabi flats. Its southern boundary is on Mala Mala and its eastern boundary is on the Kruger National Park, so it’s in a very special position. On top of that, we have about 7,500 – 8,000 hectares of exclusivity with only two vehicles and guides.

It’s one of the best big 5 destinations in the world in my opinion. I haven’t seen better big 5 — lion, elephant, buffalo, rhino and leopard — anywhere. Apart from the fact that there’s fantastic lion and cheetah, Sabi Sands is known for the leopard. You might have a better chance of seeing them here than anywhere else as far as I’m concerned.”
 - Cheetah Plains, in Sabi Sand / Kruger National Park, South Africa

— Tell me a little bit about the facilities at Cheetah Plains.

Jan: “What I like about Cheetah Plains is that it’s all absolutely unique; it’s the kind of camp that I have fallen in love with over the last 15 years. A camp that tells you that you are in the bush; it’s surrounded by bush. It’s got 8 rooms which are open to nature, and the main lodge, the dining room and the sitting room are also all very open. We’ve got a beautiful view and a lot of activities outside.

We have a place where you can have your massage and, of course, we have a swimming pool. That’s very important because you want to go back home with a sun tan. Otherwise it seems like it wasn’t a good holiday...

We try and look after you from the time you arrive until the time you leave. My thought is that if you’ve got the right people in the right places, your guests all the way from Europe or anywhere else in the world will have the finest sort of experience possible in South Africa. And anywhere else in Sabi Sands you’re going to be paying double or triple our price.”
 - Cheetah Plains, in Sabi Sand / Kruger National Park, South Africa

— So Cheetah Plains is a rather romantic place?

Jan: “Of course, especially when you make fires. When you have a fire at night and sit around it we call that ‘bush TV’. Do you know what I mean? It’s the best entertainment in the world because you speak to each other with a nice glass of wine. I’m a lot more romantic in the bush because the setting is right and the ambience is right — it’s a feeling that you’re in a perfect place.”
Cheetah Plains swimming pool - Cheetah Plains, in Sabi Sand / Kruger National Park, South Africa
— Cheetah Plains swimming pool

— The Kruger National Park is quite famous. How is the Sabi Sands Reserve different?

Jan: “I think you have to look at it from a historical point of view. The Kruger National Park was always a government run national park. Sabi Sands is joined to the Kruger national park today, but the difference is that in the Sabi Sand the land belongs to private owners. In other words, people have invested their money to buy the land. 20 years ago, hunting camps changed to photographic safaris and that was what initiated our industry. So today you don’t have to shoot the animals, but you take a picture – it’s more satisfying and much more rewarding.

It’s a fine way of observing nature very, very close by. All of a sudden, we could take people right up to lions and leopards, maybe 3-5 metres away from the animals. That usually never happened.”
Game drive at Cheetah Plains - Cheetah Plains, in Sabi Sand / Kruger National Park, South Africa
— Game drive at Cheetah Plains

— So each game reserve has its own character?

Jan: “In Africa, each wildlife area or game reserve has got its strengths and its weaknesses. Never go to just one game reserve and think you’ve seen it all. Every game reserve or wildlife area is absolutely unique and different. Yes, we might have a lot of the same animals but in different locations with different vegetation and different topographies. If you are going from the Kalahari to Madikwe to the Transvaal, each is a very different experience.”
 - Cheetah Plains, in Sabi Sand / Kruger National Park, South Africa
 
Copyright © 2016 Welcome Beyond