Our vision for safari is one defined by exclusivity, personalisation and unrivalled luxury. The people at Cheetah Plains are what bring this vision to life. Making up the majority of our staff complement, the women on our team shape and refine our offering, and at the helm of operations is Anrique Jansen van Vuuren.
While still in school, Anrique used to bake custom cakes for special occasions, and this early love for delighting people is what inspired her to pursue the world of hospitality. She went on to study Hospitality Management at the Swiss Hotel School and, while completing an internship at a private game reserve, fell in love with the bush and lodge environment. Now, after 8 years in the industry, Anrique has become well acquainted with making our guest’s safari dreams come true.
From coordinating arrivals to ensuring that every touchpoint resonates with personalised care, Anrique has a way of seamlessly orchestrating operations and ensuring that each detail is anticipated and seen to. Her meticulous approach spans across the different facets of day-to-day operations, from guest dietary preferences to crafting special surprises. “I love it when a plan comes together”, she says.
Since debuting our new luxury boutique, SHARI’S, Anrique has played an integral role in not only the administrative aspect but in creating an exceptional buying experience for our guests. She has a keen eye for curating display and enjoys taking guests on an interpretive journey through our selection of bespoke collectible design and safari style merchandise, while sharing stories of the creators and artists. This has become yet another way that Anrique gets to create memorable moments for guests, which is at the centre of what she loves to do.
“The most enjoyable part about working at Cheetah Plains is the small role I am able to play in making guests happy and leaving Africa with the most beautiful memories”.
She describes the bush as her first love, with her favourite animal being an elephant. On her first day working at Cheetah Plains, she was welcomed by a family of five elephants passing by. She says, “the most beautiful thing is that from that day on, without faltering, I see the same five elephants, be it on my way out of the reserve or coming back from my off days.” It’s their intelligence and endearing antics, particularly the young ones, that never fail to captivate her. “I could watch them for days without getting bored”. Among her many cherished encounters, she recalls one especially magical where, while setting up a drinks stop at Buff Pan, a large elephant bull came by and they got to quietly watch him move around them before peacefully heading off. “It was fantastic”, she says.
Anrique greatly admires the women on her team, as they ceaselessly infuse care and hard work into every part of Cheetah Plains. She has a special place in her heart for housekeeping staff, as their jobs are often underappreciated, yet they fulfil their duties with such joy. She looks up to Helene from our Reservations Team, who is a beacon of dedication and always willing to assist guests, regardless of the hour. Together, the many remarkable ladies on our team contribute a significant talent, personalised touch and sophisticated charm, and while South Africa officially celebrates Women’s Month in August, female empowerment is embedded in the culture of Cheetah Plains.