At Cheetah Plains, we host a safari experience that’s truly one-of-a-kind, defined by sustainability, innovation and extreme personalisation. Ultimately, what brings this vision to life is the incredible people who work tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure the level of luxury and carbon efficiency we promise. One such luminary is Renier, our esteemed technical manager.
Renier’s role at Cheetah Plains is multi-faceted. He oversees our solar system and infrastructure, manages the fleet of electric vehicles and ensures the seamless flow of daily operations, to name a few. Playing a pivotal role in our sustainable objectives, Renier is responsible for monitoring the solar plant to ensure the lodge sustains itself with clean energy and maintains a carbon-negative status. Besides his tangible passion for renewables, Renier is a renowned jokester with a striking smile and sharp wit, carrying a light energy that’s a pleasure to be around, despite his immense responsibilities.
Renier’s professional journey began with a career in technology and vehicle tracking, as he started as a tracking unit installation technician and worked his way up the ranks, eventually becoming a technical supervisor and often serving as a technical and branch manager. His technical expertise and hands-on skills became his hallmark as he repaired older engines and dabbled in various engineering tasks. His decision to work in the wilderness was primarily driven by his longing for personal growth in a different environment – one far removed from the hustle and bustle of city life, he says. Now working in the bush, Renier describes a sense of fulfilment that starkly contrasts his previous day-to-day, where he spent most of his time in offices and cars.
What Renier enjoys most about working at Cheetah Plains is the people. With over 80 staff members working towards a shared goal of providing guests with an unforgettable, sustainable stay, Renier enjoys the daily challenges they face. He has a profound, individualised way of managing his team, which embodies our values of personal growth, mutual respect and teamwork.
I have learned so much while being here
Beyond his professional life, Renier has a penchant for working in the open air and learning new skills with his hands. He finds solace in spending quality time with his family and exploring the beauty of South Africa through travel. He also enjoys cooking and 4×4 trails, which complement his love for the great outdoors. His favourite animal is the Ground Hornbill, as he finds them to be peculiar and fascinating, convinced that he has a special kind of luck in spotting them.
As for Renier’s fondest memory at Cheetah Plains, he recalls one morning soon after he began working here, listening to the sounds of the wild. It was then that he realised he was becoming part of a legacy, as this is where his father grew up and where he is now – working in and exploring the wild, reconnecting with his roots and contributing to a unique vision of sustainable luxury.