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staff stories

Ultimately, it’s the people that define the soul of a destination. Creating an experience as personal as it is peerless is central to providing guests with an immediate sense of belonging, from arrival to departure.

The call for personalisation within hospitality resounds louder than ever as travellers are seeking more than just a place to stay. They crave a bespoke experience that resonates with their unique desires and preferences. For hosts, the responsibility and privilege lie in understanding and fulfilling these desires, crafting moments of genuine connection and delight. Enter Ollin Mazhambe, fondly known as Ollie.

Ollin has worn many hats throughout his career and boasts 15 years experience in the industry, from head chef at one of Cape Town’s trendy hotels to personal house manager for arguably the toughest critic, the owner of Cheetah Plains. Now a host at Cheetah Plains, Ollin puts to play his big personality and authentic way with people, often led by a sense of humour and a bit of charm. With Ollie, you don’t just get your morning coffee made to order; it’s served with a quick quip to boot.

He takes it in stride to be the first male host at Cheetah Plains, which is fitting since his Shona middle name, Tangai, means to be the first. As each villa gets allocated a dedicated staff cohort, from private field guide and tracker to culinary team, Ollin is responsible for orchestrating and tailoring a seamless safari experience. By seeking to know and understand every individual guest, Ollin works closely with his team to offer intuitive and individualised service, leaving a lasting impression that beckons even the most discerning travellers to return.

Having just come from the hustle and bustle of Cape Town, Ollin welcomes the wild and describes working in the bush as “a long woosah moment”, and “woosah”, meaning a state of calm and relaxation, is exactly the effect that Ollin has on his guests. It is people like Ollie that make up the magic at Cheetah Plains.


Make cheetah plains your private sanctuary

For a truly exclusive safari experience, the lodge can be booked for sole use.