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Sabi Sand, South Africa (May 9, 2023): Cheetah Plains, home to the exclusive-use luxury villa and sustainable safari experience in South Africa’s Sabi Sand Nature Reserve, is raising the bar for gastronomic experiences in the bush. As the pioneer of innovative eco-luxury safari for the modern age, Cheetah Plains is setting new standards in remote and off grid gourmet offerings for its guests. Headed by chef Charlaine-Lee Fouche and inspired by the setting and style of Cheetah Plains, guests will have a taste of varying flavors and cooking techniques driven by 5-star standards and best practices in sustainability.

With almost 20 years of experience, chef Charlaine is passionate about personally selecting and bringing unique South African delicacies to the table. With a team of eight sous chefs and four pastry chefs, Cheetah Plains’ culinary brigade offers the highest chef-to-guest ratio in the Sabi Sand. Its dedicated culinary team is committed to creating new inventive dishes to accentuate the freshness of seasonal local ingredients and showcase exquisite international dishes through a careful balancing of colors, aromas, and flavors.  With no set menu, Cheetah Plains is constantly evolving each course to satisfy the most discerning of palates and diversity of travelers. With eclectic favorites such as Tomato Lamb Bredie, traditional Oxtail Potjie, Crumbed Pap Balls, Milk Tarts (custard-filled pastries), their famous Malva pudding with a rooibos crème anglaise, sushi in the bush made with fresh fish from Mozambique and a design-your-own pizza experience for families. 

A sophisticated dining experience in the bush, each villa at Cheetah Plains has its own dining room and special outdoor boma area allowing guests to enjoy fireside al fresco dining. The swimming pool deck is perfect for pre-dinner cocktails or as an additional location for outdoor feasting. Surprise bush experiences while on safari as well as sundowners, brunch in the bush and morning coffee breaks hold the promise of an extraordinary culinary experience for guests with authentic, imaginative dishes. Each meal of the day is thoroughly planned to always have an element of surprise, be it in the dish itself, a stunning backdrop, or unique wine or spirits pairing.

“South African cuisine reflects the diverse range of culinary traditions embodied by the various communities that inhabit our country. I believe you have not experienced South Africa until you have enjoyed a traditional al fresco braai, as much for the barbecued food as for the cultural experience. It is my goal to deliver an extremely high standard of quality dining experiences and to create everlasting memories for our guests at Cheetah Plains,” shares Chef Charlaine – Lee Fouche.

Wine, Whiskey, and Spirit Experiences

For wine connoisseurs, the wine collection at Cheetah Plains serves personal and small-group tastings from a local collection of over bottles and 200 labels. Wines, whiskeys, and spirits including South African gins, of the most discerning quality are kept in the villa’s private temperature controlled wine gallery. Owner Japie van Niekerk’s favorite varietals can be found throughout the collection which he personally selects and is composed of purely South African wines. Guests can couple their wine, whiskey, or gin tasting, paired by a personal sommelier, with a private dinner in their villa, outside in the indigenous gardens, or in the bushveld.

A Kosher Offering

Chef can tailor menus to guests dietary preferences including gluten free, allergies and vegan as well as deliver a host of unique kosher preparations that specifically cater to Orthodox Jewish guests. Ingredients are procured at Kosher World South Africa and all arrangements are made prior to arrival. The meal service and kitchen cleaning are carried out in accordance with kosher principles, and include the usage of crockery and cutlery dedicated solely to the purpose of kosher catering. There is also the option for a Mashgiach to arrive at the lodge a day before guests to kasher the entire kitchen who stays on site to supervise the in-house Chef during all meal preparations and services. 

Sourcing Locally

Cheetah Plains’ culinary team relies on fresh deliveries weekly from local producers with the finest quality of ingredients from Hoedspruit, Nelspruit and White River. Menus are designed to ensure minimal waste of all ingredients, while food waste is shared with local communities for livestock fodder. The culinary team keeps up with the latest global food trends as the future of Safari Cuisine leans towards healthier eating and sustainable food sources. 

About Chef Charlaine- Lee Fouche

Inspired for decades by international chefs such as Dominique Crenn, Clare Smyth, and Massimo Bottura, Chef Charlaine started in the culinary world in 2005 with her mentor Otto Stumke who had over 25 years of experience, and who guided her with his perception on what to expect in the hospitality industry, as well as, fine tuned her culinary skills. Prior to working at Cheetah Plains, Charlaine worked for eight years with Golfing Africa as the Executive Chef as well as Glenburn Lodge as the Senior Chef de Partie, and Mount Grace Country House & Spa as a Pastry Chef. She received a Diploma in Culinary Arts at the Prue Leith Chefs Academy and holds a certificate in South Africa Wines from the Cape Wine Academy.

About Cheetah Plains: 

Opened in 2018, Cheetah Plains is home to the exclusive-use luxury villa and sustainable safari experience nestled in South Africa’s most celebrated wildlife area, the Sabi Sand Nature Reserve. The eco-luxe experience includes three private villas with four guest bush suites that accommodate up to eight guests each with its own formal lounge, living and dining areas, expansive swimming pool, and outdoor deck that operates off-grid. Each villa comes with a complete hospitality team consisting of an accomplished host, butler, culinary team, and spa therapist, as well as an expert field guide and tracker dedicated to you for the duration of your stay. Families and children of all ages are welcome to experience their own personalized safari, guided bush walks, wellness offerings, fitness gym, and tailored activities for kids. Cheetah Plains sets the standard in South Africa for zero-emission game-viewing utilizing its own fleet of solar-charged Land Cruiser Electric Safari vehicles. A luxury sustainable safari that is beyond expectations.

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Cheetah Plains

+27 71 100 7834 (Nikki Wilsworth)


Make cheetah plains your private sanctuary

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