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November 9, 2020

Meet the team: Danielle and Russel

Here at Buffelsdrift Game Lodge, we believe that home is where the heart is- and a key part of that is the people you love. We’re one big happy family here, and it’s the skills and experiences every member of the team brings to the table that help shape the unique reserve experiences you have with us. Today we take a look at Danielle and Russel, two more special members of our team

Jack of all trade

Danielle acts as our receptionist here at Buffelsdrift Game Lodge, but she’s also a top-notch Game Ranger. She’s been with us for about 4 years at this point. She’s from the sleepy town of Uitenhage in the Eastern Cape, so she’s grown up around the bush her entire life. An avid fan of a good mystery thriller and an even better cup of coffee, she’s used to working at full speed around the resort. That doesn’t mean she doesn’t have an appreciation for the small things, however! Conservation is critically important to Danielle, which is why she recommends the Elephant and Lion Experiences to our guests. Not only will you see some fantastic sights, but the money we raise in turn helps us to preserve these exceptional animals for future generations.One of Danielle’s favourite memories on the reserve is from our spectacular lion trio. We often think of lions only as the fierce and majestic predators they are, but our lions are also babies in the scheme of things and have a softer side. Daniele keenly remembers our brave, strong male, Shumba, boldly protecting his meat and his sister...only to have the life startled out of him by a butterfly!. This unique blend of life-and-death with gentle whimsy is what makes a Lion experience so very special.Talking of safaris, Danielle warns our guests to remember their sunscreen and fluids- the summer heat in Oudtshoorn can be difficult even for the locals, and international visitors from cooler climes should be careful. That’s why she always recommends late afternoon and night safari drives to visitors- not only is the heat less oppressive, but you have an even better chance at seeing spectacular antics from the animals when it’s cooler, too!Guest hydration isn’t the only water Danielle worries about. The Karoo, and the Western Cape in general, is a dry landscape, and the last decades have brought endless struggles with drought. Working so intimately with the animals she loves may bring a cool tan, but it’s also made water scarcity top of her mind. While the Karoo holds a special part of her heart, she’s keen to take a long and quiet trip to the Greek Islands someday in the future. In the meantime, she’s content to snack on the delectable delights from the Buffelsdrift Restaurant- which, she advises, offers great value for money on portion sizes!

Top in his field

Russel, by contrast, is one of our newest field guides, but he’s already made his mark on the lodge. He loves being active, and tends to pack his days off with all the cycling, hiking, sport, and road trips with friends he can. He was born in George, close by in the Western Cape, so the beauties of the local bush are quite familiar to him. Like Danielle, he’s a fan of our Elephant Experience, but has had some of his most remarkable encounters at the game lodge during our Free Roaming Cheetah Experiences. The cheetahs hold a special place in his heart for their grace, beauty and predatory glamour. Despite the drama of confronting these quintessential African predators up-close-and-personal, he also advises you to pop a Meerkat Safari into your itinerary. These tiny beasts are just as iconic a feature of the African landscape, and you’re sure to enjoy their hilarious antics.!While being able to live, love and enjoy the bush so near home is a huge draw for Russel, he, like Danielle, wouldn’t mind a dream trip to an island destination for a change of pace. His particular destination of choice would be Hawai, with her lush jungles and volcanic landscapes so different from his South African homeland.Without our remarkable team, Buffelsdrift Game Lodge wouldn’t be the exceptional destination it is, and we’re proud to have people like this on our side! Why not stop by the lodge and meet them yourself this festive season?

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