Chai and Katharine Patel

OWNERS

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Adam Whitfield

OPERATING PARTNER

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Cherie Whitfield

OPERATING PARTNER/ RESERVATIONS MANAGER

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Elaine Frolik

GENERAL MANAGER

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Simoné Coetzee

ASSISTANT MANAGER

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Kevin Farrell

ASSISTANT MANAGER / MAINTENANCE MANAGER

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Doctor Masu (Doc)

GUIDE

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Eva Marope

HOSTESS

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Amos Mncube (Zulu)

HEAD CHEF

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Beauty Modikwane

CHEF

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Serati Kgobokwe

JUNIOR CHEF

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Gift Phiri

BARMAN

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Eunice Ratsella

WAITRESS

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Bright Phiri

WAITER / BARMAN

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Valencia Masilo

WAITERESS

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Kenielwe Sekibi (Kenny)

HEAD HOUSEKEEPER

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Mmamosadi Molefe (Sadi)

HOUSEKEEPER

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Tshepiso Seleka

HOUSEKEEPER

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Karabo Rassello

SCULLER / MAINTENANCE ASSISTANT

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Simon Mokotedi (Skoko)

MAINTENANCE

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Albert Mosinyi (Tsotso)

MAINTENANCE

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  • Albert Mosinyi (Tsotso)

    I started working at Royal Madikwe in the maintenance department in April 2013 and I like very much what I do. Mostly, I like the plumbing and electrical side because I did not know how to do this when I started to work here- everything I know is because of Royal Madikwe. I like to work here because everyone is friendly and I am happy to have my job because I can support my family.

    I am building a house in Supingstad Village, where I grew up, for my mother and father and younger brother and sisters. When that is finished, I will build my house. I am also sending my brother to the FET College in Lehurutshe to study Civil Engineering. I did not have that opportunity because my family did not have money, but my mother wanted to send me to college to study engineering. One day I will go to complete my studies.

  • Simon Mokotedi (Skoko)

    I have been working at Royal Madikwe since 2006. I come from Supingstad where my family, my mother and father, live in the village. My beautiful daughters, Refilwe and Pallesa and my son, Omogholo, live with their mother in Lehurutshe.

    I do the maintenance at the lodge, but my real dream is to be a game ranger some day. I love everything about the bush, to be in the bush for a long time you can learn so many things and to talk to our guests is very enjoyable. If our guests can read something about me, I want to say that Royal Madikwe is really looking so beautiful because we put our little best effort to make everything beautiful, everything they see must be beautiful.

    It is all about the staff, it is all about the management- it is that when we are working together as a team we can make Royal Madikwe big.

  • Karabo Rassello

    I grew up in the village of Supingstad, where I went to school. I live in the village with my mother and my little sisters. I started working at Royal Madikwe in 2014 as a sculler and I am now also assisting in the maintenance department.

    The first thing I like about Royal Madikwe is that the staff have a big spirit, even the managers – we are working very good here. In five years’ time I would like to be a business man, I would like to have my own butcher shop where I can sell the meat of cows and goats. This is my big dream for one day.

  • Tshepiso Seleka

    I started to work at Royal Madikwe in April 2014 as a sculler and then I started to work as a housekeeper. It is nice because the lodge is very close to my home, Supingstad. I live in the village with my mum, my grandmother, my uncle and my two boys. I really like to work at Royal Madikwe because everybody is so nice. If I can say something about myself, it is that I am a shy girl who likes to laugh and be happy!

  • Mmamosadi Molefe (Sadi)

    I come from a village called Dinokana where I live with my younger sister and my 3 children and 3 grandchildren. I started to work at Royal Madikwe on 13 December 2003 as a housekeeper. It has been a long time that I have been here and the reason I have stayed at my job is because I enjoy it and I have learned so many things. I enjoy very much to be a housekeeper because I can make sure that the rooms are beautiful for our guests and to make everything very special for their holiday.

  • Kenielwe Sekibi (Kenny)

    I live in the village of Lekgophung with my son and my brother and his little girl. I started in Royal Madikwe in 2004. Royal Madikwe is like a home to me, I don’t see myself out there one day, I like staying here because, even the company itself is making me very happy. I came to Royal Madikwe as a Housekeeper and then management and the company saw something in me, they saw responsibility, loyalty and I was promoted to the Head of Housekeeping.

    Even me, I saw loyalty in the company that is the main reason I stayed at Royal Madikwe for a long time. My favorite thing about Royal Madikwe is that the company is taking care of everybody and we are all treated the same way, taking us as one family, one team, we are like family at Royal Madikwe, we are like friends. Our teamwork is the most important thing – this is how we do it at Royal Madikwe. I am very proud of myself because the company is very proud of me.


  • Valencia Masilo

    I was born in Kuruman in the Northern Cape, but I now live in Carltonville with my parents and my 3 sisters – I am the youngest. Before I came to Royal Madikwe, I was a waitress at a restaurant in Soweto. I enjoy the quiet, peaceful life and so I wanted to experience the bush life.

    I recently started my journey at Royal in October 2015 and I really like it here, everyone is so nice. I also love to cook and wish to have my own restaurant one day in the future. For now I am enjoying this exciting new adventure…

  • Bright Phiri

    I come from Malawi but I am living in Supingstad at the moment with my brothers. I am Gift’s younger brother. I am working as a waiter and barman at Royal Madikwe since March 2015. I like talking to the guests – the Royal guests are always friendly and happy. I like everyone that I work with at Royal Madikwe.

  • Eunice Ratsella

    I have been working at Royal Madikwe for the past 2 years, since 2013. I really enjoy to work at Royal Madikwe, to sing for the guests and to make them to feel at home. At Royal Madikwe I feel like I am at home, the staff, the management, everybody is like a family, these people are my family.

    Back home in Supingstad, my son who is 7 years old, is attending Supingstad Primary School. He is a naughty boy, but I love him. I’m glad to work at Royal, without Royal I would be sitting at Supingstad with nothing, Royal, it is my everything.


  • Gift Phiri

    I come from Malawi, but I am currently living in Supingstad with my two brothers. I also have a beautiful baby girl who was born in March 2015. My older brother sells the wood curios at the Wonderboom Gate, at the entrance to Madikwe, and my younger brother, Bright, is working with me at Royal Madikwe as a waiter and barman.

    I have been working at Royal Madikwe since September 2014 as a barman. I’m a guy who like talking to people too much – I enjoy meeting new people each and every time because the environment around here… it is so nice! The people are so happy here –it is good to work with happy people.

  • Serati Kgobokwe

    I started working at Royal Madikwe in July 2016 in the kitchen under the leadership of Amos and Beauty. I am really enjoying my time at Royal and working with this lovely team.
    I live in the village of Supingstad with my mother and four children. I have 3 strong boys and my little girl.

    When i was a young girl, my Grandmother taught me to cook and bake, as she was a chef. She inspired me, along with my mother who was also a cook, and i developed a love for baking at a young age. I studied Hospitality in Johannesburg and then began my journey of working in lodges as a chef, specializing in pastry. I love what i do and enjoy to see our guests with a full tummy after experiencing my dishes made with love.

  • Beauty Modikwane

    I come from the village of Supingstad where I live with my mum and my son, Osego who is 4 years old. He loves it when I come home because I bake so many things for him and it makes him very happy to eat my food. I am doing the cooking and baking for our guests.

    I have been working for many years as a pastry chef in Madikwe after doing a basic course in Zeerust, but I came to Royal Madikwe to learn the hot kitchen. Since I have been at Royal Madikwe, where I started my journey in May 2013, I have learnt so many things. Royal Madikwe is a happy place and I like to work here because I am learning a lot. I want to be an Executive chef in 5 years’ time.


  • Amos Mncube (Zulu)

    I am from a long way – my wife and two sons live in my home in New Castle in Kwa Zulu Natal. I started working at Royal Madikwe on 1 May 2006. I like everything about this environment, the staff, my cooking… just everything. I studied Hospitality in Johannesburg, but my experience comes from being in the kitchen.

    I am constantly learning; learning every day, the learning never stops- it is good to be challenged so you can keep on learning, the learning should never stop. If I have the opportunity, I would really like to open my own cooking school to teach youngsters about what I am doing now so that they can also experience it. I love my work, I love the team, I love the management, I love the feedback we are getting from the guests about our food. I want to say to our guests; “guys, please do come and experience Africa with us”.

  • Eva Marope

    I was born in Lekubo, close to Zeerust and I live there with my mother, brother, sister and my 2 beautiful children. I love spending time with my family and seeing my children, who are 3 and 9 years old. I started at Royal Madikwe in 2003 as a sculler and then I was promoted to Waitress in 2005.

    In the beginning of 2015 I was promoted to Hostess, which allows me to interact with our guests on a daily basis. I am also in charge of the Children’s Activities. Royal Madikwe is a special place and the people here are friendly and are more like my family. Royal Madikwe has taught me so much and I will never want to leave. Royal is my home.

  • Doctor Masu (Doc)

    I live in the village of Supingstad, where I was raised by my parents along with my younger brother and 2 younger sisters. I have a 10 year old daughter, Otshepeng, who goes to school in Supingstad. It is great to work so close to home as I can often pop out to see her. I have been working in Madikwe since 2002, starting as a tracker in the Eastern section of the Park, I became a guide after 8 years in the bush.

    I have been guiding for the past 5 years and most enjoy meeting new people and the exposure I have to so many different cultures. My specialty is tracking, where the reward of finding an animal after following in its’ footsteps in unlike anything else. I also love tree’s and enjoy sharing my knowledge with all my guests so that they can also enjoy all the amazing things I have the opportunity to experience every day. The experience at Royal Madikwe is very luxurious and the team is so relaxed- it is great to work with such happy people.


  • Cherie Whitfield

    Port Elizabeth born, I have found my way to a far off place. Not quite knowing what I wanted to do, I began an adventure which hit me like a freight train… this was it for me, a life in the bush! After 2 years in the industry, it was time for a new challenge and on the 17th March 2011 myself and now hubby, Adam, joined the team as Assistant Managers.

    In May 2012 we took over as the General Managers and what a journey it’s been! With the support of our team and the guidance of the owners, we have grown along with The Royal and are so proud of the accomplishments we have achieved together. Our little girl, Kyli, joined the Royal Family in March 2014 and has brought a lot of joy and laughter to all our lives! The Royal is our home and the team is our family- it is such a special place where so many dreams are realized.

  • Adam Whitfield

    Born in Port Elizabeth, SA, I grew up going on safari every year with my family and fell in love with the bush and adventure at a young age. I completed the Sweni walking safari in KNP at age 11 and I was even more hooked! After finishing my High school education and guiding qualifications I got an opportunity to work as a junior guide in the Eastern Cape.

    I have been a professional guide for the last 15 years and have had the opportunity to work in some of South Africa’s premier wildlife parks. I fell in love with Madikwe, her animals and especially her vast landscapes in 2011 and have had the opportunity to work for Royal Madikwe and her owners ever since. The Royal is a magical place and having such supportive and open minded owners has helped me to grow as a manager and a guide.

  • Chai and Katharine Patel

    Chai grew up in Africa and moved to the UK as a boy. He initially trained as a medical Doctor but with natural business skills became a successful healthcare entrepreneur. He had always wanted to return back to his beloved Africa and as a philanthropist he wanted to put back something to help people who were less fortunate than himself in rural areas. That combined with his love of wildlife made the bush a natural place to invest.

    Katharine born in New Zealand spent her early childhood in a very natural environment. Moving to the UK, training as a Nurse and working in both Public and Private Health settings for 30 years with her entrepreneurial spirit she set up and ran Health and Recruitment Businesses.

    In 2004 Chai took the opportunity with the support of his family, to create The Royal Madikwe. “I wanted to create a Business that increased local employment and to put profits back into the community to support Employment, Health and Education”

    Katharine with a love of the wild inspired by her Father, who was a great Naturalist, was very excited to spend time helping to develop the concept of The Royal Madikwe. They also wanted their children to be involved and understand a different way of life to help open their horizons.

    “We fell in love with the area of Madikwe and the incredible local people. If you read on you will see the personal stories of our wonderful team that are here to look after you. We want you to come and share in this magical experience with The Royal Family”.

  • Elaine Frolik – General Manager

    I grew up in a small town in the Eastern Free State. After completing my diploma in Hospitality Management I was in the fortune position to work at some incredible properties.
    Starting off at the bottom of the food chain and working my way up the ladder. During this time I have proven to myself that I followed my heart and living the dream.
    I don’t consider this as my job but rather a way of life. As no two days are ever the same. In April 2017 I had the privileged to join my new family at The Royal Madikwe.
    We look forward to welcoming you all to this magical hidden gem we all call home.

  • Martin Frolik – Operations Manager

    I started my journey in agricultural and from there on went to London for a few years.
    Came back to South Africa and did my FGASA as a part time course while working in various positions. Until I made the move into hospitality industry.

    Since then I have been in the lodge game for the last 6 years working at some unique properties.
    I fell in love with hospitality and have worked my way up and now have the privilege in running the lodge with my wife and have never looked back.

    As of March 2017 I joined this dynamic team now my family. I look forward in welcoming you home and sharing The Royal Madikwe experience with you.

  • Simoné Coetzee – Assistant Manager

    Growing up in the Eastern Cape I spend much of my time out in the bush learning and exploring the beautiful Albany Thicket.

    From a young age I have always known I will be working within the wildlife industry and I am fortunate enough to say that I am! In March of 2017 Kevin and I made the big move to the North West to begin our new adventure joining The Royal family.

    It has been an endless pleasure to be a part of such an enthusiastic team, fitting into our new home as assistant managers.

  • Kevin Farrell – Assistant Manager / Maintenance Manager

    I studied nature training for 2 years in KwaZulu Natal where I learnt the ins and outs of bush life. Spending most of my holidays on my family’s farm in Limpopo I discovered a love for the bush.

    I am very hands on and have been fortunate enough to have spent much time up close with many different animals; working with translocation and working alongside wildlife veterinarians.

    After my training I spent time working in the Eastern Cape where I met Simoné and we decided to move to The Royal Madikwe. Joining the team as assistant managers, we have found our place in the wild Africa we now call home.