This month we decided to get Dale into the hot seat and asked him some pertinent questions about his time and experiences at Tanda Tula. This honest, kind and funny gentle giant is not only a great leader, husband and father, but he is at the very core of everything we stand for and it is an honour for all of us to call him a friend and colleague.
How did you get into the safari industry?
My journey into this amazing lifestyle/workplace started thirty odd years ago as a young boy growing up in the Low-veld. My father was a real bush nut and I was very fortunate to be exposed to some incredible safari experiences throughout my formative years. This really captivated my passion and love of the African bush and its people. I remember running around our back garden in my khaki’s (which had to be slightly ripped so you looked like a real “game ranger”) and almost burning down my wooden Wendy house just so I could welcome my imaginary guests back with a cosy fire. We are incredibly fortunate in our industry to meet and establish some really special relationships with people from all over the globe, and from varied walks of life. It was through one of these special relationships that I got a foot in the door and never looked back. I will always be very grateful to the individuals who helped shape my career, none more so than the team I currently work with. They are an extraordinary bunch of human beings and I am very lucky to spend time with them every day!
How has Tanda Tula changed since you joined?
At the heart of our operation is the Tanda Tula family,headed up by Don, Nina, Formen, Hayley and me. We have stuck to our core values and beliefs and maintain an incredibly loyal and dedicated team who have stood by us for many years – that hasn’t changed! We have gone through a number of infrastructure and back-end changes to streamline our operations, but mainly so that we can work in a far more ecologically friendly and sustainable manner. I think the world has fundamentally altered the way we do business and the speed at which we conduct business; connectivity has been both a blessing and a curse in our industry. I see how hard it is nowadays for our guests to completely switch off and disconnect with the outside world. They struggle to allow themselves the opportunity to immerse themselves and truly reconnect with nature. We have really tried to balance this at Tanda Tula and have limited access to Wifi in certain parts of camp just to allow people the opportunity to switch off, to be still and to appreciate what is around them.
What was your craziest, funniest, scariest moment while working out here?
Proposing to my wife on game drive! Hayley was so keen to get stuck into the champagne she almost swallowed the ring. That was definitely one of the scariest, craziest and happiest days I have had out here in the Timbavati.But, seriously, there have been so many incredible experiences that I would really need another entire blog post or two!
What is the best part about leading the TT team?
For me, the best part is seeing how our team have grown as individuals over the years – this has been hugely rewarding. I have had a number of role models in my life and fortunately I still work with some of them. Watching individuals like Formen and Scotch, who I have known for close to twenty years, share and impart their knowledge and passion for the bush and it’s people with our guests is a hugely humbling experience.
Tanda Tula has been in operation since the late 1970s and some of our team have been with us from the very beginning. Their children have now followed in their footsteps and joined the Tanda Tula family – what a huge privilege to be able to provide the training and skills they needed to develop themselves. I am constantly learning from our talented team – this also includes some new tech millennials (Chad is outside of this bracket, by the way). They educate me on the use of Instagram, Twitter and the pros and cons of Mac versus Android – thanks very much Luke!
It has been a hugely challenging year for us all, but I consider myself very fortunate to be surrounded by an incredible team of people who will assist us in navigating our future Tanda Tula.
Rates are quoted in South African Rand (ZAR) and include VAT. Rates are reviewed quarterly and are subject to change.
Bookings can be held as provisional for up to 14 days, after which the booking is required to release or confirm. A 20% refundable deposit is required to confirm the booking.
Once confirmed with a 20% deposit, the booking is held on a status of ‘confirmed with refundable deposit’ until any of the following becomes true:
Final payment is due 60 days prior to arrival. Any outstanding balance on the total reservation value shall be required to be settled at 60 days prior to arrival.
All refundable deposits, commitment fees and full payments are held in a separate call account and do not become part of the operational cash flow until the guest has stayed.
The amount stated on the invoice is what must be received by Tanda Tula nett of bank charges.
Cancellations must be received and acknowledged by Tanda Tula in writing.
‘Confirmed with refundable deposit’: bookings carry no cancellation fees up to 61 days prior to arrival.
‘Confirmed with commitment’ or ‘Confirmed with full-payment’: in the event of any reservation being cancelled after Tanda Tula has issued a confirmation, for any reason other than a WHO-recognised pandemic that impacts the booking, the following cancellation fees will apply:
All cancelled bookings that qualify for a refund, will be refunded less a handling fee valued at 5% of the refund amount.
Tanda Tula will allow postponement of a booking for up to 12 months, if travel is cancelled with a commitment fee or 60 days or less prior to arrival due to a WHO-recognised pandemic directly impacting the guests’ ability to travel (e.g. lockdown, no flights, guest not allowed to board a flight, guest falls ill due to a pandemic and unable to travel).
In the event of a WHO-recognised pandemic directly impacting the ability of Tanda Tula to meet its obligations with respect to the booking, all monies received, including the commitment fee, will be fully refunded (e.g. lockdown in RSA, government restrictions on trade).
Any refund is given at the discretion of Tanda Tula management and will be charge a handling fee valued at 5% of the refund amount.
All travellers are advised to take out fully comprehensive travel insurance with ‘cancellation for no reason’. This insurance must be able to fully cover cancellation of travel fewer than 60 days prior to arrival.
The Terms and Conditions are subject to change without notice.