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Natalie - teacher, mentor and friend

Shara Burger | Foundation

Natalie McFarlane runs the Tanda Tula Education Foundation, her passion and sincerity combined with her enthusiasm and caring nature make her the perfect person to teach all our learners, regardless of age, and help them to discover their potential and empower themselves. You only have to attend one of her classes to see how admired and loved she is.

1. Why did you become a teacher?

One of the biggest joys of being a teacher, and one of the main reasons why I chose a career in education, is the sense of empowerment I am able to instil in my students – whether they are a young child or an adult. Guiding a person to realise their true potential and watching their confidence grow as a result, is something that I am very passionate about. Knowledge truly is power, and I love being able to share that gift with others.

The Tanda Tula Education Foundation provides me with the wonderful opportunity of being an active part of promoting the empowerment of people, just on a much bigger, and even more meaningful scale.

2. What exactly does your role at Tanda Tula involve?

I manage the Tanda Tula Education Foundation which has two main branches: The Adult Literacy Program and the Tanda Tula Children’s Scholarships. I travel to Tanda Tula Safari Campthree mornings a week to run classes for our adult students, most of whom work in our housekeeping department. Our lessons involve basic literacy, improving spoken English and reading. I also focus on skills development and training for the staff.

The remainder of my time is spent managing the scholarship program from the offices in Hoedspruit. I work closely with Southern Cross Schools, which is the nature based private school our children attend, and their teachers, as well as the children’s parents to make sure that they are receiving the best possible support. It is important to bear in mind that the transition from a rural, government school to an English-medium private school setting can be quite a significant change for these children. As a result, many of them require extra tuition, additional after school support and lots of motivation and encouragement!

3. Why is this experience so different to a “standard” teaching job?

What makes my job so unique and exciting is the fact that every day is so different and diverse. It keeps me on my toes.

I am constantly inspired by our adult students in the Adult Literacy class, and their wonderful determination, sometimes it is the smallest things we take for granted that make the biggest impact on these students. I also get to share in a scholarship child’s pride when they get a good report card, and wave at them from the audience during their school concert – and all of this in a days’ work!

Oh! And I get to witness the most amazing things in the Timbavati on the way to the lodge, such a as large herds of elephants and packs of wild dogs in the road. Who doesn’t want a job like that?

4. What is the best part of what you do?

The best part about what I do at Tanda Tula is the people I have had the opportunity to get to know through my work – from the wonderful adult literacy students, general lodge staff, school teachers and tutors, and of course spending time with some of the incredible guests who come to Tanda Tula.

That, coupled with the fact that working for a company whose philosophy of showing true commitment and loyalty to their staff through upliftment, empowerment and education is paramount, makes me incredibly proud.



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Booking Terms & Conditions

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:

  • The booking is cancelled in writing by the agent.
  • Another request is received with overlapping dates. At such a time, the 20% refundable deposit shall be required to be converted
  • into a 20% non-refundable commitment fee. At this stage, the booking status changes to ‘confirmed with commitment.’ • In such an event, Tanda Tula will contact the client and give them the option to either confirm with the non-refundable
  • commitment fee or reschedule their dates, or, failing that, to release the booking.
  • At 60 days prior to arrival, when the full payment is due, the booking status changes to ‘confirmed with full-payment.’

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:

  • ‘Confirmed with commitment’: if cancelled more than 60 days prior to arrival, the cancellation fee shall be equal to the 20% non- refundable commitment fee.
  • ‘Confirmed with full-payment’: if cancelled between 60 days prior to arrival, the full reservation value is forfeited.

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.