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Our food journey

Shara Burger | From The Kitchen

In 2009, things in the Tanda Tula kitchen were run a little differently. The head chefs were a creative collaboration between Nina and Hayley, who could be found baking large batches of rusks or managing cooking disasters such as the once inspired pizza salad! Wow, we have come a long way.

Under the skill and guidance of Chef Ryan, today we can proudly say our food is some of the best in the bush! Luckily, Ryan joined the team very near the start and has been part of this incredible journey from almost the beginning. We asked him about some of the changes, his fondest memories and craziest moments.

1. What was the food like when you started at Tanda Tula?

“The food was not that bad, although there were a few strange combinations and there was that one time when Chef David made a lamb curry without any lamb in it! But generally, bush breakfast was similar to what it is now, and lunches were light salads. We have really grown and added some amazing new salads. Dinners’ were usually served in a simple buffet-style, but the food was rich and heavily cream based, but also a bit underwhelming for the caliber of the lodge. One of my biggest challenges when I started was the food wastage due to massive over catering, but today we are extremely careful about reusing ingredients where we can and making sure we prepare the right amount of food.”

2. How has it changed?

“The first thing I did was move away from basic buffet-style dinner menus to smaller, more delicate plated dinners with more emphasis on flavour and presentation. I also implemented a set cyclic menu system that changes each season to take advantage of all the wonderful local produce that is available in the area. Over the years I have adjusted and added dishes, courses and variation to the menus to help give as much value to our guest’s experience. We have also put a stop to David’s whiskey-infused morning coffee (which could explain the lamb-less lamb curry!)”

3. What influence have you had over the changes?

“Quite a bit, but at Tanda Tula we operate as a big team, so I have always brainstormed ideas with the Dale and Hayley, gathering as much input and advice as I can before making any big changes.”

4. What do you still serve that has been a timeless favourite?

“I like to change as much as possible on each menu cycle to keep my own personal creative juices flowing and to keep the kitchen team excited. But I have found that the oxtail stew and the lemon panna cotta just keep cropping up on the menus!”

5. How do you see the food changing in the future?

“I can definitely see a health trend setting in. Guests prefer to stick to a health-conscious diet, even on holiday! Also, simple food with the best ingredients always triumphs!”

Food at Tanda Tula



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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.