• Kilima team

Updated: Jun 4

In 2017, a strategic decision was taken by Frans and Sareta Schütte to revamp Kilima Private Game Reserve and Spa into a fantastic bushveld destination, not only for locals, but also for international tourists.

Frans and Sareta Schütte with few of the Kilima staff

Years of dedication, hard work and implementation of their core family values (Integrity, Piety and Stewardship) quickly paid off as guests frequented our establishment for honeymoons, anniversaries, family reunions, weddings, year end functions, special occasions, conferences, wellness retreats, veterinary courses and many other events.

Our unique Kukura Wellness Spa and newly established restaurant, SECTION XV (the only restaurant in South Africa boasting not one, but TWO Culinary Springbok Chefs in the kitchen) provide guests with a world-class added value experience that lead to fabulous reviews on various platforms. These honest reviews formed the cornerstone of 2 of our newest awards. We are thankful for each person who took the time to write about their experience at Kilima Private Game Reserve and Spa, a 5-star lodge in Limpopo.

We are very proud to share with you the following titles that have been awarded to us so far in 2021:

The MEA Market 2021 African Excellence Awards - Best Luxury Wildlife Tourism Accommodation in Limpopo.

Liezl Clegg, the General Manager of Kilima Private Game Reserve and Spa received this award.

"Aristotle said: “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.”

At Kilima we truly strive for excellence and we know that a life of excellence takes effort, but at the same time is rewarding and gives us the energy to keep up our high standards. When you receive an award like this, it is an affirmation. It means that people appreciate what you do and for this, we are extremely grateful, honoured and proud. We will continue to strive for excellence." Liezl Clegg

2021 Tripadvisor Travelers' Choice Award - Being in the top 10% of hotels worldwide.

Kilima has been awarded this award for providing great service and experiences to guests. Read the full press release.

Sareta Schutte, the Managing Director of Kilima Private Game Reserve and Spa, Murchison Group CEO and Trustee of the Family Forum is very proud, but not quite surprised by Kilima's 2021 awards.

"After many years' work, our excellence is being recognised around the world. People are taking notice of how the Schütte's approach business, our resilience, dedication and expertise. Secretly I always expected Kilima will win many of these accolades. It was only a matter of time. Our personnel are our best asset and I'm extremely proud of how each one of them passionately show up in life and at work. It is what makes Kilima GREAT. Success is achieved through the combined efforts of team Kilima and the skills of the Family Advice Council." -Sareta Schütte

On the 28th of May 2021, Ockert Fernandes, the videographer of Kilima's marketing team (part of the Family Advice Council to the Schütte group of companies) travelled to Cape Town to collect two trophies on behalf of Kilima. We were awarded the Gold Award for best Cultural Tourism Video and Silver Award for our Jerusalema Challenge Video. Both of these were produced by Ockert and the whole team of Kilima worked together to make these special entries possible. Their passion and pride is evident, as mentioned by Sareta Schütte.

"With hard work and a ton effort we didn't only win one award but two! What an amazing blessing! Kilima's name is echoing into the world! Croatia, Portugal, Japan and Romania being a few of the countries who also entered the festival, it's humbling that a small establishment in Gravelotte can dance with the giants!" Ockert Fernandes, while attending the ITFF (International Tourism Film Festival)

The beautiful ITFF trophies at their new home: Kilima Private Game Reserve and Spa

The Jerusalema Dance was produced in August 2020. The Kilima staff had so much fun with this project! They practiced for weeks to do the dance, led by Marcelle Low, the Executive Spa Manager at Kukura Wellness Spa. We are very happy that their efforts was rewarded in the form of an international award.

From left to right: Marcelle Low, Ockert Fernandes and Liezl Clegg with the two ITFF trophies.

"These trophies are testimony that when you do what you love, you'll excel in all your efforts. I am extremely proud of our marketing team and the work we do, hand in hand with Kilima. It is an absolute pleasure to work with these talented people." Lonice Wessels, Group Executive Marketing Manager of the Family Advice Council.

We're chasing several other awards in the near future, and hopefully soon, we'll be able to showcase them as well.

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Springbok Chefs and SECTION-15 Restaurant takes Kilima Private Game Reserve and Spa to new heights.

SA has been showcasing homegrown culinary talent on the Olympian stage for over 40 years. Executive Chef Edward Clegg and Sous Chef Thabang Masango have both donned their green Springbok blazers to represent South Africa’s Team Masakhane in the IKA Culinary Olympics.

Chef Thabang, sous Chef at Kilima Private Game Reserve and Spa

The first ever IKA (Internationale Kochkunst Ausstellung) began in Frankfurt Germany in 1900, where a group of visionary chefs decided a competition is the best forum for sharing information and food techniques with neighboring countries in Europe. Today, 54 countries worldwide are competing for the title of Olympic World Champion in cooking.

Over the years South Africa’s team won many victories, the recognition reflecting the enormous achievements of the South African Chefs Association and growth of the team.

How does one become a springbok chef? It is a complex combination of how much experience you have in the industry and how respected you are. A chef will be chosen to audition for the South African Culinary Team, where previous members will judge you on technical skill, creativity and work ethic. When you’ve passed the ‘cook-off’ you have to go through a rigorous cooking exam and impress the judges at an interview where your dedication and mindset will be questioned.

Chef Edward is passionate and excited to share his knowledge with staff.

We are extremely proud to have not one, but two of these Olympic medalists at Kilima Private Game Reserve and Spa. Chefs Edward and Thabang are stepping up to the plate and taking Kilima Private Game Reserve and Spa, 5-star luxury lodge in Limpopo province, to new culinary heights. They have big plans and their appetites for new challenges are only surpassed by their passion for the kitchen! The grand opening of Kilima’s SECTION-15, the unparalleled gourmet bushveld restaurant, will take place on 5 March 2021. We can’t wait to shine the spotlight on their talent and share their unique blend of flavor, expertise and charm with guests. Book your spot at the Chef’s Table for this grand event.

What is a Chef’s Table? Expect to be amazed by a 9-course magical sensory experience with Chef Edward as your narrator, untangling kitchen jargon and highlighting culinary gems on each plate. We are taking bookings for Chef’s Table dinners, so don’t miss out, book your spot and be the first to take part in this taste adventure.

The advantages of having Chef Edward and Chef Thabang at Kilima Private Game Reserve and Spa flows over to all our bespoke offers, like weddings, year end functions, celebratory events and wellness retreats. In September 2021 Kukura Wellness Spa will be hosting the Soul Revival Retreat, and our Culinary Bokke will put an interesting spin on detox and healthy menu’s.

Be on the lookout for photos and videos, recipes and tricks of the trade shared by our Chefs on social media.

Read the full article on SA’s proud Olympic culinary history here.

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  • Kilima team

Spekboom is a proudly South African semi arid miracle plant, with the potential to tackle carbon emissions on a large scale.

The UN has dedicated 2020 to raise awareness about plant health and the impact of healthy plants and forests on food security, poverty, economic development, and sustainability.

Combing the amazing Spekboom with the UN’s vision is a no-brainer then. This small leaved phenomenon is taking the world by storm. We believe that by raising awareness and showcasing this wonder plant, we can play a small but significant part in sustainability. So how do we do this? Through a Year End Function Theme!

We recommend The Baobab Deck at Kilima Private Game Reserve and Spa

This theme is an ode to nature, so it is a must to choose a venue that displays the beauty and abundance of mother nature. Choose a spot that creates space for appreciation and awe. The Baobab Deck is built around a proud 650 year old Baobab that overlooks the Murchison mountain range in Limpopo. This wooden deck is perfect for small to medium gatherings.

The magnificent view from the Baobab Deck

Smart casual is the way to dress. November and December is very hot in the bush and you want your guests to be cool and comfortable. If you want to, ask guests to all dress with something green. It could be an accessory or pair of shoes, as long as some green features in your outfit.

Use Spekboom as your main feature and add lots of greenery. Leaves, branches, wood or bark and natural textures. Wood underplates works beautifully and when paired with shiny cutlery, it brings balance and style. Nothings needs to be over the top, but be mindful of small details, like a Spekboom cutting tied to a white napkin with a green ribbon. Spekboom’ify the podium and any other area of importance with a few Spekboom plants of different sizes in a variety of interesting pots or vases.

Keep it interesting and fresh with a locally sourced produce menu with exciting twists like incorporating spekboom and stinging nettle into the dishes. Have fresh fruit smoothies and vodka fruit ice popsicles for welcoming drinks. A good chef will be able to give expert advice on what is in season and what will work best while also respecting your requirements and budget.

Porkbelly with gooseberry and spekboom pickle

a Spekboom plant in a little pot with care and reproduction instructions. It is very simple to care for a Spekboom and the world needs as much as possible of these little carbon-emitting shrubberies. Encourage guests to make their own cuttings.

The perfect gift, filled to the brim with possibility and significance: The amazing Spekboom

Make it memorable: When you’re at Kilima Private Game Reserve and Spa, take guests on a game drive while the field guide pays special attention to interesting plants and trees seen on the way to the Baobab Deck. This is the perfect way to set the stage for the lovely evening to follow.

Game Drive at Kilima Private Game Reserve and Spa, on your way to the Baobab Deck

Choose 5 to 10 management or staff members to decorate a simple pottery pot before the function. These pots can be used to plant your first Spekboom and will be auctioned at the function. All funds go towards conservation.

It will be our privilege to facilitate and host your Spek’tacular Celebration. Contact us for enquiries and bookings.

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