Tel: +27 (0) 11 444 9345 - Email: info@thebushcamp.com



Meet the Team at Mosetlha Bush Camp & Eco Lodge

Mosetlha is family owned and run, and there's always a family member on site managing the Camp to ensure the best possible, personal attention at all times. We like to think of Mosetlha as a home from home for our guests (just without any mod cons like tv's and aircon - and with slightly wilder animals!). A place for you to come and just "be" in the bush with a very real chance of seeing magnificent animals in their natural habitat and where someone else makes your bed, does the cooking and clearing up and drives you around.

Our rugged rangers .....

We pride ourselves on the fact that our field guides are extremely well qualified and experienced - well over and above the minimum qualifications that are required in order to work in Madikwe - and they're really good guys to boot!!

Rangers at Mosetlha


Jonny and Justice have very unique qualities and abilities that set them apart and together they make up a truly awesome (and formidable!) team.

Jonny Motsieloa

Jonny, our Senior Field Guide, is the most experienced guide in this particular area. He was born here and grew up and played on the roads and farm lands that became Madikwe, he went to school in what is now the NWPB Head Office and Conference Rooms.


He started work in the Reserve as a security guard in 1992 and his brilliant career was seriously kick started when he was chosen to attend the Mafisa* Training Programme. This he completed most successfully and did his practical training at one of the luxury lodges. He came to us on Friday 13th (lucky for some) September 2002.
Jonny is super knowledgeable, has eagle eyes (I swear he could spot game through a solid brick wall) and really takes you in to his world on his drives and walks. (*A course run by the Environmental Training Group in 2000 - see Chris below - where eight local villagers were selected and trained, from scratch, in all aspects of field guiding and the hospitality industry. All eight are now working very successfully in the Reserve.)

Very exciting news reached us in November 2021: Jonny has been voted as one of the world’s top specialist guides, receiving bronze in the prestigious Wanderlust World Travel Awards, launched in December 2005 to recognise the unsung heroes of the travel world: guides and tour leaders.
The Wanderlust World Travel Awards believe that guides and tour leaders are the remarkable individuals who turn their clients’ trips into life-enhancing and life-changing adventures.
Thousands of travellers globally voted one of South Africa’s fines, as one of the world’s best!

Rangers at Mosetlha

Justice Rasello

Justice is the quiet, unassuming member of our team. He started work in Madikwe as a maintenance guy at one of the posh lodges, and worked really hard to qualify as a guide. He is self taught and really knows his stuff. We were his first choice, and none of us have looked back since he joined Mosetlha in 2008.

The Family

Mosetlha is owned and managed by Chris and June Lucas and their daughter, Caroline

Chris Lucas, starter of all this. Chris' passion is, and has always been, the bush. Qualified as a Civil Engineer (Cambridge 1965), he ran a successful Project Management company towards the end of his career and retired early to enjoy his little spot in Madikwe. As so often happens post retirement, this little hobby has become a (more than) full time job, requiring more people, more vehicles, more cabins and more energy as the years have gone by!
Chris' thing is most definitely the morning bush walks where his knowledge, expertise, patience and ability to make the little things in the bush come alive for you, is unsurpassable.

How it all started

Chris & Jane LucasChris started the Environmental Training Group in 1990. ETG ran a part time, one year training course for 13 years for people who wanted to learn more about the bush. (ETG designed and ran the field guiding side of the very successful Mafisa Training Programme, mentioned above.) Graduates of his course were fully qualified field guides - all trained up and nowhere to go because they were only able to dedicate weekends to their expertise. This is why he built Mosetlha - to provide a job and experience for his ETG graduates.

Mosetlha kicked off as a weekend only operation, accommodating eight guests from midday on a Friday when field guides and guests all arrived together (with sleeping bags and mattresses for the two dormitory style cabins), enjoyed the magic of Madikwe for a couple of days and closed down Camp and departed along with guests at midday on the Sunday. We ran quite happily like this for four years, and then employed our first full time guide.
By now word had got around about Mosetlha and our guest numbers were increasing quite dramatically.

We needed to add a few structures to the Camp - cabins, loos and showers, dining area, bigger kitchen, store rooms and an office, staff accommodation, more car ports, the lapa .... it's seems to never end! Today we have four full time (and most excellent!) guides, three vehicles and nine double cabins - we're a 16 bed lodge with the ability to accommodate 18 people if block booking.

June Lucas

June has many strings to her bow - apart from being a fully qualified First Aid Instructor (who trains the field guides at all the Madikwe lodges) she is also a field guide and a pretty decent back up on those walks. She no longer takes drives as she feels that guests prefer to be guided by our young, macho rangers (I think the real reason is that she's scared of getting lost in Madikwe's myriad of roads!). She designs the menus, buys the stock, chooses the "decor", and is the hostess with the mostest!

Caroline Lucas

Caroline Lucas TheBushcampCaroline was living in London when the Camp was started in July 1995. She was doing the corporate thing, working as a project manager, when she came home to "help out" for six months. All the teething problems of running a new business had, by now, been sorted out and all that was needed was a little dedicated time at the Camp itself in order to make it even more of a success (for which she, quite unashamedly, takes complete and absolute credit).

This was in March 2001 and, whilst she knows nothing about the bush or running a lodge, we can't seem to be able to get rid of her (and she's under the sad delusion that she's the boss).

Chris and June have decided that the time has come to retire - so as of the 1st of July 2011 Caroline has taken over the running of the business. Needless to say, she is battling to keep her mom and dad away from the lodge - what better place to retire TO?!

The Office 

Jennifer Brener

The Ladies at MosetlhaJenny has been with us for four years and is in charge of our money.

How it comes in and how it goes out ... she looks after the bookkeeping, petty cash, and all the SARS stuff. She pays the bills and salaries, chases us for slips, and invoices you.

Jenny also follows up with you after you've stayed (and paid) and thanks you for coming and asks you to follow us on social media and write a review about us on TripAdvisor

Her background has mainly been secretarial and admin in very various industries from auditors to couriers to beauty product manufacturers. She also spent a few years as a beauty therapist.

She works with Andrea in the office and is the chief carer of GreyCat - the creatively named feral who moved in with us once he realised we have soft surfaces in the sun, bowls of food, and Jenny to shower him with love.

Andrea Pearson

The Ladies at MosetlhaAndrea is your first port of call when you want to know anything about Mosetlha - before, during, and after your stay.
Put a face to the cheerful voice at the other end of the phone, and the helpful responder to all your emails.

She's only been with us for two years, but has taken to her job like a duck to water - and it feels like she's been with us for years.

She arrived for an interview (on a Saturday morning, in shorts and flipflops) when we were at the end of our rope trying to find someone to run our office. Within a few minutes, we could see that she "got" what we do at Mosetlha.

She quickly understood her role and how her work fits into the provision of your Mosetlha Experience.  She started that Monday.

Here's her pre-Mosetlha story:
My work experience has been very varied to say the least. Some highlights - after leaving school and studying Travel and Tourism, I went to work for a manufacturing company in Hong Kong.
I came back to SA and joined Royal Swazi Airways (which eventually closed down), then Karos Hotels, then for Travel Vision (a tour operator), where I spent a few years.
I was offered the opportunity to work at the United States Commercial Service, where I spent 8 years running all their events.
I then took on my most important role, as stay at home mom to my two awesome boys. As my sons are now young men, I got back into the workforce at Mosetlha where I do all the reservations.

The Camp

Camp Manager: Monika Oosthuizen

The Ladies at MosetlhaMonika is our Camp Manager, and as such is in charge of all that happens at the lodge.

I posted on my Facebook page that we were looking for a new manager about 5 years ago (when Gregg went off to get married).
There were lots of jokey responses - it's a dream job where you're on holiday in the bush all the time.
Monika and I had both been in Madikwe for years and knew of one another. We were Facebook friends, and when she responded to my post, I leapt at the opportunity for her to come and see us ... but she didn't go back into Facebook for a very long week! Obviously, once she did, we arranged for her to come through and see us ... and she never left.

She hosts you, shows you how everything works, feeds you, and makes it look like the whole place runs like a well oiled machine.
She is also a maintenance expert - and loves fixing stuff. She keeps everything in tip top condition (cabins are oiled, floors are sanded, the fire break is cleared, vehicles and generators, gas appliances and water pumps are maintained, and anything that stands still is painted). Our store rooms are immaculate, recycling bins impeccable, even our wood pile is neat!
And she bakes ... malva pudding and milktart were added to the dessert menu when Monika started, along with carrot cake and banana bread, and pretty cupcakes for tea ... and decadent chocolate cake for any celebration (and just being at Mosetlha is worthy of a celebration!).

The Ladies

Nurse

The Ladies at MosetlhaAs you know, Mosetlha started as a weekend only operation. We couldn't properly employ anyone - mainly because of the sporadic nature of guests being there. (Please note, we now operate 24/7, 365 days a year!)

It was one late afternoon: Chris was out in Old Smokey and June was on camp duty, literally keeping the home fire burning, watching the potjie bubbling on the fire, and lighting a few oil lamps to welcome everyone back for dinner.

A big old truck came rumbling down the access road and pulled right into the camp. A man jumped out and asked if June had any work for his niece, who was sitting shyly in the passenger seat. June explained that she's really sorry but there really isn't a job here as the camp is not often open, and is a very uncomplicated operation - everyone chips in and does a bit of everything.

She thanked them and went back to heating some water through the donkey boiler. Hearing the truck head off, she turned to discover the very young and lovely Nurse, standing there waiting to see how she could help. She never left.
And has never stopped helping. She quickly lost her shyness, found her voice, and kept her amazing smile ... and now manages the housekeeping and kitchen side of things - and the three other ladies in her team.

Fran

The Ladies at MosetlhaShe is Nurse's BFF and came to us temporarily to cover for Nurse's maternity leave. This was 20 years ago. (The cause of maternity leave, Jonathan, has completed matric and is currently taking a gap year. This makes us all feel very old.)

Frannie did not believe in temp assignments, and as we were now operating throughout the week, convinced us we needed another housekeeping lady to work alongside Nurse. She quickly gained confidence along with experience and keeps the rest of the staff in check - especially her two nephews on our maintenance team whom she brought up from when they were little, and now tower over her ...

We've had her wedding to Amos (who was with us for a few years and is now a fieldguide at Madikwe River Lodge), two babies, her departure to go and manage a lodge at another reserve, her return when it didn't work out ... and many more personal and professional adventures.

She is 2 IC in our housekeeping/kitchen team, is impeccably attentive to detail, and makes the best bobotie and peppermint crisp dessert.

Rose

The Ladies at MosetlhaJonny suggested that his wife's sister could came and help out for a few months while Fran was away on maternity leave.

Enter Rosie - this was 14 years ago.

She is a fast learner, thorough worker, and genuinely cares about the people around her.
Rosie is a bit shy with guests (not like her brother-in-law!) but holds her own in the kitchen.

Never bossy, she is sweet and reliable and a pleasure to be around.
(Her beef potjie is the bomb - and she constructs the best vegan meals.)

 

Kgabisang

The Ladies at MosetlhaShe fills the last quadrant of our housekeeping team.

Kgabi joined us as a temp in 2016 (she came to take Rosie's place while she was on extended compassionate leave). Following the pattern, we kept her on after Rosie's return!

And the four of them make the most perfect team - with Kgabi's strength being immaculate cleaning and tidying skills.


Hospital bed corners, perfectly fluffed and placed cushions, glossy tables, and sparkling glasses - this is her jam!

 

The Maintenance Men

Thabo Smith, Romeo Smith, Kabelo Molobe, Ishmael Motsieloa, Goitsimang Bogatsu and Moses Matlapeng

The Guys at MosetlhaThese five are the macho side of the Housekeeping Team.

They ensure that the Camp is always looking its best, wood is chopped for the fire, water is collected daily from our borehole for the bowsers, the laundry is delivered to one a local village lady, the fridge is stocked with drinks, the rubbish is burned, the (over 150!) lanterns are clean and full of paraffin - they generally make sure the place runs.

Moses and Goitsimang stay overnight at the Camp to cook the evening meal, light and put out the lanterns (so that we can hear to ubiquitous “This is just like fairyland” comment when you come back home after your evening drive!) and make sure that the place is spick and span for the morning when they light fires, boil kettles and get your morning coffee and snacks ready. 

In addition Goitsimang is our driver, and meets you at Vleischfontein when you arrive in Madikwe and park your car there.

These guys also tend to want to get involved in the kitchen, and often you'll see them interfering in lunch preparations (with Nurse and Fran's express permission, of course!). They are proving to be a real problem in that we have to fight off guests queuing up with job offers to take them home - they are each a true Jack of all Trades having worked as a gardener, waiter, barman, security guard, driver ... you name it!