When we think of Chitwa Chitwa, a luxurious game lodge in the Sabi Sands Game Reserve in South Africa, we think of the breathtaking wildlife, the impeccable service, and the stunning accommodations. However, the story of Chitwa Chitwa is incomplete without mentioning the man who has essentially been the heart and soul of this establishment for nearly four decades: Alfred Sithole.

Alfred Sithole: the pillar of Chitwa Chitwa

Alfred’s journey with Chitwa Chitwa began in 1978 when Carolus Brink, a visionary entrepreneur, purchased the land. At the time, the property was little more than a rough patch of wilderness, but Brink and Sithole along with his wife Ina shared a dream of creating a haven for wildlife enthusiasts. Working tirelessly together, they transformed the land into the luxurious lodge that stands today.

For Alfred, Chitwa Chitwa was more than just a job; it was his life’s passion. Over the years, he wore many hats, working as a tracker, a guide, a gardener and a maintenance expert. He was an indispensable part of the team, and his dedication and enthusiasm were contagious. A bushveld sage like Alfred take many decades to develop as good as they are in their field and a select few understand bush lore better than men like him.

The Chitwa Chitwa family legacy

When Charl Brink, Carolus’s son, took over Chitwa Chitwa in 1991, Alfred and his family continued to play a crucial role in the lodge’s operations. Betuel, Elsie and her daughter Zenani, and Alice all followed in their father’s footsteps, joining the Chitwa Chitwa family and continuing his legacy.

Betuel, his son, became an exceptional tracker. His deep knowledge of the land and its inhabitants is a testament to his father’s teachings. Elsie (Alfred’s daughter) and her daughter Zenani, brought their warmth and hospitality to their role in housekeeping and back of house, ensuring that every visitor felt welcome and cared for. Alice, the eldest, found her niche in the lodge’s laundry and management of this area, applying her keen eye for detail and organizational skills to ensure smooth operations.

A fond farewell

In 2016, Alfred Sithole retired, leaving behind a legacy that will live on for generations. He may no longer be a daily presence at the lodge, but his spirit endures through the work of his children and the ethos of the Chitwa Chitwa family.

The story of Alfred Sithole and his family reminds us that behind every great establishment is a team of dedicated individuals who pour their hearts and souls into their work. Chitwa Chitwa is more than just a luxurious game lodge; it is a testament to the passion and commitment of the Sithole family and their unwavering love for the land and its wildlife.

As we look back on the incredible journey of Alfred Sithole and his family, we are reminded of the power of passion, dedication, and a shared vision. Chitwa Chitwa would not be the world-renowned lodge it is today without the tireless efforts of Alfred and his family and their colleagues. Their legacy will live on for generations, inspiring others to follow their dreams and make a difference in the world.