Klaserie Sands is owned and operated by husband and wife team, Louis and Lee-Ann Rautenbach. After the devastating 2012 floods in the region, the Rautenbach’s building company was awarded the tender to rebuild the structures that pre-dated Klaserie Sands River Camp. After a mere month on site, they realised that they had completely fallen in love with the land and entered into an agreement with the landowner to develop and run a luxury, fully catered camp.
Today the brand has grown to comprise two intimate and distinct camps, both of which offer guests true immersion in nature, surreal tranquillity and unforgettable safari experiences. Louis and Lee-Ann’s passion has rubbed off on their industry-leading staff, who are remembered by all guests for their gracious hospitality, warmth and unforgettable smiles.
When Lee-Ann was young, she dreamed of one day running her very own lodge. Her years of hospitality experience at luxury establishments perfectly set her up to manage the reservations and administrative responsibilities of Klaserie Sands, the embodiment of her dream coming true. Lee-Ann’s innate taste and passion for design is evident in both camps’ elegant and soothing interiors that perfectly blend into the natural surrounds. She is rarely seen without her two beloved beagles, Amber and April, at her heels and is adored by the Klaserie Sands staff and guests alike!
Louis is the epitome of “young at heart.” He relishes any opportunity for adventure – whether it’s driving his motorbike cross-country, piloting planes or back-packing through the wilderness. He ran a successful construction business for many years before leaving the corporate world behind to develop Klaserie Sands with Lee-Ann. A natural operational head, Louis is chief fixer, builder and honey-badger chaser at both camps. His infectious humour and zest for all things adventure make him an unforgettable part of the Klaserie Sands experience.
A true gem, Caswell joined Klaserie Sands in 2016 as our official Tracker. With more than 10 years’ experience within the Greater Kruger Park, his absolute commitment to finding big game, as well as the smaller inhabitants of our bushveld, has led to amazing sightings and memorable experiences for our guests. Caswell also leads our song and dance evenings with his incredible voice and unforgettable traditional dance moves.
Elly grew up in both the UK and Australia but was born with an inherent passion for the African wilderness. As our lead Safari Guide, she delights our guests with her vast knowledge, “bundu-bashing” skills and friendly nature. Elly is a zoologist by trade. Her research brought her to Africa numerous times and we are thrilled that Klaserie Sands has captured her heart, ensuring her permanent placement in our family.
After Matt’s first private safari experience at the tender age of 8, he knew that he wanted to work in the bush. With over 7 years of dedicated safari walking experience behind him, he is lauded by the industry-leaders as “one to watch.” Matt’s innate ability to interpret the terrain and its plant and animal inhabitants offers Klaserie Sands Safari Trail guests an unforgettable walking safari experience.
Nerise is our resident storyteller and photographer extraordinaire. Growing up on a game farm, she developed an early passion for the wild. She is a qualified guide, professional photographer, Padi dive master and official South African cultural guide. She delights staff and guests alike with her colourful stories and is a wonderful asset to our team.
Bongeni was born and raised in Welverdiend and after completing his culinary degree, joined Klaserie Sands in 2015. A brilliant chef with a heart of gold, he is renowned for his decadent desserts and wicked sense of humour, ensuring permanent smiles on the faces of our guests and staff.
Florence is our Front of House and very own ray of sunshine. Whether offering you a sweet treat before your afternoon safari or fetching your favourite bottle of South African pinotage from our wine cellar, Florence's genuine, friendly nature will certainly warm your heart.
Growing up in the Timbavati, Morris learned to track wildlife from the tender age of 14 under the guidance of his grandfather. He has been tracking for over 22 years and gets most excited by the opportunity to track big cats, particularly leopards!
Ivy has been part of Louis and Lee-Ann’s family since 2008 and is Head Housekeeper at Klaserie Sands. Her gentle spirit makes an immediate impression on everyone who meets her. Ivy plays a key role in our team, contributing significantly to the overall guest experience.
Elinah and Zodwa
These beautiful ladies are responsible for making sure all our guests feel like royalty when they step into their home in the bush. And nothing makes them happier than the surprises they plan for our honeymoon couples!
Elnos has a love for anything green and is responsible for taking care of our beautiful gardens. He cares so passionately for every plant and entertains us daily with his witty personality - especially after the elephants have been through his gardens!