Who we are
Privately owned and intimately managed, at Klaserie Sands River Camp, guests will experience the warmth of a camp that is run by the hands and hearts that built it.
For husband and wife team, Louis and Lee-Ann Rautenbach, the camp began as a childhood dream at the age of 17, for Lee-Ann. After being married for only 3 years, the Rautenbach’s building company was awarded a tender to rebuild Klaserie Sands (then a private self-catering camp) after the devastating 2012 floods. After a mere month on site, which looked like an earthquake had hit it, they realised that they had completely fallen in love with the land.
They sold their house in Hoedspruit, entered into a lease agreement with the landowner, and reconfigured the offering into a luxury, fully-catered camp, welcoming their first guests on 18 September 2015. Enchanted by the peace ushered into the night once their generator switched off; Lee-Ann and Louis experienced starlit dinners on the ever-expanding outdoor deck and dreamed of their first guest experiencing the surreal tranquillity. Today Klaserie Sands River Camp is recognised as a destination of its own for guests seeking a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Louis and Lee-Ann’s passion has rubbed off on their industry-leading staff, who are remembered by all guests for their incredible hospitality, warmth and unforgettable smiles.
WHERE WE ARE
Comprising 60 000 hectares, the Klaserie Private Nature Reserve is one of the largest private nature reserves in South Africa, an open system to the Greater Kruger National Park.
Klaserie Sands River Camp is situated on the banks of the non-perennial Ntsiri River, in the East of the Klaserie Private Nature Reserve. There are daily flights from Johannesburg and Cape Town to Hoedspruit (Eastgate Airport); which is within close proximity to the entrance gates of the reserve. We offer a transfer shuttle between Eastgate Airport and Klaserie Sands River Camp. It is a 45min drive, with the majority of the journey taking place within the reserve.
Alternatively, guests can self-drive or arrange a shuttle to camp; approximately a 6-hour drive from Johannesburg
The Klaserie Sands Family
Ivy has been part of Louis and Lee-Ann’s family since 2008 and is head of housekeeping at Klaserie Sands.
She has the most gentle spirit and plays a key role in our team, not only in housekeeping but in the overall guest experience.
STEVEN & BONGENI
With over 27 years culinary experience throughout Africa, Steven joined our team in 2017. With his delightful personality and world class cuisine, every dish he introduces to our guests is a theatrical occasion!Steven is also fluent in Spanish and Portuguese.Bongeni was born and raised in Welverdiend and after completing his culinary course, joined Klaserie Sands in 2015. He has an absolute heart of gold, and with his decadent desserts and wicked sense of humour, he always makes us smile!
Bongani joined our team in 2017 as head barman. When not surprising our guests with a “Bongani Special” cocktail, he will be welcoming you with his warm and heartfelt smile as he meets you at Hoedspruit Airport for your transfer to Klaserie Sands.
Warmly known around camp as “Mama Africa”her warm embrace and absolute kindness envelopes every guest who visits our Camp. Angy joined our team in 2015 as housekeeper and is now our front of house and hostess.
ELINAH, FLORENCE 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!
Aggie, our sculler, plays an important and supportive role to our chefs, Steven and Bongeni.She has a love for music and a beautiful voice, that shines through in our traditional song and dance evenings.
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 wit and commentary, especially after the elephants have been through his gardens!
A true gem, Caswell joined Klaserie Sands in 2016. 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 traditional dance.
Born in Sydney, Elly grew up in both the UK and Australia but with such a passion for the African wilderness we are convinced she has South African blood in her veins!
Elly is a zoologist by trade, having spent over 4 years studying animal behaviour, seeing her travel to Africa a number of times for research. This is where her love of Africa began - ask her about the 3 months she spent living with and studying wild baboons in the Namib Desert!
She joined our team in 2018 and is dedicated to delivering and sharing unforgettable safari experiences with every guest.
We are absolutely thrilled to have her part of our team.