Getting to know “Chef Maggie” at Savute Safari Lodge

Famed for being able to remember names and faces of all guests who pass through camp (no easy feat in a big and busy camp like Savute Safari Lodge) – Chef Maggie is shy but assertive – her bright smile warming you up as soon as you meet her.

Margaret Makgetho started with Desert and Delta Safaris in October 2007 – moving from the laundry and housekeeping departments to waitressing and then finally working as a chef.  “It happened slowly. When I was a waitress, when I finished work, I wouldn’t go home. I would stay with the chef and trainees.” Any free time she had she would do as much informal chef-training as possible.  “I like cooking. Especially baking. It’s interesting. It’s a challenge – I’m using my mind, I’m always learning.”

Her education has been ongoing. The company takes her to chef training school each year where she enjoys the stimulation of learning new things and also meeting the other chefs. “It’s fun because it’s very nice to meet the others. It felt like we’d known each other a while but we’d only just met.”

When asked what you need to be a good chef she replies “A lovely heart!” with a huge chuckle. “If you have a heart, everything comes perfectly. You give yourself time.”

Her family is happy for her that she loves her job, even though being away from them is difficult on them all. When school is closed her children can come and visit and have seen lion for the first time while visiting.

“We have a strong team here. Management is doing a good job and they are helping us, always talking to us. We help each other. We have feedback after dinner – so that we can talk and if we have made mistakes we can make sure it doesn’t happen again. I like working here. It’s a very good place. I feel like it is home. That’s why I am here. I love training to learn new things, so repeat guests can have different dishes.”

Chef Maggie at Savute Safari Lodge