The Hunger Games

By November 28, 2017Our Stories

Simon Orviss’ parents prepared him for a Tongabezi life from a young age.

When he was little they had a Chef called Noelene because the grown ups were very busy and he loved hanging out with her learning to make lasagne. Later on the grown ups retired and cooking became a survival game. His mother refused to cook. His father couldn’t cook. His brother definitely wasn’t going to cook… and so Simon became the only contestant left standing!

It was British food to start with because his Dad was doing the shopping and the ingredients were English. From there his career took many winding roads, adding layers of experience and influence along the way.

Simon has worked in Namibia (where he was knocked on the head by a grazing hippo in the middle of the night), for a Saudi Prince in the Seychelles, learnt the service game in a pub in Surrey, he has cooked for FW de Klerk in Cape Town and worked for the richest of the rich in Hong Kong (where preparing 7 different meals for one picky four year old in one evening was par for the course), he cooked in Mozambique, the Okavango and in Zanzibar.

And still he thinks Tongabezi is the most industrious property he has encountered. It is such a hybrid of Safari Camp, Hotel, Eclectic Lodge, Boutique… that it is impossible to pin it down and his first mission is going to be to create an entirely new service offering.

His ideas are all centred around how local all the ingredients are. Everything is sourced within our dogleg of the Zambezi River. Guests can tour the local chicken farm or meat farm. They can meet Mishak (who Simon thinks is the most driven and inspiring individual you will ever have the chance to know) and walk around the Tongabezi gardens.

The ideal?

Giving our guests a basket for their travels and having them collect what they fancy.

And then giving the chefs 45 minutes to prepare a feast.


To create the expectation of food that is as bespoke as the rest of the Tongabezi experience.


Exactly what people are always saying about the stuff we do at Tongabezi.

We have a feeling Simon is going to fit right in.