August 22, 2021

Learn Culinary in the Bush with the Greater Kruger Hotel School

Alanka Craffert, Executive Director of the Greater Kruger Hotel School shares more about the academy and what students will experience while training, living and working there.

2020 was a milestone year for the Greater Kruger Hotel School. Not only did they open their beautiful facilities in the bushveld, but they had their first intake ever with 7 students, followed by another 8 students in 2021. This secluded venue is ideal for learners who want a practical hospitality experience where they can learn skills that will help them be competitive and make a mark on the world. Alanka Craffert shares more.

How is the Greater Kruger Hotel School innovating during the various lockdowns?

Our numbers are so small and we are located remotely, so social distancing is definitely not an issue. We have a kitchen that has big open sliding doors, overlooking a Big 5 game reserve. Our whole set-up is extremely well ventilated. All students live on campus in a hostel, too. Basically, we’re all isolated on campus. No external persons are allowed on campus so we continued with our curriculum when we are able.

As the industry was closed, we registered the school as an essential service and opened a pantry that prepares frozen meals for delivery in Hoedspruit town. This way, we helped our community out, earned a little income and created an opportunity for our students to gain workplace hours.

What do you think students get wrong when they think of studying further as chefs?

They have the expectation that it’s an episode of Master Chef, but it’s much harder work. In addition, I also see young people who struggle with people skills. Chefs tend to like food more than people, however, you will be working with people all your life. Developing emotional intelligence and people skills are just as important as great knife skills.

What advice would you give to students hoping to apply or join the Greater Kruger Hotel School?

Because we are situated remotely, we really have some unique learning opportunities. We do not have millions of clubs or party spots. You will have to learn to escape into nature and connect with people who surround you pretty much all the time. You will learn to be innovative and plan well: we don’t just have ample shops around the corner. We are not only surrounded by the Big 5, but also have amazing agriculture around us. We live in the heart of the citrus and mango world. I challenge and invite young people to come and rethink culinary and hospitality education, in the heart of the bushveld.

The Greater Kruger Hotel School’s updated course price list is available from the end of August. Applications are now open for their next intake in February 2022, with an open day taking place on 16 October. Contact +27 (0)63 297 4269 for more info.


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