What brought us to Gondwana?
Caracal, the Sales Manager that greeted us at the doorstep of our house-to-be in Gondwana. Mark told us that Mr Caracal is the resident sales manager. We bought the house with the expectation that he will visit us regularly. The lazy one, however, visited us only once afterwards! Lousy after-sale service!
We went to Gondwana for a short safari trip away from our house in Paarl in September 2016. We love the place and we learned that there are houses for sale. Since we were there already we managed to see some houses. Then came Mr Caracal the impressive sales manager…
What is our favourite species on the reserve?
Cats cats and cats, and every member of Mr Caracal’s sales team in Gondwana, minus the baboons.
The scariest/funniest/most interesting moment in the reserve?
We’ve been to many game reserves in Africa and we could never get close to elands, rhinos, sables, hartebeests and bonteboks the way we can in Gondwana. In other places, they are usually super shy and disappear the moment we see them. We have rarely seen a single rhino in our 30+ years of game viewing experience and in Gondwana they are just there every time to greet you!
What do we do for a living?
We are both retired and we moved from Hong Kong my hometown to South Africa in November 2015. My last life was the Human Resources Director of a Paris listed IT services company “Atos” in Hong Kong. Larry was the CEO for a camera company in Sweden (Hasselblad) just before retirement. Before that he worked for the German company Carl Zeiss for 27 years, in charge of the Asia Pacific region. He was also the CEO of the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB), a charity organization based in London for several years.
Africa was our favourite place for holiday when we were working. We went to Cape Town and the wine lands after many years of wild life safari trips in Africa and fell in love with the vast landscapes, blue skies, craggy mountains and wonderful people there, not to mention the sumptuous and extremely high quality food and wines in the region! South Africa is naturally the place we chose for our retirement.
Japanese, unfortunately the fresh seafood essential for fine Japanese cuisine is not available here. We love of course Chinese food too but they are not quite authentic here in this part of the world. We therefore need to travel back to Asia once in a while to satisfy our cravings.
Larry has a lot of bad and expensive hobbies, but after retirement most of them had to disappear! (except cars…)
We both love wild life and photography. I have no clue about the technical aspects of photography but I have a good Technical Director who sets up the gear and I just shoot whatever I think looks nice.
We are married with 9 house tigers. The picture shows one of our Maine Coon “tigers”. They are our bosses. We moved them all from Hong Kong to South Africa so that we can continue to serve them and entertain them here.
What are we passionate about?
Wild life conservation. Larry has set up the “Rhino Conservation Awards” 7 years ago together with the South African Minister of Environmental Affairs and the Game Rangers Association of Africa, with Prince Albert of Monaco as Patron. www.rhinoconservationawards.org
18 years ago Larry also set up the “Wildlife (Tiger) Conservation Awards” in India and it’s still running.
We also love travelling, eating and interesting wines.
Favourite spots in the Reserve?
Wherever the lions, cheetahs, rhinos and sables are.
Nicknames? Hmmmmm, I’m not telling you…..