Willem (Wim) van der Merwe,
Wim grew up under the tutelage of his grandfather who encouraged Wim's hunting pursuits and deepened his love for the wild African bush. This instilled in Wim a desire to become a Professional Hunter. After completing his formal training Wim obtained his outfitting license and began his professional hunting career over 20 years ago.
He started Chacma Hunting Safaris from scratch and developed Doornkom Game Reserve in Melkrivier into the well-managed hunting reserve that it is today. With many years of experience hunting professionally in South Africa as well as neighboring countries, Wim is a trusted and reliable professional hunter. Whether you seek a wide array of plains game, or desire to find yourself face-to-face with any of the Dangerous Seven you can find true peace of mind of knowing that you are hunting with one of the best.
Whether you are a first-time safari enthusiast or a seasoned safari veteran Wim delivers a safari experience full of excitement and life-long memories.
Retha van der Merwe - Administration, marketing, catering and general management of the lodge
Retha began her career in the wildlife industry many years ago just after attaining her degree in Wildlife Management. She enhanced her scholastic knowledge with practical experience in the bush and brings that knowledge and experience to bear at Doornkom Game Reserve.
After she and Wim were married they focused on their goal of raising Chacma Hunting Safaris and Doornkom Game Reserve to the highest levels of professional standards. Retha is also involved with their daughter, Lyandi, in competitive equestrian pursuits.
In a more relaxed manner, they also ride recreationally on Doornkom keeping a lookout for that next big trophy animal! Together, the family is committed to their passion for wildlife, hunting, and hospitality service.
Professional Hunter, skinner, and tracker.
Lucas grew up on the Farm Doornkom which is currently the base camp of Chacma Safari in Limpopo, South Africa, and is a well-known and trusted person in the area. He is a very dedicated and knowledgeable person. His guiding and tracking skills developed from young and through training and experience, he qualified as a professional hunter in 2012. Through the years he has also tracked and assisted with dangerous game hunting. He is a trusted professional who has guided numerous clients and everyone will compliment has manners and skills. Lucas has a wife, Joyce, who also works at ChacmaSafari and they have 5 children.
Skinner and tracker
James has been with us since 2003 and through training and experience, has turned out to be one of the best skinners in the area. James’s skills have been complemented by clients and taxidermists alike. He has a quiet but thorough nature which has only helped him in developing his tracking skills. We can proudly say that we trust him with our clients and their trophies. James has a wife and three children.
General maintenance and gardens at the lodge
William is the youngest and has been with us for about three years. William came to us just after finishing school. Through working with the more senior guys he has gained a lot of experience and skills. He is responsible for the gardens as well as the vegetable gardens at the main lodge. He has also developed some skills and will assist the trackers and skinners in their duties. William is a young man that is a quick learner and shows a lot of potential. He has a friendly manner towards guests and is always willing to assist where needed.
Our chef is originally from Zimbabwe but grew up in South Africa. He is enthusiastic about serving clients the best food and it very attentive to everyone’s needs. We prepare a variety of traditional South African dishes including venison and serve healthy wholesome food. Here at Chacma we attend to every client and a completed Food Preference Form will give us the ability to cater to client's dietary preferences.
Liesbet has been working with us since 2004. She is a very hard working lady and she sings everywhere she goes. She is also the most senior member of housekeeping in the group. That does not stop her from being a good, hardworking person. She is like the others, a very trusted staff member and we rely on her for various responsibilities and duties.
Joyce has been working for our family and in the lodge since 2004. She is a very dedicated person and shows initiative and resolve. We have come to rely on her for numerous responsibilities because of her dedication, thoroughness, and compassion. She is a caring mother to her 5 children.