For 38 years Wilderness Safaris has been inspiring positive change through life-changing journeys, and for 37 of those years, legendary Vumbura Plains Chef, Gloria, has been at the heart of them.
It was while on a cultural tour with guests in 1984 that Colin Bell stopped at her shop in Xaxaba Village and bought some of her freshly baked bread. Colin and his guests were so impressed with the bread’s quality that it became a regular stop on his visits, and he arranged a standing order for his future trips. This continued for a few months, but it wasn’t long before Gloria was invited to join Colin on his mobile safaris. It was here her journey with Wilderness really began.
She worked on the mobile safaris for a year before deciding she needed some rest. She went back to her home in Seronga, but Colin soon came knocking again. A new camp was being built, Paradise (now Xigera), and he wanted her to cook for the builders, and later, to lead and train the kitchen team. The camp was completed in 1986.
Over the next few years, she would join Chris Kruger at Jedibe in 1988, and then Duba in 1990. In 1993 she was called to train the chefs and housekeepers Kuruxaraga. At this stage, the camps were all camp sites. Her move to Mombo in 1996 was to her first “big” camp.
She transferred to Vumbura in 1999, where she remains a much loved, respected chef and mother to the team. Her Bread Queen status still stands, and her popular waterlily stew, “Mma Glo’s Tswii”, is aptly named in her honour.