Intundla Celebrates

Intundla Celebrates 10 Year Anniversary after the devastating fire at the Game Lodge

Intundla celebrates 10 years since our new beginning!

In September Intundla Celebrates the 10 Year Anniversary of the devastating fire at the Game Lodge. It was a Sunday morning on the 2nd September 2007, when Teneale du Plessis received that dreadful call with only a few piercing words... "it's burning, it's all gone."

Watching the Lodge burn

So started the panic of that horrible day! At the lodge, some of the guests helped the staff remove furniture from the conference rooms and equipment from the reception area. Some even climbed on the roofs of the chalets in an effort to wet the thatch with garden hoses. Soon though, the gas bottles started exploding and everyone had to retreat to the other side of the dam. From where we simply watched the beautiful lodge burn to the ground within an hour.

Power surge caused the fire

It was later discovered that the fire was started by a power surge. After the initial damage to the Game Lodge and Conference Venue, the fire continued to rage, turning into a 3-day veld fire. The fire threatening to come back and burn what little was left.

Wedding Chapel stood untouched

Once the larger flames had died down and the smoke had disappeared a clear image of the untouched Wedding Chapel with its beautiful garden was an unbelievable site to behold. The path of the fire was clear to be seen and had somehow left the chapel and surrounding garden untouched! This Wedding Chapel still stands today, and many happy couples have said "I DO" in this chapel since then.

Rebuilding

As we rebuilt, all our staff; housekeepers, chef's, barmen, duty managers, everyone was available to help restore the beautiful lodge. Six months after the fire the Lodge and Conference Venue outside Pretoria was once again open for business.

With grateful hearts

In September every year, we remember the scorching heat of that day and the additional heat of the fire and how we had to start over. Today we are grateful we have come so far after this crippling event. Today we celebrate our beautiful bush venue and what Intundla has become!

2007 Fire at the Game Lodge

2017 The Lodge Today

Come Spend Time at your favourite Bush Venue

10 Years after the Fire, still growing and thriving

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What we’ve learned from the disaster of 6 years ago at our Conference Venue and Lodge near Pretoria

It’s been 6 years since the devastating fire burned down our Conference Venue and Lodge near Pretoria. Even though there’s not a trace left of the fire and ashes, memories of the horrid event will take longer to fade. In light of all the recent floods that hit the Cape we thought to share what we’ve learned from our encounter with disaster.

Related article: 6 Years on from the devastating fire that destroyed the Game Lodge and Conference Venue

Always be prepared for a disaster even though you think you’ll never have to
You might think that your business is safe from disaster and having a contingency plan is something you can put on the back burner. The best way to overcome a disaster is to have a plan of action BEFORE it hits you.

Make sure you have backups of all your data
This includes lists of suppliers, clients, bookings, employees and everything your business relies on for operation. Keep all your important documents and backup copies at an off-site location. When disaster struck our Conference Venue all our records were destroyed in the fire and we didn’t know which conference clients were coming and what their requirements were. We did however do everything we could for our clients and arranged with a neighbouring Lodge to accommodate all our booked conferences while our kitchen staff was on hand for all the catering needs.

Identify critical business tools that would need to be recovered first
For us one of the things that hit us the hardest was losing our database. But we’ve learned from this and now we have a cloud-based database and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) System so that we can provide an even better service to our clients.

Take photographs and videos of your assets
This will make things a lot easier for insurance companies to assess the damage.

Have an emergency response plan
Make sure you have reliable ways to communicate with your employees during an emergency, but also make sure everyone knows exactly what to do during an emergency. Write out every step of the plan and assign responsibilities to employees, also practise your plan and make sure everyone knows what measures to take to preserve life and limit property losses. We were very fortunate that no lives were lost during the fire.

Deliver Bad News Early
When faced with a natural disaster the sooner you can let your clients know the better. It is a hard thing to do especially when you can’t give a definitive date or time when the situation will be resolved but as long as you can show your clients you’re doing everything you can for them they should understand. After the fire burned down our Conference Venue we notified our clients as soon as we could but also informed them of the plan we had made for them by accommodating them at the neighbouring lodge. The response was one of sympathy and understanding but also appreciation for going the extra mile for them.

Related article: Intundla Conference & Teambuilding Venue – Pretoria, Gauteng

Accept the Situation and move Forward
Any disaster will be an emotional time and there will be times when you feel like giving up. But as we started rebuilding our once beautiful Conference Venue and Lodge we got strength from everyone’s support. All the Intundla employees – housekeepers, chefs, barmen, duty managers, everyone was available and willing to help restore our lovely lodge. And six months after the fire the Lodge and Conference Venue outside Pretoria was once again open for business and today looking more magnificent than ever. So make use of the resources you have in people, you will need it. We are still grateful to one and all that helped during this difficult time and we wouldn’t have been able to continue without them.

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