About Rafiki Safari Lodge
The Boshoff Family
Rafiki Safari Lodge is family owned and operated by the Boshoff family.
Constant Boshoff was born in the country of Tanyanika (now Tanzania) and grew up on a massive wilderness reserve. His family emigrated when the colonial government fell and moved back to South Africa where he met his wife Ralene. Although educated as a Chiropractor in the United States, Constant chose to start his practice and raise his 3 sons in the town of Middleburg South Africa. His passion for wilderness preservation stuck with him. He purchased a 300 hectare piece of wilderness connecting the upper escarpment to the lower plains of Mpumalanga. With the help of some brave locals he carved out a wilderness retreat which eventually included a pool, kitchen, cabins, electricity, and even a water slide! The property was for the pleasure of his friends and family, but around the campfire ideas of opening the retreat to the public began to sprout.
Politics in Africa have always been difficult and as a result, Constant eventually left South Africa to pursue his career as a chiropractor in the United States. Although he no longer had a reserve to call his own, the dreams built around the campfire did not die.
He sold his chiropractic business in South Dakota in 1997, and instead of retiring, found a 300 hectare farm in the remote Savegre valley of Costa Rica. The symmetry between the first property and the second were remarkable. No roads, no electricity, no infrastructure, just what the doctor ordered! The farm had plenty of fresh water, he had three sons in process of finishing university, and a village that was starved for new opportunity. A new campfire was built, and Rafiki Safari Lodge was born!
Today, Rafiki Safari Lodge sees guests from around the world. Constant's sons have taken charge of building and running the business. He and his wife live near by where he stills sees patients as a chiropractor. He visits the lodge frequently and has enough stories to go around!
Lautjie Boshoff and his wife Mauren with their son Noah and daughter Acacia currently run the lodge and the Rafiki Beach Camp. They have been involved with creating the businesses. Lautjie's older brother and his wife Janel were active managers until the pandemic hit. They unfortunately had to leave their posts in 2020. Lautjie is a biologist and can frequently be found on the trips. He writes the website, answers emails, and enjoys the challenges of conservation. Mauren runs the reservation office, and loves working in the gardens.
Locals of the valley
Rafiki sits only 3 kilometers from the village of Santo Domingo. Nearly all of the employees of the lodge come from the town. Forestry legislation left the village starved of opportunity in the 1990's and flooding left them without infrastructure in the same decade. As a result, Rafiki Safari Lodge is the primary source of employment for the town. This symbiosis has allowed the lodge to grow, the village to progress and the forest a chance to recover.