Born in Namibia, Marlies Alpers-Gabriel’s enduring fascination with the African continent extends to her earliest childhood memories on the fourth-generation family farm. After studying interior design in Cape Town, Marlies naturally transitioned into the hospitality industry, where she worked carefully to construct unique and memorable experiences for guests. In 2003, together with her husband and newborn, she invested in the creation of an ideal atmospheric accommodation by opening Hatari Lodge in the Arusha National Park and, later, Shu’mata camp in view of Mount Kilimanjaro. A conservationist and community development leader at heart, Marlies has founded several organizations to the benefit of her neighbors in Momella and the migrating elephants from Amboseli. More recently she has connected her most intimate hobbies, cooking, and food cultivation, with efforts to empower farmers and cultivate non-invasive crops through two start-up social ventures, the African Peoples’ Cooking School and Heritage Foods Africa.
To cultivate a new way of thinking about food in Tanzania that centers on the preservation of life and that celebrates its diversity.
Our philosophy is wrapped around a self-invented phrase that connects the preparation of food with the preservation of life: “Culinary Conservation”. On this we built Heritage Foods Africa & The African Peoples Cooking School and invite our guests to visit the small scale women farmers groups surrounding the buffer zones of protected areas and participate in understanding agroforestry and home garden farming, experience the lost foods of Africa before they are cooked for the palate and served in the lodge. Learn about sustainable resources all-around cooking in harmony with nature.