There is something about cats that I love. It may be that they have always bonded to me or that they can sit on your lap for hours without a care in the world. It might even be that they will pick the person that dislikes cats… All I know is that I love cats, I’ve always had a cat and cats love me.

I would like to introduce you to 5 cats in South Africa who entertain guests at a hotel, retreat and even restaurant. If you know of any other cats in hospitality, pop them in the comments below.

Skabenga at Oyster Box

Skabenga (which means hooligan or vagabond in Zulu) is a Tabby cat who permanently calls The Oyster Box, KwaZulu-Natal, home. He wandered onto the hotel property and was persuaded to take up the hotel-life by guests feeding him taste titbits.

This feline is a guest-favourite and he continues to receive piles of fan mail.  There is even a book about him, he has his own Facebook page and Instagram account! His favourite day of the year is his birthday = and of course they make a big thing about it with cake and guests showering him with extra attention.

Skabenga thoroughly enjoys the spoils that come with being the ‘Main Cat’ on the block! He loves regular treats of Catnip, has a favourite couch and chair and chosen spots around the hotel, which he retreats to, when not taking ‘inspection’ strolls around the property.

Skabenga has gone on a few adventures but has always managed to make his way back home.

Meet Skabenga at The Oyster Box

Hermes, Dolce and Gabana at Graceland Eco Retreat

At Graceland Eco Retreat in Limpopo you will find 3 ginger cats. These very pampered farm cats are called Hermes, Dolce and Gabana. This little fashion trio is friendly with the resident giraffes and dogs.

Hermes is a very small cat with white legs and chest. He is very cuddly and often goes and knock on the guests’ doors as he loves to snuggle up. He is known to follow guests on hikes.

Dolce aka butternut, is the fat cat and the nickname comes from that he looks like a butternut. He loves to sleep, and eat and is a lazy Garfield type of cat.

Gabana is the old female ginger cat who loves to sleep in the office. Her favourite office bed is of course a keyboard. She is extremely social and will never turn down a cuddle.

You can also read more about them on or my previous article here.

Wallis at Mrs Simpson’s Restaurant

Wallis is a Miniature Norwegian Forest Cat and lives at Mrs Simpson’s Restaurant, Dullstroom. This feline has her own Zebra Crossing in front of the restaurant called “Wallis’ Crossing”. She has 17 official godmothers and many unofficial ones too!

This is quite a famous cat! Wallis has been featured on the Travel Channel, Pasella, Top Billing and many more. She has also appeared on the pages of Sunday Times, Country Life Mag and air travel magazines.

Wallis loves attention and knows the regular visitors. She senses when you have allergies or dislike cats and will most likely stare at you until you invite her onto your lap.

You’ll be most likely to find Wallis sleeping in a hidey hole upstairs in a box under the bar, on a pillow in front of the fireplace, or on a heated sleeping pad.

Find out more about Mrs Simpson’s on or call 013 254 0088.

PS, the black cat in the cover image of this article is Sandton. This is my 3 year old boy cat who lives on my lap.


Susann is a travel, parenting, beauty and lifestyle blogger in Johannesburg, South Africa.

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