"We're just two ordinary people, awestruck at the beauty of our unique surroundings. We love people, we love this place and we love sharing the wonder of it all."
Jenny & Koos at home
Born in Johannesburg, South Africa, Jenny spent her childhood in a variety of Central African countries, where her father combined his medical and flying skills to work as a missionary doctor.
Initially qualified as a Medical Technologist, in 1983 she completed a BA degree in Psychology through the University of South Africa.
Her interest in Psychology led her to work as a voluntary counsellor at the Radio 702 Crisis Centre for three and a half years.
Jenny completed her tertiary education at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, obtaining an MSc degree in 1985, followed by a PhD in 1994. During this time she worked with Koos at Wits University Medical School, mainly doing research into kidney transplantation.
In 1995, Jenny became Assistant Director and Head of Immunology at the National Centre for Occupational Health in Johannesburg. Her work there involved diagnosis and research into work-related diseases of the immune system e.g. asthma, and skin diseases.
She continues to pursue a number of interests, including photography. She has been actively involved in conservation, with a special interest in encouraging people in the area to find ways of living in harmony with our "fellow citizens", the baboons!
Koos was born and educated in Pretoria. In 1956 he completed a BSc degree in mathematics and chemistry at the University of Pretoria, followed by an MSc in chemistry.
In 1960 he joined the Atomic Energy Board and was sent to Oxford University to study the biochemical effects of radiation.
Here he spent 4 years completing his D Phil in Biochemistry, as a member of St. Catherine's College. He returned to South Africa, and in 1970 joined the Department of Surgery, University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, where he set up an Immunology Laboratory.
For the next 28 years he directed immunological aspects of a research programme, searching for way to reduce the rejection of transplanted kidneys and livers.
His laboratory also conducted sophisticated crossmatching tests, enabling the selection of the most compatible patients for available kidneys. These were then transplanted by a team of surgeons at the Johannesburg Hospital.
Koos is a keen sportsman, having played rugby at University and later concentrating on tennis.
Since coming to Rooi Els, he has taken a particular interest in the unique flora of the area and loves creating miracles in our beautiful fynbos garden!
In 1998, Koos and Jenny left their busy professional lives (some thought they had taken leave of their senses) and retired to the safety and peaceful tranquility of Rooi Els. Here they spent the next year building their dream home.
Loathe to forfeit the pleasure and stimulation of interacting with interesting people, they designed the upstairs guest suites, where like-minded visitors could come to stay and share in the magic of Rooi Els.
They have an ever-present sense of awe at their unique and exquisite surroundings, so decided to name their B&B 'Wonderlings' - a place where guests could come and wonder at pristine, unspoilt nature around them.
Koos and Jenny have a combined total of 3 children.
Peet, an engineer in Pretoria, is married to Madeleine. They have two children, Monique and Francois.
Candice is an attorney who is married to Hermann. They have three children and are presently living in Duba.
Sandra is a qualified homeopath. She has a practise in Muizenberg, where she lives with her partner, Johan, and our cute grandchild, Alexander.