'Crazy' Dave Busschau

Dave Busschau was born in 1968 and grew up in Malawi.

After finishing his matric in 1986 at Roosevelt high school in Johannesburg, he attended Wits University, where he studied accounting. It was there that he decided he did not want to spend the rest of his life, stuck in an office.

He left South Africa in 1987, because he refused to do military service in the apartheid government. Went to Israel to a kibbutz and for the next four years he travelled and lived all over the world, including Australia, Denmark and the UK.

When Nelson Mandela was released from jail, Dave returned back to South Africa. Enthusiastic about his time abroad, he decided to study at hotel school, where he lived in Johannesburg and started working at Mike’s Kitchen.

Tragedy struck in 1991 at Mike’s Kitchen in Germiston, when Dave was held at gunpoint during a robbery and upon leaving the scene, the robbers struck him over the head and threw him into the walk-in freezer, where they left him for dead. It was then that Dave decided to find a way to get out of the city.

In 1995 an opportunity arose that made it possible for him to buy Mikes Kitchen in Nelspruit in the Mpumalanga province of South Africa. Dave took the opportunity, moved to Nelspruit and over the next five years he opened numerous restaurants and pubs in Mpumalanga. The most famous being the Old Vic pub in an old Catholic Church in Nelspruit.
(Old Vic literally means “Old Church”)

In 1997 Dave and his wife Bella, started the first Backpackers in Nelspruit and called it The Old Vic Traveller’s Inn. To date it is still the oldest and longest standing backpackers in the whole of the Mbombela region.

In 2001 Dave also started a successful safari company calledKruger Flexi Tours.

Yet through all of this success he always says that the highlight of his life was getting married to his wife Bella and having the joy of being father to three children: Theo, Sherese and Dylan.

Not just an avid businessman but a legendary cross-country runner, Dave has run over 100 marathons, including:

  • 10 x Comrades Marathons
  • The New York City Marathon
  • The Jerusalem Marathon

He has completed a ultra marathon by running from Nelspruit to Durban in the Kwazulu Natal province, as well as finishing a gruelling 40 day 'monster' marathon from Nelspruit to Cape Town (1900 kilometres), which he finished on his 50th birthday.

This he did not only do for fun, but also to raise funds for underprivileged runners and for the NSPCA.

In 2019 he completed the Camino Trail from Porto to Santiago in Spain with my wife and son, Dylan.

His current plans include improving himself even more by reading books on spirituality and self-help because Dave says “You can never be too positive”.