Animal-Loving Employee Visits South Africa for Trip of a Lifetime

For every five years an employee works at Arthrex, they are eligible for a company-funded Trip of a Lifetime to the destination of their choice, plus an extra week of PTO to take the trip.

Sales & Operations Planning Supervisor Tim Greiser just completed his first five years working at Arthrex, but his trip has been far more than five years in the making. Tim shared:

“My wife and I have always been animal lovers. In fact, she even changed her career from cosmetology and now works fulltime at Shy Wolf Sanctuary here in Naples. Our passion for animals inspired our dream vacation to South Africa. Even prior to working at Arthrex, I knew we wanted to go to South Africa. We had started a savings jar labeled ‘South Africa’ that we tucked money into each month.

Even with our savings jar, our trip remained a dream. That is, until I reached my five-year anniversary at Arthrex. With the Trip of a Lifetime program, Arthrex helped make our dream vacation a reality.


Our journey began in Cape Town, where, on our first full day, we traveled down the coast to the Cape of Good Hope. After a short climb, we found ourselves at the top of a cliff with a historic lighthouse and an incredible view. Just around the cape, a colony of African penguins was sunbathing on the beach.

Day two of our adventure took us inland to Franschhoek, where we visited two wineries and even got to blend our own bottle of wine. That evening, we were lucky enough to have dinner with the former warden of the Robben Island Prison, where Nelson Mandela was jailed for 18 years. Mandela formed close relationships with many of the people tasked with keeping him behind bars. The stories the warden had from his time spent with Mandela were incredible!

sharkOn our last full day in Cape Town we took a two-hour drive south to Gansbaai, where we went shark cage diving, something my wife has always wanted to do. During the dive, we got within feet of three Great White sharks and a Copper shark!

Next, we travelled to Hoedspruit, which is located near the east side of Kruger National Park. Our first safari brought us within feet of a leopard that was patrolling the reserve. While tracking down that leopard, we also came across a herd of buffalo, so within our first two hours on safari we had seen two of Africa’s ‘Big 5’ animals! The following morning, we were up at dawn to begin our next game drive. As the sun rose over the African plane, we were greeted by groups of giraffe, zebra, warthog and wildebeest, along with a variety of impala and kudu. Later in the drive, we came across a herd of elephants grazing on the reserve’s foliage.

After the morning game drive, we took a trip to the spa. Following some afternoon tea, we left on the evening game drive, which brought us our first views of lions in the wild. We came face-to-face with a lion roaring for the other members of his pride—truly a once-in-a-lifetime moment! As day two on safari came to a close, we had already seen four of the Big 5.

zebras lion

We finished our pursuit of the Big 5 the next day when we were able to spot two white rhinos. We also saw a group of hippos at a watering hole and a group of monkeys, which quickly dispersed when the leader spotted a leopard on its way.

That afternoon, my wife and I visited the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Center where we got so see baby cheetahs that were born at the facility in an effort to introduce them into the wild and help grow the struggling cheetah population. After that, it was time for our evening safari. Considering how lucky we were to have seen the Big 5, along with everything else we had already seen, my wife and I were just enjoying the evening ride with few expectations. That quickly changed when our ranger and tracker spotted a pack of African Wild Dogs! They said they hadn’t seen dogs in close to a year and their excitement was contagious.

Our final day in Hoedspruit was a sad one since we knew we had to leave later, but with one safari left, we enjoyed it while we could. We spoke with the tracker prior to the morning drive and my wife jokingly mentioned that we had only seen male lions so far and that we should try to find some females. As fate would have it, the tracker spotted some lion prints near the camp, and no more than 15 minutes into our final safari, we happened upon a pride of lions – a lead male, five females and three lion cubs! We watched them play around and drink at the watering hole for about a half hour, which was the perfect ending to our South African adventure.”



Category: Company Culture