Dear Industry Friend

Late last year I released a book called The Full Circle. Writing this book was, not only for me, a journey down memory lane, but also a chance to reflect on three decades of watching the Safari industry evolve and unfold.

From its simple bush adventures beginning to a decade of “bathroom wars”, and now to the wonderment of modern technology, ancient wisdom and nature combining together in a profound experience called consciousness.

I am of the view that modern civilization has at its disposal accurate information regarding the pending threats we face, and I believe also that as a species, we have at our disposal the technical ability and skills to reverse these threats.

What remains in question is whether enough of humanity feel sufficiently as individuals, to alter their relationship with the earth and to live more sustainably.

At Londolozi our contribution to a more sustainable existence is to deliver to our guests a simple and understated experience which seeks to combine very subtle combination of ancient wisdom in the surrounds of nature backed by modern day technology.

Londolozi is located in the heart of the Sabi Sand Game Reserve and is surrounded by 6 million acres of wild land. It is a place where nature’s intelligent processes unfold daily, substantially unimpeded. The Londolozi camps, vehicles and general business model unashamedly draws on modern technology in delivering a convenient and comfortable guest experience. The safari industry has done itself proud in bringing Africa to the discerning travellers, successfully raising “Safari” as a priority travel experience for many world travellers. The industry has truly matured and competes with anything the world has to offer.

Perhaps the more difficult challenge now facing us is the ability to deliver in this modern and fast moving world, the profound and diminishing ingredients of ancient wisdom. Much of this wisdom has been trampled or lost as the industrial world has advanced to a point beyond the limits of growth and extraction of finite resources.

At Londolozi we regard ourselves as lucky and privileged to still be exposed to the last vestiges of this ancient wisdom, handed down by generations and the fore fathers of many of our trackers and rangers who are descendents of these hunter gatherers who gently harvested nature and had within their DNA a profound wisdom.

Winnis Mathebula imparted to me as a young child the fundamentals of hunting and gathering, lessons which were etched in my young mind. These remain the golden thread imbedded in the Londolozi values. Only now am I truly able to understand the wisdom of Winnis and the profoundly valuable lessons he taught.

“Twotone” Sithole whose father, “Engine” ran a successful meat trading business at the turn of the 20th century, taught the Varty brothers how to track and hunt lions. He also taught us to move silently with nature, creating a lighter footprint and minimum disturbance, taking only that which was our need for the day.

The descendants of these great naturalists still work at Londolozi today and this ancient wisdom remains deeply rooted in many of the Londolozi trackers and rangers psyche. Indeed we estimate that no less than 350 years of combined wisdom reside within this unique gathering of very special individuals who make up the Londolozi ranging and tracking reams who guide guests daily across the Londolozi reserve.

For more on each of these guides and trackers please visit the Londolozi website and the “meet the team” page. Read about their personal stories and fascinating origins. Increasingly at Londolozi we are seeking ways to preserve and unlock this wisdom for posterity. We hope to communicate it to our guests and if possible, a wider audience in the belief that we all have an essential need to learn from these ancient cultures as we now understand that their way was sustainable and ours is not.


Dave Varty

Filed under Life

About the Author

Dave Varty


Dave's story is too full and rich to tell in a brief blog bio. Suffice it to say that it is due to his passion, hard work and lifelong dedication to conservation that Londolozi is what it is today. One of the co-founders ...

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on From simple bushveld adventures to a convergence of ancient wisdom, modern technology and nature…

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Excellent posting, excellent first posting. Thank you.

I’ve ordered your book above. It should arrive from amazon in a few days.

Best wishes to all there,and to Rich who kindly chatted with me on facebook today.

Asante sana. 🙂

Callum Evans

So this is where is all began! I have been lucky enough to go on the iMfolozi Wilderness Trail, so I have been lucky enough to see a trace of that wisdom that still exists

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