Last month, I took out Ross and Renee Parry Davies – guests who first visited Londolozi in 1974. The virgin bush is much the same but this time their game drive was in a solar-powered Land Rover!
In 35 years of guiding this was my first game drive in a vehicle that was being powered by renewable energy. I was entirely dependent on the power of ancient sunlight.
Horror of all horrors, we located a pride of lions sleeping deep within the Manyeleti River bed. Access into the sighting was a steep incline plastered with thick river sand. My guests were over 80 years old and completely immobile…getting stuck was just not an option.
How would this new, fandangled, battery-powered Land Rover perform? This old dog of a guide did not want to learn new tricks at this stage.
Unbelievably, we managed to maneuver into position. Moving slowly and silently with plenty of torque, the battery powered vehicle’scapability proved to be better than the traditional V8.
The lionesses and their eight cubs were totally relaxed and the adults soon fell back to sleep
What a great experience, a real window into the future of silent observation, to a lighter footprint and greater engagement with the sights, sounds and smells of a truly wild area.