Thirty minutes before Boyd Varty was due to make his first ever presentation at the TED Conference in San Francisco this week he was informed of the sad  news of the passing of former President Nelson Mandela.

Ironically the subject of Boyd’s TED talk was  “African Ubuntu” focusing on the importance of collectiveness as a new consciousness for the world …..born out of Africa.

Coincidently Boyd drew on his personal experience of having met Madiba at Londolozi as a  9 year old boy and as could be expected Boyd used this encounter in his presentation as a metaphor and example of “African Ubuntu”.

As you will see contained in the talk are some personal examples of how Boyd has experienced “ Ubuntu” both amongst the people of South Africa and the wild creatures of this continent.

When asked by the TED coordinator his thoughts on the passing of Madiba, Boyd was able to echo what we all feel in South Africa…. How do we honour and live the legacy of inclusion, generosity and truth as taught to us by Madiba? How do we steer the moral compass of our country back towards servant leadership, honesty, values, integrity and always in the best interests of THE PEOPLE.

Boyd Varty speaking about Ubuntu, and how it can be seen in nature, at TEDWomen 2013. Photo: Kristoffer Heacox

Boyd Varty speaks about Ubuntu, and how it can be seen in nature, at TEDWomen 2013. Photo: Kristoffer Heacox

Already as the mourning of his passing and the celebration of his life converge in an week of explosive emotions we are experiencing the dawn of a new day . Everywhere there are young South African’s emerging who were, born free of the shackles of a past and who are now willing to take on the mantle of leadership and guide  South Africa back to the values and principles upon which the miracle of our democracy and the potential of our rainbow nation was founded.

It is our belief that the passing of President Mandela will be his second gift of a unifying force upon which these young emerging South African leaders will propel our country to new levels of consciousness and ethical behaviour . Already amongst the youth it is cool to be caring, to be enlightened and to be educated …… and indeed uncool to participate in deception, greed and corruption.

Young South African leaders understand the power of the internet to harness the collective voice. Indeed they have witnessed political uprisings and the removal of despot leaders in other countries . They know that one earns the right to lead by ensuring that one has the support of the followers. Deep in their ancestral roots the concept of “Ubuntu” runs clear and strong.

At Londolozi we seek to learn from this ancient African wisdom and we commit ourselves to reflect on Madiba’s passing and to honour his teachings. More than ever it is our intension to ensure that the benefits, which a successful Londolozi brings, are spread as widely as is possible to all members of our extended Londolozi family and their dependents. We do this in honour of the Madiba legacy.

Enjoy the TED talk attached:

Written by Dave Varty

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 I am, because of you: Ubuntu

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Tina Silver

Boyd did an awesome job of his TED presentation.
I watch these talks every day and was pleasantly surprised when I saw his name come up, as we met with my husband Mark at ILTM and Travel Week a few years ago.

Judy Guffey

Mahalo for your guidance and thoughtful words.

Valérie Boor

It was a privilege to witness this talk at TEDWomen 2013. Sad but fitting to hear the news of Mr Mandela’s departing from Boyd Varty.
Thank you for your inspirational ‘campfire stories’. I hope to do them justice in translating them for TED. Hopefully this will help spread your good work for the ecology of Londolozi in South Africa across its borders to the rest of the world.

Paul Laing

Spoken from the heart. Brings back incredible memories. May you continue to deliver a really wonderful message. Regards and best wishes. Paul, Bernie and the girls.


Thank you for sharing that.

Mary Beth Wheeler

What a fabulous presentation! You must be so proud, Dave and Shan! It brought tears to my eyes…

Wendy Hawkins

Hello there, I am having trouble watching this video, it keeps stopping 🙁

Rich Laburn

Are you experiencing problems with the video player or your bandwidth?

Wendy Hawkins

Richard I went on the Internet & watched it to the end & now I am in tears! That was amazing as its been such an emotional day & Dave, you were very brave to have presented that beautiful talk when you yourself must have been very saddened by Madiba’s death. God Bless you & Londolozi
Thank you <3

Dr Mary Turgeon

Beautiful and touching presentation. Can’t wait to return to Londolozi some day.

Thais Racy

So touching! So true! So human! Ubuntu. Dave and Shan, I’m sure you have all the rights to be so proud of your son. Hope to get back to this piece of paradise one day!

Diana Rawes

So well expressed and just another mirror of what
Londolozi essence is all about. Thank you for inspiring


Bravo Boyd.

Michael & Terri Klauber


All we can say is WOW! What a brilliant and passionate talk. Your humble demeanor, honest words and beautiful stories inspired us! Long live the legacy of Nelson Mandela and the compassion of Ubuntu!

Best to you and your family for the holidays, Michael & Terri

Jan-Erik Rottinghuis

You are truly inspiring and having been in Londolozi I feel so privileged. We know what to strive for: Ubuntu.

Susan Strauss

Watching Boyd’s talk was 15 minutes of being transported through time and space back to my life changing week at Londolozi this past June. Needed and much appreciated!

Jill Grady

So beautifully spoken from the heart Boyd. It is easy to see that the nine year old boy grew up to be a kind and thoughtful man. May we all experience Ubuntu and live our lives being the very best version of ourselves that we can be.

MJ Bradley

This is what makes us want to be a part of South Africa, you passion and love for you Country is wonderful to see.. May Madiba & Sunny, RIP.. How fortunate for you to have grown up and to continue the dreams of your ancestors.. Thank you for sharing a small slice of your story with us.


Bonnie Olson

What deeply felt words you say Boyd. Though only seeing this now, time has not faded your message. How beautifully you tell the story of your dear friends, and your experience growing up in such a special place. As always your gift for story telling brings all who watch you and listen into your experience. Thank you for being you and expressing your experience to share with us non-South Africans. I hope to return some day to your beautiful place on our planet. Ubuntu.

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