Since the family’s return in 2007, Wednesday night marked Londolozi’s 8th New Year’s Eve celebration. After a wonderfully successful 1920’s prohibition party in 2013, a myriad of colour and culture descended on Varty Deck as we presented Londolozi Mardi Gras – New Year’s Eve 2014.

A light curtain set a romantic atmosphere for the night. The Pink Lady bar seen in the background.

With families resident in Tree Camp, Varty Camp, Founders Camp, The Private Granite Suites and 1926 Pioneer, the night was destined to be an absolute blast and had the right ingredients for a vintage Mardi Gras.


Feathers, pearls, beads and brightly coloured bowers set the scene for the decor and dress of the night.

Traditionally Mardi Gras, Carnival or “Fat Tuesday” is most enthusiastically celebrated in Brazil, the capital cities of Europe, occasionally in Senegal and of course, in New Orleans South Louisiana. But for one night only we traded Bourbon Street for Varty Camp; swapped the teeming Mississippi for the recently flooded Sand River; exchanged beignets from Café Du Mond for Amarula Cheesecake out of the Londolozi kitchen; and replaced drunk and disorderly festival patrons with rifle wielding, khaki clad game rangers.

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We had some good laughs as ‘Romeo’ and ‘Juliet’ played out a skit with Duncan MacLarty as the Zulu translator!

The evening included five delicious courses of food, an abundance of wine and champagne, a piece of theatre which is surely destined for the West End and the angelic voices of the Londolozi choir which led us into the mid night count down. With Kate Goodman in her usual position on the spinning decks, Taylor Swift’s “Shake it off” and the like rang out until the early hours of the morning, while a concoction of “never-been-seen-before dance moves played out on the upper tier of Varty Deck.


The ladies of the Londolozi choir wowed us with their beautiful voices.


The choir performs on the Varty deck to much applause from the Mardi Gras audience.


As the night went on and 12 ‘o clock struck the dance moves came out. We were very impressed by the movers and shakers.


Guests were treated to a delicious Mardi Gras inspired 5-course meal


The Pink Lady bar was a popular hangout


What fine feathers – a carnival of pretty colours and lights.


Jason and Emma bathed in beautiful light


We love this image of the wine bar showing off the many delicious varieties of the evening.


The celebrations continued into the late night with song and dance, and lots of ‘shaking it off’!

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The gorgeous ladies adorned in fine dress and masks


The very stylish Londolozi butlers. Simon Smit


The Mardi Gras team pose for a group shot.

Thank you to all our guests for the great spirit in which you participated in our event – we hope you enjoyed the party as much as we enjoyed throwing it!

Written by: Duncan MacLarty 

Photographs by Caitlin Fay Smith and Simon Smit

About the Author

Duncan MacLarty

General Manager

Duncan is the general manager of Londolozi Game Reserve. His first exposure to the reserve came when he met Bronwyn and Boyd Varty at kindergarten, aged 5, and was invited to visit by their parents Dave and Shan. He eventually returned in a ...

View Duncan's profile


on New Year’s Eve 2014 – Londolozi Mardi Gras

Join the conversationJoin the conversation

Alice Ross

What a night of FUN FUN FUN!!! Londies you have once again outdone yourselves providing a night to remember for guests and the staff family as well. WELL DONE!!!!

Kate Collins

Beautiful photos that capture the evening so well. It was so much fun, thank you to the incredible team that put this together.

Jenny Gavin

Looks like we left too early! Miss you guys.

Wendy Hawkins

I have been looking forward to seeing what you did this year & my goodness me you did not disappoint your guests. How wonderful for them to have all this beauty, thank you for sharing & I wonder what the theme will be next New Year 🙂


Some celebration – so happy and vibrant!! Wishing everyone at Londolozi a wonderful 2015.

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