“When your hands smell like the food that you have cooked for your village. When your clothes smell like the fire that brought everyone together. When your feet are tired from service for the greater good. When your cheeks are sore from the smile that wouldn’t leave your face. That’s when you know that it’s not all for nothing. That’s when you know you’re part of something magical.”

These are the words that ran through my mind as I stood in our Londolozi Staff Village looking from smiling face to smiling face, all of whom were contributing a palpable buzz to the air after another successful 2020 Service Walk.

Our 2020 Service Walks are integral to our village living at Londolozi. Once a month, we get together as a community in order to further our 2020 Vision of becoming a futuristic African Village, living in harmony with each other and the natural world. We spend time with each other. We open up lines of communication and discuss things that need to be discussed. We band together and complete jobs that benefit not one, but all in our village. We spend the time creating harmony between our people, our diverse cultures and nature


Our uBuntu Hut is where we go to meet, to catch-up, to discuss important issues and to come together as a community.

This month, we made a slight change to the schedule by starting a little later in the afternoon. As many of you will know, the Sabi Sands is heating up, and being of service at midday is no longer an option. This time-change proved successful as a congregation of 50 members of our community (our biggest service walk yet!), spanning all departments, congregated in our uBuntu Hut. Donning the 2020 Vision bibs (the physical act of putting one on solidifying our mindset of service for the community), we began with an affirmation of why we were all there from Jess MacLarty, our 2020 Vision Maestro, and coordinator extraordinaire. As Boyd Varty said, “ Londolozi is not about the bricks and mortor. Londolozi is about the people”. It’s about the heartware of it all. The 2020 vision is about sustainability- yes. But it’s also about the creation of a community and an atmosphere that allows each person to be the fullest expression of themselves. It’s about becoming a model for village life that will inspire guests and staff alike to live in a deeply conscious way.

After a prayer from Rexon Ndlamini, Londolozi Village Manager, we grabbed rollers, brushes and buckets of dark sea-hawk paint and created a bright yellow, human snake,  leading to two staff houses in the village that needed a new lick of paint.


Rexon Dlamini says a prayer before we head off into the village to start painting houses.


A bright yellow human snake walks down to the village houses- paint and rollers in hand. Village members, young and old, taking part.


Eric Ubisi from the Londolozi Kitchen donning his bright Service Vest

Everywhere you looked there was laughter, chatter, and strict instruction from the older generation to the young not to mess paint all over the place! Gardeners, housekeepers, Londolozi Living assistants, finance managers, PAs, Camp Managers, Rangers, Trackers, and Chefs (to name just a few) all contributed their time for the betterment of the village- building on the 2020 vision that it’s about the realization that new systems for living can be created, systems that- at their core- create a sense of wellbeing and belonging in all the sentient beings that reside at Londolozi.


Dark Sea-Hawk paint- the colour of community.


A lick of paint freshens up staff houses in the village


The smallest volunteer- covered in paint, despite instruction otherwise. The joy is evident on Selma’s face


Vivienne and Alida; Their cheeks were sore from smiling


The Varty Camp managers, Will Ford and Rob Crankshaw, tackling a corner together


Duncan MacLarty, Chris Goodman and William Ford joke around under the eaves of the hut.


Boyd Varty enjoying the fruition of his dream- for Londolozi to become a futuristic African Village where we all work together in harmony


The Londolozi Ladies


Tuli, Petunia and Stella add the finishing touches.

There was only one problem that we had to face that day. There were too many helping hands with waiting brushes and the paint ran out- a wonderful problem to have! After a buoyant group photo was taken to commit this day to the archives of yet another successful 2020 Service Walk, we all ambled down to where fires were smoking and food was being cooked. Here we congregated- once again in laughter and a sense of achievement.



Kai Goodman and Bunhle Khosa discuss the merits of acrylic vs. oil-based paint.


Everywhere you looked there were staff members making magic… our only problem was that we had too many helping hands and not enough paint!


The bringing together of a community around a fire- sharing food, stories and laughter

I looked through the smoke from the fire, my feet and cheeks aching, and all around me was the feeling of hope and commitment. It made me confident beyond measure that our 2020 Vision for Londolozi to become a beacon of light in the world- a place that people will look to as a model of the possibility of living in deep harmony with each other and the natural world around them, and a place where each person belongs to the movement to restore our planet is absolutely, 100% possible.


The full team- our best 2020 Service Walk yet.


2020 is a shared endeavor towards a more conscious life.

2020 is an example of what South Africa could be.

2020 is about harmony.

2020 is a place of love.

Written and Photographed by Amanda Ritchie- Photography Studio Manager and 2020 Vision Advocate. 

Filed under 2020 Vision Life

About the Author

Amanda Ritchie

Marketing & Photography Manager

Amanda joined the Londolozi team early in 2015 & immediately took the Londolozi Studio to an exciting new level. Her unflappable work ethic & perfectionism are exemplary, & under her guidance the Studio has become one of the busiest areas on Londolozi. The ...

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on 2020 Service Walks: Making Magic in The Village

Join the conversationJoin the conversation


You guys make my heart SING! Thank you…

Mary Beth Wheeler

As Boyd Varty said, “ Londolozi is not about the bricks and mortor. Londolozi is about the people”. And Boyd is so right! As a 3-time visitor, Bob and I can attest to his statement! We feel like family when we’re there – and, through the blog – even when we’re not! Thanks for all your loving work with each other, family!!

Janice Riley

Glad Selma, Kai and Bunhle were able to keep you guys in order. Love your sense of community.

Karin Mac

I love this!!

Eric Zahn

Hey Will & Rob, I’m impressed that you guys can paint, too, ha! Great job! Thanks for the great stay, see you guys in January.


Wonderful words, and wonderful deeds. Can’t wait to see it all in real life… 3 weeks to go!

Marinda Drake

Found the link for this blog on James’s blog. Such a lovely heart warming story Amanda. Love the picture of the little girl in pink crocs covered in paint. Happiness.

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