At Londolozi, we have always been mindful of our environment, recognising that it is the basis of all that we do here and all that we rely on. This year, however, we re-commit anew to this as we enter into a re-invigorated phase we now call the ‘new normal’.

This ‘new normal’ incorporates a zero tolerance litter policy, diminishing the use of plastics, harnessing solar energy, minimising electricity usage and general mindfulness of our behaviour and the impact that it has. One of the greatest drives at the moment, is conservation of water though. As has been mentioned in previous blogs, this north eastern part of South Africa is experiencing a severely dry rainy season and so everyone at Londolozi is doing their bit to recycle water. What has completely blown me away is how Londolozi’s children have stepped up to the plate, showing what the next generation can offer.


Junior Sibuyi, Felicia Khoza, Ndumiso Ubisi, Nomzamo Mahaba, Perseverence Mashaba and Jessica MacLarty water their plants outside the Londolozi creche. This now forms part of the children’s daily activities.

All over the staff village, you will see buckets capturing water that condenses on the pipes of the air conditioning units and drips onto the ground below. From one office alone, we managed to capture 100 litres of water in just one week. Most of the dripping from air conditioners is just condensed water vapour that comes from the air inside the building and so is completely safe and hygienic. What we have been using it for though, is watering plants and vegetable gardens, attempting to keep these plants alive.


Jessica MacLarty helps the children transfer the captured water into a small bucket that they painted themselves. Each of these buckets is capturing about 100 litres of good quality water a week.

In the Londolozi creche, four little helpers water their vegetable garden daily from the water dripping from the Learning Centre. It is quite the process and each one wants to get involved. First they take turns to carry the bucket across as a team and once their brightly-coloured jugs are full they carefully feed the plants, making sure that each one is well- nourished.


Perseverence Mahaba and Ndumiso Ubisi carefully carry the water to their garden, trying not to spill too much along the way.


The water is then carefully dispensed onto the thirsty spinach and carrots.

In this garden are carrots and spinach in the early phases of growth. This little garden forms part of the greater Londolozi Food Garden Initiative. The aim is to become closer to our food source as well as create sustainable micro economies. Within the co-op garden initiative, Londolozi staff produce vegetables here that they then sell to the kitchen. This means we get top quality produce with a zero carbon footprint that can also provide a small, additional income to staff working at Londolozi.


The Imrie kids have also been at the forefront of this ‘new normal’ drive by using the water from both their home and their grandmother, Ruth’s home. Their favourite place to dispense the water is into a bird bath which is visited by many species of birds, thirsty nyala and bushbuck and even some monkeys and baboons.


Emma Imrie pours the water into the bird bath while Thomas Imrie traps any water droplets escaping from the air conditioning unit, while the bucket is away. Such are these two children’s commitment to saving water that they don’t like even one drop going to waste.


A young male nyala wanders off, having had a long, thirst-quenching drink from Ruth’s bird bath. In the background, Thomas waters some of the plants.

Under the guidance of Ruth, they have also come up with a very simple and smart way of syphoning their bath water. A narrow tube runs from the bath inside the house, submerged and held there by magnets and the water runs through the pipe and out into the garden. The process is watched carefully by the kids and each tree is given its fair dose of bath water.


Thomas and Emma direct the syphoned water onto the various plants in Ruth’s garden. Although things are still very dry, this water is managing to keep these plants alive.

It really has been so heart-warming to see how this drive for greater care of the environment is being led from the front by Londolozi’s youth. These children truly care about what is happening to the world around them and are doing their bit to tread lightly in these times that call for a greater environmental consciousness. We thank them for all their effort and enthusiasm and for inspiring the rest of the Londolozi family to follow suit.

Filed under 2020 Vision

About the Author

Amy Attenborough

Media Team

Amy has a rich field-guiding history, having spent time at both Phinda and Ngala Game Reserves. This diversity of past guiding locations brought her an intimate understanding of different biomes across South Africa, and she immediately began making a name for herself as ...

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on Introducing the ‘New Normal’

Join the conversationJoin the conversation

Dianne christie

Good for the kids. That is certainly the age to capture their imagination and to educate. They in turn will educate the adults around them.


it is wonderful to see the children learning about conservation.. Thank you Londolozi!


Thank you Thankyou!!!from far away San Fran Missing you all and I am so pleased that the new normal plan toward project 2020 is being adopted by our important and valuable family members

Keep up the good work !

Wendy Hawkins

Oh Amy that is great! How wonderful to get kids involved in protecting the environment from an early age. I also recycle all my water from the kitchen & rainwater I collect! I am curious to know how Chris? is doing with the compost he was making with Banana skins & hopefully all other vegie matter from your kitchen??? Thank you for this as more & more of SAfricans need to get involved in this as it is a scarcity in our beloved country.

Amanda Ritchie

This is so inspiring, and truly gives me goosebumps. Well done Tom, Emma and all the kids in the Village for leading us all to 2020!


I love this… it’s so inspiring.

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