Sitting with the Xidulu female leopard’s two cubs the other day, I was struck by what was for me such a beautiful and reassuring moment. We had found the two youngsters playing rambunctiously on a fallen, dead Marula, in the most perfect, rich, summer morning light. Dew still hung to the tall grass tips and James and I sat in silence watching them stalk each other through the long grass, leaping onto various obstacles and finally collapsing down to rest on the warm, dark soil. As we sat there I found myself flooded with happiness at watching these creatures so at home in themselves, each other and the environment around them. I can recognise that this is me projecting human ideas onto the scene I witnessed but it just seems to me that animals in the wild would never question their sense of belonging, something we as humans tend to grapple with pretty regularly.

xidulu cubs

The Xidulu female leopard’s cubs pause for a moment in between bouts of play. They spent the morning bouncing from this fallen Marula tree to chasing each other through the long grass, keeping themselves entertained while their mother was out hunting.

During that sighting I had this sense of being pulled from my body and zooming out to see how it was that we looked in that scene. From high above our vehicle I could see how we and the Land Rover melted into the environment around us. It seemed to me that we fitted and belonged in that scene just as much as the koppies to our north, the meandering Sand River next to us, the lush green landscape surrounding us and those very same leopards playing in front of us. I think so many people come on safari thinking that they’re coming to watch animals almost as separate spectators but I don’t believe this to be the case. We’re drawn to this wilderness because it is our home too.

Circuit Pan with car

A Londolozi Land Rover on game drive, a part of its surroundings.

We naturally do belong here. This land is infinitely welcoming and our sense of home and comfort in it is just a sign that our true natures do belong.

xidulu cubs

One of the Xidulu female leopard’s youngsters takes a moment to rest on this fallen Marula perch. Despite seeing these cubs fairly regularly, this morning was a particularly special one for me.

Of course we work hard to keep these wide and wild open spaces for animals to roam freely in their natural habitat but my feeling is that these wild open spaces are just as important for us to roam freely and see ourselves as we truly are.

My hope for you is that when you visit Londolozi, you don’t see this as a break from the busyness and mania of the city and your everyday life but rather as a return to home, to a place you truly belong.

Filed under Wildlife

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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12 Comments

on My Hope For You

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Laura Eberly
Guest

Thank you for this, Africa’s wilderness is essential to our well being. These cubs are very lucky to have such a fabulous mother. We were fortunate enough in 2014 to spend an hour with her and her 2 previous female cubs. They both are young thriving adults now. She has a way of protecting and successfully raising her cubs while allowing us into her world. That time we spent with her was amazing and something I will cherish forever. We will be returning in 2018 and we cannot wait to get back, Africa is a long way from Arizona so your daily blogs keep us connected until we can come home.
Thank you!

Lee
Guest

Beautiful! Just what I needed to hear.

Jill Larone
Guest

Beautifully written Amy. Londolozi is truly a place where the moment you arrive, you absolutely feel as if you are finally home, where you were always meant to be.

Wendy Brislin
Guest

Beautifully said Amy. My soul is refreshed each time I visit the bush.

Sam
Guest

Beautiful beautiful Amy
And so true
When you hooked on the bush, it infects your soul and you truly do feel like it’s home and where we belong
Great piece
Thank you

Wendy Hawkins
Guest

Thank you Amy, that is beautiful & oh so true!

Judy Guffet
Guest

At least half my heart lived atvhome at Londolozi. Going back to be home with it in December. A spotvin Hawai’i and Londolozi are ‘almost’ antipodes.

Marg Guit
Guest

Understand how “being in the moment” flooded you with happiness, Amy. The Londolozi experience enables that to happen when one is privileged to be visiting.

Reg Clairs
Guest

As always a beautifully written piece. We have enjoyed the Londolozi experience and read the daily blogs.
We live in rural Australia and whilst we do not have the wildlife of Africa we do appreciate being part of the
natural environment and are at peace with the world around us.

Sharon Blackburn
Guest

Lovely, Amy – One of the reasons I enjoy the Londolozi blog so much is that extra dimension of thoughtfulness and reflection that enhances and grows the experiences, just as time with all of you in the bush does.

Pat Mitchell Seydel
Guest

Londolozi is our African home and reading stories from there each morning brings Feelings of Home wherever we are. With love and gratitude, pat and scott

Bruce Finocchio
Guest

Totally Agree. Remember Chief Joseph’s words, “Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect.
Chief Seattle, 1854”

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