When speaking to any Londolozi staff member about what they enjoy most about this spectacular place, there is one common theme that comes to light, and that is of family and togetherness.
Irrespective of your role here at Londolozi, be it butler, camp manager, gardener, house keeper, tracker or ranger, there is a sense of purpose over and above the daily responsibilities of each of these roles, and that is to exist here for the greater Londolozi community.
The African concept of ‘Ubuntu’ is a Zulu term to describe ‘humanity towards others’, and is more philosophically interpreted as being a universal bond of sharing that connects all humanity. The Londolozi community, as is most evident within the staff village, is exactly as the Ubuntu concept describes.
Having only been here a relatively short time, I can attest to the infectious nature of the family spirit, and the endless energy of all staff members to ensure the warm welcoming of every guest into this magical place that we all call home.
Recently, I had the privilege of welcoming my own family to Londolozi, something I had been dreaming about ever since embarking on my journey to fulfill my passion for the bush almost a year ago. As with most things, pictures and the occasional video fail to do this place any justice, even despite my best attempts to use the most descriptive of language, so I was excited to finally be welcoming my own family to Londolozi, and for them to experience everything themselves.
Apart from being lucky enough during their three day stay to have seen the most incredible sightings, I was most excited for them to see where I live and work, and to meet the people I work with on a daily basis, who would now be considered ‘extended family’.
My parents, who felt a very strong connection with the environment here, described their experience as follows:
“Much has been written about the Londolozi family, but no amount of pre-reading could have prepared us for the reception received from management, guides and staff during our visit to Varty Camp this week. From the moment we arrived, and for the entire duration of our stay, we were showered with genuine warmth, friendliness and kindness from the entire enthusiastic team at this special place. A cynical suggestion would be that the attention and great service we received was largely due to the fact that we were visiting our son Alistair. However, nothing could be further from the truth! Without exception, everyone that we encountered displayed sincere interest in each member of our family. The happy smiling faces of the Londolozi family, will be indelibly etched into our memories of this special piece of paradise.
From one family to another, a big thank you for making our visit truly pleasant and memorable“.
Perhaps the most memorable moment of their stay was the surprise drinks stop out in the bush, organized by the wonderful Varty camp management team. We arrived around 18:30pm to a series of lanterns which illuminated the most spectacular of scenes along the bank of the Sand River with the sun setting amongst the clouds to the west. The sounds of lions roaring in the distance, thousands of fireflies over the river, and laughter amongst friends and family resulting in an evening that shall never be forgotten.
All in all, my family left feeling enriched by the genuine feeling of Londolozi family and togetherness, and I feel fulfilled that I had the opportunity to expose them to what this truly special place is about.