I began my career at Londolozi a little under a year and a half ago with a blog post that had the following quote from Mark Twain:

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

It was these very words that led me to give up a promising corporate career, and follow a burning desire to fulfill a lifelong passion for the natural environment, and more recently, wildlife photography.

A tender moment I witnessed recently between a giraffe mother and her couple day-old calf. It is precious memories like these that I’ll carry away with me.

Although the decision at the time was filled with an immeasurable amount of stress and anxiety, especially in light of the many sacrifices I would have to make, it has been unquestionably the best life decision I have ever made.

Arriving at Londolozi on the 25th June 2016, as a new trainee ranger, I was nervous and apprehensive not only for what would lie ahead, but for the life I had just left behind in Johannesburg, including family, close friends and loved ones.

Nearly 18 months later, and with a multitude of truly life changing experiences, the time has come for me to move on. Londolozi has allowed me to truly become the best version of myself, and has thus been the driving force in the development of my aspirations of becoming a professional wildlife photographer.

I always enjoyed watching the hunting strategy of the two Tsalala pride lionesses unfold and I learnt a huge amount about lion dynamics in general by watching these animals over the last two years.

There are very few people that could honestly tell you what their passion in life is, and the reality of the world in which we live, is that even fewer will be able to say that what they do for a living, is in fact their passion. Although I am incredibly sad to leave, I am also fortunate enough that my journey now continues beyond Londolozi and extends to elsewhere on the beautiful continent of Africa, where I will continue to share my passion for nature and wildlife photography with many others.

A kudu bull at sunset. One thing I will remember most about my time at Londolozi, were the incredible sunsets. What a privilege to have opportunities like this most afternoons.

Aside from my own leap of faith, I will forever be indebted to the family of Londolozi, as well as expert tracker and close friend Euce Madonsela, for shaping me into the person I am today, and for further instilling my desire to explore, dream and discover.

The photos and video, are a series of unforgettable moments in my relatively short time as a ranger at Londolozi. Moments that I would like to share with everyone. I certainly hope you enjoy these images, as much as I did making the memories.

About the Author

Alistair Smith

Guest contributor

Alistair guided at Londolozi from late 2016 to late 2017. Despite only a short stint here, he made a great impression on the guests he drove and formed a great bond with tracker Euce Madonsela. His photography is excellent, and is a passion ...

View Alistair's profile


on My Very Best Images: A Final Farewell

Join the conversationJoin the conversation

Marinda Drake

Stunning images Alaister. Wishing you luck and all of the best in your new venture. Looking forward to see many more of your images on Instagram.

Alistair Smith

Hi Marinda. Thank you for those kind words. I appreciate you following my journey so closely, and I look forward to sharing many more images with you.

Denise Vouri

Stunning images. I’m sure your decision to move on was a difficult one, but nothing ventured is nothing gained. All the best to you in your new position. You, your spirit and camera will be a wonderful addition.

Alistair Smith

Hi Denise. That’s incredibly humbling thank you. I truly appreciate it.

Wendy Hawkins

Oh Alistair this is sad news as your images always made me long for the bush & its offerings! Your video is outstanding & yes as I may have said before your pictures are really stunning & I hope that we “us” bloggers will be able to keep track of your gems in the future?? Thank you. Good luck & safe travels 🙂

Alistair Smith

Hi Wendy. It is sad indeed. But, the closing of one chapter means the opening of another. You can indeed continue to follow my journey on my personal Instagram page. I’d love to continue sharing my images with you.

Dan Deherder

Congratulations on the new venture Alistair! Extremely jealous that you are taking the plunge into professional wildlife photography and looking forward to seeing more of your stunning images!

Alistair Smith

Hi Dan. Thanks very much. It’s so exciting to be following a true passion, and be fortunate enough to call it my profession. I look forward to sharing my journey with you.

Mary Beth Wheeler

We’ll miss your evocative images, Alistair! Much luck in your life adventures ahead…

Alistair Smith

Thank you so much Mary 😊

Laura Eberly

All the Best!! Thank you for these they are magnificent!!

Alistair Smith

Thanks Laura 😁

Mary Shabbott

Thank you for these beautiful pictures. They are breathtaking. Best wishes to you and am looking forward to more of your photos in the future.

Alistair Smith

Many thanks Mary. Very kind words. Please continue to follow my personal journey.

Victoria Auchincloss

What a fabulous series of photos! We can hardly wait for January and our visit. You are as always an incredible adventure. Victoria

Alistair Smith

Thank you Victoria. Have an amazing time in January, as I am sure you will. Thanks again.

Kim Heckman

Some amazing shots and especially great ones of the big cats. Wishing you all the best!

Alistair Smith

Thank you so much 😁

Ian Hall

Super photos, all the best for the future

Alistair Smith

Thanks Ian. Much appreciated 😊

Gillian Evans

how wonderful to have those beautiful images and memories of a very special place. Enjoy your photography!!

Alistair Smith

Hi Gillian. Thanks so much. Truly appreciate it.

Gillian Evans

Hi Alastair what’s your Instagram name so I could follow you? Gillian

Dina Petridis

all the luck and thank you for the great pictures!

Alistair Smith

Thank you Dina. Much appreciated

Dawn Phillips

Fly high young man. You have earned your wings. You have a gift and a passion that needs to be nurtured. I have no doubt that your next adventure will be nothing short of amazing. I only hope that our paths will cross again one day. Be well. (And the photos are great too)

Alistair Smith

Hi Dawn. Wow. Thank you so much. Humbled by those words. I hope we do meet up in the future. Thank you so much.

Carolyn Whitaker

I found the Londolozi blog just as you began as a Ranger there. I have thoroughly enjoyed all your posts and am sad they are coming to an end. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and images with us. I wish you the very best wherever your future may lead.

Alistair Smith

Hi Carolyn. Thank you so much. It was an absolute pleasure sharing my images and memories with you. Thanks for following.

Callum Evans

Stunning photo gallery there, and some of those have to be in my top 10 images from the Londolozi blog (including the lion/rhino interaction and the leopard crossing the river (can’t remember which male it was)). Looking forward to seein what the future holds for you. It definetly seems like you had an absolutely exceptional range of experiences at Londolozi, some of them defying belief!! Thanks for all of the incredible posts

Callum Evans

Also loved the Piva male in the grass, the male lion shaking his mane, the barred owlet and the elephants eye!

Mauricia Neeley

Loved all the photos. Best of luck to you in your future endeavors.

Mj Bradley

What a privilege it has been to share in your stay at Londolozi. I am sure that your future will be filled with adventure and gorgeous photography. I look forward to seeing them on instagram. Thank you and may your dreams become reality.

Ian Hartnell

Alistair – wonderful images, especially the giraffe with it’s young one. How beautiful! Wishing you all the very best with your new career. I hope it all goes well.

Erika Pieu

Wow Excellent, Thanks for sharing. if you need any image editing services. You can contact with us.
Best Regards
Erika (Expert Clipping Team)

Jackis Chelsea

Amazing images

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