Now this is the Law of the Jungle – as old and as true as the sky; And the Wolf that shall keep it may prosper, but the Wolf that shall break it must die.

As the creeper that girdles the tree-trunk; the Law runneth forward and back – for the strength of the Pack is the Wolf, and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack.

Rudyard Kipling

New Year’s Eve at Londolozi is always the party to be at! The last few years have seen a variety of themes; A Day at the Races, 1920s Tennis and Savannah Nights being just a few. Last night was Jungle Explorer, with Rudyard Kipling’s famous poem forming the undertone for a wild evening fuelled by more bubbly than one could shake a stick at, cucumber tequila (absolutely delicious!) and a mouth watering menu laid on by Executive Chef Anna Ridgewell.

General Manager Duncan MacLarty got the ball rolling with a short welcome speech, after which came dinner, with the evening’s formal entertainment being rounded off by Duncan and his camp manager team performing a rather loosely interpreted dramatisation of the exploits of Harry Kirkman and Princess Alice, who met Harry in the Lowveld in the late 1920s.

All that was left to do was await the countdown, with Kim Drake passing round her traditional 100 glasses of Bubbles to toast in 2018.

Below are a few highlights of the evening, but in the meantime, all of us at Londolozi would like to wish you a healthy, happy and prosperous New Year.

After a torrential summer downpour soaked half the deck about an hour before the event, a few hasty rearrangements had to be made. Once completed, everything looked magnificent.

With the distant calls of the Birmingham male lions echoing in the night, the evening got underway.

Needless to say, the bubbly wasn’t in short supply.

Even the sparkling wine was Jungle Explorer themed…

The Tequila Shack, ably being manned by Laura Hodginkson, Jess MacLarty, Kim Drake, Sylvia Waller and Dave Dampier.

Rangers Andrea Sithole and Sandros SIhlangu with Jess MacLarty

First course was a delicious venison pate with an orange, chilli and cardamom chutney.

Robbie Sithole brings in the second course…

…which was a butter poached lobster with fresh asparagus and hollandaise.

The Ryan Family: (l to r) Harry, Nicki, Mike and Toby. Londolozi Regulars at this time of year, they’ve already booked for New Years 2018!

Thais Bassit, Varty camp manager, serving the first course.

Sylvia and Menalisie part the Jungle Explorer curtains for Robert as he waltzes in with the family style main course; Chimichurri wing rib with cherries and plum and celeriac remoulade, as well as seared Norwegian salmon with a lemon, caper and fennel labne.

Thais and her fiancee, ranger Fin Lawlor, give Laura Hodgkinson some advice on how to be a convincing lion in the Princess Alice play.

Needless to say, her performance was flawless.

Repeat guest Emma Houghton with Tree Camp Manager Phil Selwyn-Smith and ranger Andrea Campbell.

Head of Procurement and Londolozi sommelier Kim Drake with ranger Pete Thorpe

Mark Webster and Victor Ngwenya manned the bar with aplomb.

Another rare photograph of Sandros, this time with ranger Rob Jeffrey.

And for a little peek into the traditional Londolozi Photo Booth, watch this video:

About the Author

James Tyrrell

Photographic Guide/Media Team

James had hardly touched a camera when he came to Londolozi, but his writing skills were well developed, and he was quickly snapped up by the Londolozi blog team as a result. An environment rich in photographers helped him develop the photographic skills ...

View James's profile


on New Year’s Eve, Londolozi Style!

Join the conversationJoin the conversation

Marinda Drake

Stunning! It must be one of the best New Years eve parties ever. The decor look lovely. Anna’s menu sound fantastic and look delicious. And all the bubbly. Love it. All the best to the Londolozi family for 2018. It is going to be a great year.

Denise Vouri

Wow! That was the party of the bush world. Great reporting, fun images ……evidence a good time was had by all. Theme parties are the best and yours did not disappoint according to your photos and commentary. So cheers, and wishes for a wonderful and peaceful 2018.

Mary Beth Wheeler

Happy New Year to everyone! 2018 will be a special one! 🎉🎉

Judith Guffey

Love the tequila bar! Happy New Year…..Hau’oli Makahiki Hou🐘

Kim Drake

Happy New Year Judy!

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