I first learnt about Londolozi Game Reserve in 2008, when I was reading a book about leopards, called Living with Leopards by Nils Kure, that referenced Lex Hes’ book The Leopards of Londolozi.  I learnt a bit more watching The Silent Hunter, but it was only in 2016 when I found the Londolozi website and started reading the Londolozi Blog that this place really began to have to have an impact on my life and how I looked at the Greater Kruger area.

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A young bull elephant trails the rest of his herd.

I’d been reading the posts on the Londolozi Blog for almost a year when Londolozi Live was introduced. I joined almost immediately, I thought that it was a brilliant way for people -whether they have or haven’t visited Londolozi – to interact with the staff and learn more about the reserve. Straight away I found myself getting sucked into the leopard dynamics. I was sad when the Piva Male died and then I was waiting with bated breath to see what would happen to his old territory and the females in the area if the Flat Rock or Inyanthini Male took over. I’ve also become very involved in the story of the Majingilane and I am still waiting to see if the Birmingham Males make a move against them.

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A male lion from the Central Kalahari.

And Londolozi Live allows one to communicate directly with rangers and members of staff to find out how the Tsalala Pride is doing or if the Tatowa Female’s cubs are still alive. Perhaps my favourite part about the Blog though must be the Week in Pictures, which I look forward to every seven days and which never ceases to amaze and inspire me. The diversity of wildlife in the photos, and the creativity, not to mention the emotion, in the images are just incredible.

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The violence of an African thunderstorm has to be seen to be believed.

I’ve also been able to learn a lot of things from Londolozi Live. Certain blog posts have improved my understanding about certain key aspects of animal behaviour, including bird migration, elephant emotions, leopard habits and hyena social dynamics. The videos that are created by the media team are not only filled with stunning content, but also hold several key messages.

For example, in the Power of Transformation Video Dave Varty mentions how in the perceived drought you can experience the most learning and growth, and I learnt that “sometimes what looks like drought is actually the beginning of renewal”.

The video of the famous ostrich family had the beautiful message of ‘Love is worth the Wait’ and the video of the quelea flocks had several key messages, including how we are still connected and similar to every living thing around us.

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A massive golden orb web spider in the uMfolozi Game Reserve. Creatures like this are vital to the health of an ecosystem, yet are often unappreciated.

And of course, there are the videos of the most incredible sightings, from lion and hyena battles and three leopards in the same tree to a pangolin in the long grass. My wildlife photography has also improved substantially since I joined Londolozi Live. I started using Lightroom after watching Kylie Jones’ tutorials and that has dramatically improved the quality of my photos. I’ve also recently learnt how to use the radial filter correctly on Lightroom thanks to one of the tutorials. And I’ve also learnt from the tips that the rangers and field guides posts relating to certain aspects of photography, especially regarding exploiting various levels of light, photographing lighting and star trails, and spotlight photography.

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Star trails over the Makgadikgadi Pans, Botswana.

Perhaps most importantly, Londolozi Live gives me a vital connection to the bushveld, providing me with a little piece of sanity amid the stress and the fast-paced atmosphere of Cape Town. After a day studying at UCT, going onto the blog and looking at the latest Week in Pictures or watching a video of a lion roaring makes me feel alive and inspired at least for an hour.

It always makes me long for a trip to the bush, the place where I feel most alive and at home. Luckily at the beginning of this year I was able to go on a two week safari road trip through Botswana with a group of my friends, which included two nights apiece in Mabuasehube in the Kgalagadi and in the Central Kalahari, and three nights in Moremi Game Reserve in the Okavango Delta, so that did wonders for me. I was able to see my first wild dogs and cheetahs, and I was able to apply the tips from the Blog to take my first photos of lightning and star trails among so many other incredible experiences.


A pack of wild dogs investigates the remains of a giraffe kill that had been made by lions. Moremi Game Reserve.

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These were the first wild dogs I had ever seen.

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A lioness from an encounter with an entire pride in our campsite at Mabuasehube in the Central Kalahari.

I still have not yet been lucky enough to visit Londolozi myself but Londolozi Live has given me a vital connection to the incredible place it is. It has taught me so much about the bush, tracking and, though it might sound a bit cliched, myself. I look forward to seeing what 2018 brings and hopefully someday I’ll be able to visit Londolozi and finally get that photograph of a wild leopard. The bushveld is where my heart is and I hope to follow it one day.

Filed under Guests

About the Author

callum evans

Guest contributor

I am a 3rd year student at UCT studying Environmental and Geographical Sciences. I love birding, wildlife and wildlife photography and take any opportunity I can to get out into nature. I am on the committee's of UCT's Birding Club and the Biological ...

View callum's profile


on How Londolozi Live Has Affected My Life

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Ian Hall

One of the best job applications I have ever read🐆🐆🐆🐆🐆🐆🐆

Callum Evans

I thought so too!!!

Callum Evans

And thank you!!

Ian Hall

Joking apart, I once saw an incredibly expensive book called The Leopards Of Londolozi and I thought I would never get to visit. In fact I stayed for seven nights and despite around 18 safaris it managed to exceed the hype.

Callum Evans

I saw the same book in a second-hand shop in Kalk Bay for over R1000!! I’m still waiting for the chance to get up to Londolozi myself, need that leopard photo!!

Ian Hall

I would have a look at the early work of Jonathan Scott, especially the Marsh Lions, and Leopard’s Tale. These predate the Londolozi blogs, but could be taken for the models for it. These books enjoy an identical affinity to the Londolozi blogs and his book on the African Hunting Dog won the BBC Wildlife Photographer Of The Year . Also they were shot on 64 ASA Kodachrome .

Callum Evans

I have had the Leopard’s Tail since I was 7 but I’ve never read the Marsh Lions (despite watching Big Cat Diary!). John Varty did spend some time in the Mara if I’m not mistaken? I do love the Leopards Tale, it’s incredible. I did not know that his wild dog book was so highly acclaimed!

Wendy Hawkins

That was amazing Callum & yes I do believe there are many of us at home in South Africa & abroad who long for their Londolozi blogs, TWIP & more. I feel revatilised after reading the daily blogs! Good luck with your studies & keep strong with the lack of water 🙂

Callum Evans

Thank you Wendy!! It’s almost like a daily dose of energy for the wilderness, should be a standard prescription! And we’re saving as much water as possible!

Ginger Brucker

Callum, Thanks for sharing how the Londolozi blog inspires you and expands your learning. I hope you will be able to experience this amazing place first hand. I too love and appreciate the blog and the connection it creates to one of my most favorite places on earth. I am in awe of the beauty and the unique coexistence that exists here and the kindness bestowed upon me on the 2 trips I was able to make. The blog helps me carry the gentleness, freedom and spirit of Londolozi into my days 8,000 miles away. Good Luck with your studies.

Callum Evans

Thank you!! I hope I will be able to experience it too!!

Pam Chandor

Callum, Your blog post is very inspiring, both your photos and the story you told! My takeaway is that one should make the most of every opportunity we are given to enhance our knowledge, well being and improve our lives. Interacting with nature and wildlife at Londolozi has had a lasting impact on me and your essay really brings it home. I am looking forward to visiting again with my family in June. If it’s even possible to anticipate the trip more, you have done it! Thank you and Well done!

Callum Evans

Thank you so much Pam, I really appreciate your kind words!! I couldn’t agree more, I feel most at ease and alive when out in nature, I even recover from an illness faster! Hope you have a truly magical safari!!

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