During my two and a half years of working at Londolozi, I had the pleasure of meeting and working with Cry Sithole. With a mile wide smile and a tacit knowledge of the service industry this man delights guests at every opportunity. The Granite Camp guest book is a tribute to him from all the many travellers that have had the pleasure of staying in this exquisite lodge. Apart from the beautiful camps, breath taking views as well as some of the best game viewing in Africa, Londolozi is distinguished by the incredible people that devote each and every day to producing a world class experience for discerning travellers.
As is common with many of the Londolozi staff, they have not had the pleasure of experiencing most of what every day life in the big cities around the world entail. With this in mind I spent many afternoons in Granite Camp reliving experiences to Cry and the other staff of things we often took for granted. A short flight here, a quick train trip there is something many of us have experienced from an early age.
This past weekend Cry Sithole paid a long overdue visit to the bright lights of Johannesburg and all of which this very overwhelming city had to offer. A quick Federal Air hop from the quiet Londolozi airstrip was his first trip on board an airplane and although it made him rather “dizzy” it turned out to be an “awesome experience.” After just over an hour he arrived in the cold, bustling metropolis of Johannesburg, where he was whisked off at over 200kmph from OR Tambo Airport on board the much talked about Gautrain. Arriving just 12 minutes later at Sandton station to find himself surrounded by sky rise buildings, fast cars and people everywhere.
A whirlwind tour of Johannesburg would not be complete without a trip to Nelson Mandela’s former house in Vilakazi Street, Soweto. This was in actual fact the only thing on the itinerary that I received from Cry and an attraction he was dead keen on visiting whilst in Johannesburg. After many other visits to well known and renowned places in and around Johannesburg it was unfortunately time for Cry to head back home to Londolozi.
It was a great pleasure for me to have Cry to stay as it afforded me the opportunity to teach him something in return for all the knowledge he imparted onto me over the years. It was a rare privilege to work at Londolozi, a place that provided me with so much knowledge about life, but most of all it became the base on which lasting friendships were made and continue to thrive long after the time.
Written by: Jacqui Hempill