It’s New Years Day 2012 and here at Londolozi we wish you all a very prosperous and absolutely brilliant year ahead. 2011 was mind-blowing throughout Londolozi and much of it was reflected right here on the blog.
Right from the beginning of the year we knew that the pride dynamics were going to be interesting to observe, the new leopards fascinating to watch and of course much of the Londolozi family amusing to observe.
So without further ado, here are our Top posts from 2011:
It’s interesting and amusing to note that one of the most popular stories we featured in 2011 did not actually take place at Londolozi. This tale, expertly photographed by Jean-Francois Largot, tells the story of a young lion cub in the Masaai Mara who is rescued by his mother after falling off the edge of a cliff. High drama and emotion surrounded this post with a plethora. Sent to me by Dave Varty, it was a point of much bragging as this popular post occupied the spot of ‘Most Visitors in 1 Day’ on the blog for a couple of months.
So many photographers love to discuss this topic and when an interesting info graphic was published online, it was an apt illustration of the very subtleties of this topic. Although I think that both manufactures produce outstanding cameras, brand loyal enthusiasts tend to disagree according to their predilection of photographic equipment. If you want to see who wins, go and take a look for yourself.
Another Valentines Day, another crazy Valentines Video featuring the all star Londolozi Ranging Team. Desperate to win the heart of the femme fatale, the ranging and tracking team fight amongst themselves for the single rose. An action packed race through the bush and with each other, this video features not only the good looking areas on the Londolozi property, but also the good looking fellas in the Londolozi ranging and tracking team. Filmed in slow motion…it’s a riot…
The drama of the Tsalala pride has been an emotional roller coaster. Keyboards around the world have been destroyed owing to the litres of tears shed over the lives of this incredible pride and their beloved cubs. The offspring of the Majingilane Coalition, this pride signals a new era of lion dominance in Londolozi and their tales reflect all of the hardship, struggles and success which epitomize the life of Africa’s most noble creature. In this post, we tell the story of how one of the younger Tsalala pride cubs survived 5 weeks alone, isolated from the pride. Having been separated during an attack by a clan of hyenas and later reuniting with the pride, this story if worthy of a Hollywood epic.
These relentless enemies are constantly at battle with one another. Usually we feature the lions as the victors, however in this astonishing post this buffalo bull regains strength after a number of hours and manages to escape from the lion’s claws of death. An amazing tale of resilience, never giving up and fighting against all the odds. The video is most certainly not for the faint hearted!
“At Londolozi we chose to not only raise awareness for men’s health by supporting the Movember tradition, but also took the opportunity to raise some funds for a cause closer to home – the Madlala High School. By the end of Movember, some interesting styles had emerged – each with a fitting name.” This was, without a doubt, one of the most hilarious posts we have published on the blog. Profiling each of the Londolozi Mo-Bros and the famous counterparts provided some interesting comparisons to figures in history both living and dead.
The notorious bad boys of Londolozi and surrounding properties, the Majingilane Coalition have been on the tips of everyone’s tongue this past year. From their violent and aggressive behavior to their total dominance over the Tsalala and Sparta Prides, this post profiles each of the 4 males and provides some more insight into the history, behavior and activities of these infamous beasts. Dark Maned Male, Scar Nosed Male, Hip Scar Male and Golden Mane Male are now also the stars of their very own short documentary which is scheduled from release on the Londolozi Blog in January 2012. The trailer will be out soon, so stay tuned!!!!
The brainchild and product of our very own ranger (and photographic guru) Talley Smith. The Week in Pictures is a firm favourite amongst many readers of the blog. Published every Friday of the week – the Week in Pictures showcases the best stories and images of the week photographed by Talley whilst out on game drive with her guests. This amazing series has provided snapshots into the lives of many of the animals which call Londolozi their home and has also presented the world with Talley’s beautiful images. Click on the link above to see the full list of all the Week in Pictures since she began earlier this year.
What would every Wednesday be without a regular update about Londolozi’s most beloved and iconic animal – The Leopard. David Dampier does a great job in showing and telling us the happenings of many of the well known Leopards of Londolozi in this weekly blog post featuring his stunning Leopard images. Regular characters include the Vomba Female, Marthly Male, Camp Pan Male, Vomba Young Female, Maxabene Brothers, Tutlwa Female and the Nyeleti Siblings. These enigmatic and elusive (well not so much at Londolozi) creatures never fail to delight, especially in the eyes of one of our best photographers, David ‘Doyle’ Dampier.
Varty Camp is the heart and home of Londolozi, the crucible from which the campfire has burned for over four generations and eighty five years. Fusing family, tradition and specialist photographic safaris, the newly refurbished Varty Camp offers one of the best value for money safari experiences in South Africa. This camp is all about tradition, laughter and storytelling. From sipping an ice-cold Pimms on the Varty deck, gazing out into 18 000 hectares of exclusive traversing to sitting around a boma campfire and listening to stories of the past, Varty Camp has a tangible feeling of soul, place and a sense of essence. Check out the Varty Camp video and view some of the images from the stunning makeover this camp received earlier on in 2011. If you would like to enquire about staying at this beautiful camp, send us a message by CLICKING HERE
If there is one item that you must bring on your trip to Londolozi, it is a digital camera. No matter what your budget or level of skill is, the beauty of photography allows anybody to be an artist. For many individuals coming on safari, they have no idea which equipment they should include in their packing and what type of camera to bring along. This post proved to be particular popular as it offers a factual breakdown of effective camera bodies, lenses and other accessories across a wide variety of price ranges. One thing is for sure though, if you are coming on safari to Londolozi you MUST bring your camera with you!
“The best time to explore the Eastern Lowveld of South Africa is in the cool dry months of May to September”
Charles Boyd Varty – April 1926”
The Londolozi Winter Calendar is now entering its 6th year in 2012. This past year saw another incredible winter with myriad activities, incredible sightings and beautifully lazy days in the balmy lowveld weather. To get a better understanding, take a look at the Winter Calendar Video in the above blog post. In the same vein as our 2011 Winter Calendar we are offering a special value add for the months of May and June 2012: Book 3 nights or more at any of the Londolozi lodges in May or June and get two nights free in Cape Town paid for by Londolozi. In Cape Town you will be staying at some of the finest boutique hotels in Cape Town such as Colona Castle, Welgelegen, Mannabay and Kensington Place. To find out more about this special: CLICK HERE
Two of Londolozi’s biggest male leopards battle with one another in this spectacular video blog. Captured by Londolozi guests and myself, this event was truly one of the most incredible sightings I have had the privilege of witnessing in the wild. Add to the sighting the Vomba 3:2 Female, the Marthly Male, a lone hyena and you get a high action video which shows the real drama behind the battle for territorial dominance amongst leopards. The ferocity with which these two animals fight each other is truly humbling, frightening and awe inspiring at the same time.
We would love to hear from you which your favorite post has been over this last year. Any suggestions are welcome in addition to the posts I have presented above. Here’s to another fantastic year on the Londolozi Blog, all of which would not be possible were it not for you our loyal readers and visitors to Londolozi. Thank You!