There is something magical about going on safari – there is a welcomed quietness that gives you an urge to sit under a tree and write a poem. Now, if you have never been on a safari, you may laugh, you may think I am mad, but it is so true. I have been going on safari since I was a toddler, every trip as magical as the next, but my Londolozi experience has left me with new stories to tell, and more importantly a deeper respect for the bush. There are things we saw and stories told, that would not have been possible without Simon Smit and Fanoti Shabangu – our fantastic ranger and tracker duo.
My Londolozi experience was truly varied from hairy caterpillars, to the king of the jungle himself, Mr Lion. Within this variety there are clearly a few things that stood out to make this trip even more memorable.
Firstly, a close (very close) leopard kill. In my 30 years of going to the bush, I have never seen something as close to a kill as this. We sat for hours watching a female leopard slowly make her way up the road, closer and closer to a herd of impala. This young lady was a few feet away from a male impala, she crept, she leapt, but unfortunately she just missed. I managed to capture her amazing leap and sadly the hooves of the impala that just got away.
Secondly, a story I will never forget about a Pangolin (a fascinating animal, but very hard to see) and the belief that if they are killed and if their blood is seen by the sky, that there will be drought bought upon the area. This was just one of the few fascinating stories that Fanoti told us – well this and his simple obsession with giraffe!
Thirdly, a moth that bombed into my ear and decided to stay there for a day or two. Thank goodness for the Londolozi first aiders (also the maintenance team) and their help on getting the moth removed (well they managed to at least get the moth killed with the assistance of some olive oil). An unusual experience, with an unusual souvenir!
I truly had a wonderful time at Londolozi and I am already planning my next trip! So long until next time.
Written and photographed by: Carin Lee