My name is Raphael Klabin and I am from Brazil. This is my second time here at Londolozi. The first time I came with my entire family and in this the second I came with a group of friends with my father. Back home in Brazil, we are also passionate about conservation and about showcasing the wilderness to visitors from around the world. My father started the Caiman Ecological Refuge in the Pantanal, during the 1980’s and since it began we have been committed to conserving the wild species that exist there. We are also committed to working with the ranchers in the area to establish better relations between cattle ranching and wildlife conservation.
During my most recent experience at Londolozi, we had an amazing time and it was inspiring to see how the lodge continuously improves and evolves its offering. Both times that I have visited Londolozi, Mother Nature has received us with open arms. Coming from Brazil, I am passionate about the Jaguar and big cats, so visiting Londolozi was incredible owing to the wonderful leopard and lion sightings we had during our stay. Each day after the next, the safari became more incredible and the leopard got better and better. It was not only nature that received us with open arms, but the staff and people as well. Back at the lodge we encountered many magical moments such as the candle lit dinners, sunset drinks stops, late nights in the boma, watching wildlife from the deck and from the plunge pool in my room.
As soon as my father and friends left, my real journey started here at Londolozi. I started my 1 week internship learning about the inner workings of the Londolozi experience. From the moment that they left and I began working behind the scenes I truly encountered the soul of the business for the first time. Tammy, the beautiful operations manager, took me by the hand and showed me my schedule for the week I was here and at that moment I knew that I was going to have a brilliant time.
My main focus was on service, experience and understanding how to work in harmony with the people who live at Londolozi. Inside the office, sometimes your forget you are in Africa, but as soon as you put your head outside you almost always bump into one of the many nyalas, monkeys or bushbucks moving through the camps. Knowing that a pride of lions or a leopard could move through the camp at anytime was at first a little bit scary, but then it became an exciting element to my everyday work.
Over my days here, I have met amazing people and the experience I have gained will be immense in helping with my own journey as I start working back home at Caiman Ecological Refuge in the Pantanal.
I know I will remember this place and the people for my entire life and I can say that Africa and Londolozi have a captured a piece of my heart.
Written & Photographed by: Raphael Klabin
Filed under Guests Life Restoration Travel
Awesome blog Raphael. Lovely experience in Africa.
Wonderful blog Raphael and beautiful images. I agree – Africa and Londolozi are magical and once you’ve been there your life will never be the same again…it becomes part of your heart and soul and you feel this intense longing to return.
Thank you for sharing your experience and your beautiful pictures. I feel the same way about SA and Londolozi. There is a song from here in the US called “I Left My Heart in San Francisco”….well, like you, I left a part of my heart in Londolozi!! Can’t wait to return!
I am so glad to know about the Pantanal lodges. We live in Arizona where the Jaguar once roamed in large numbers, no more. To see them in Brazil has been one of my goals, but I had no idea where to start. THANK YOU!!!
What a wonderful experience. Having been to the Pantanal & Londolozi three times, all were magical experiences. But I am returning to Londolozi for the fourth time next year, so you know where my heart lies.
How fortunate you are to be able and have this experience not once but twice and behind the scenes as well. Your photos are amazing..I’m a bit partial to the zebra’s..I was able to photograph herds of them and had them put on canvas when I was there. Thank you for sharing your story. I review my photos almost on a daily basis to remind me what we share this wonderful world with!
Arlene and I have just returned from a trip to the Pantanal. what a beautiful part of the world. So remote and so, so vast!! In 1 week we had 14 jaguar sightings of 9 different cats! We sat with a mating pair for 10 hours on two days. I have thousands of picture of these great cats. Also saw about 90 different bird species, giant and lesser anteaters and many other animals that live in this paradise. This is a must visit for all wildlife lovers.