Ancient Wisdom, Modern Technology and Nature are a core foundation of Londolozi’s guiding values and principles. Indeed this mantra has served us extremely well ever since the Industrial Age gave way to the Information Age and now evolves into the Experience Age. True to our pioneering spirit and in celebration of our 90th Anniversary, we want to give our guests and online community a gift from our collective learnings and experience. So as part 1 of this gift we proudly introduce the Leopards of Londolozi Interactive Touch Display:
It is no secret that since 1979 Londolozi has had a love affair with leopards. One of the first viewable leopards in Africa was first seen at Londolozi in 1979 and over the course of 12 years this leopard allowed guides, trackers and naturalists to develop a relationship with her. It was a relationship during which a dynasty of Londolozi leopards was born and as such has come to define game viewing at Londolozi. In doing so it has also offered a showcase of what is possible when man partners with nature. During those early days of watching the Mother Leopard, as she affectionately came to be known, we learnt the subtleties of leopard behaviour, began to understand the intricacies of their lives and most importantly began to gain their trust. Subsequently, Londolozi has had the privilege of watching other notable leopard lineages establish themselves on this piece of wilderness. Some of those lineages include the River Female lineage, Saseka Female lineage and Sunsetbend lineage.
Over the last 4 decades, this dynasty has been chronicled by the many guides and trackers, past and present, who have worked at Londolozi. Each year we add to this growing body of work as the Leopards of Londolozi continue to enthrall, entertain and inspire our guests and staff. As a mecca for leopard viewing on the continent and with a dedicated team of naturalists recording these leopards’ lives daily, the outcome is a depth and knowledge of their stories that is unsurpassed. For the first time ever, this data has been curated into a digital archive for exploration, storytelling, learning and understanding about this most mysterious of cats.
The interactive touch display is a platform for consciousness around leopards: their behaviour, mythology, iconic stories and the process of tracking them on foot as well as through days gone by. This celebration of leopards is split up into various sections for our guests own journey of exploration and discovery:
What we thought we knew about leopards continues to shift as our knowledge of these cats grows ever deeper. We’ve seen the 3:4 leopard, also known as Mañana, adopt and raise her daughter’s cub to adulthood, and later watched as the then independent male allowed his grandmother to feed on his kills as she aged and weakened. We’ve seen as many as 8 leopards in one sighting, where previously they were thought to be strictly solitary animals, only meeting for mating purposes or when raising cubs. We’ve seen two males taking turns to mate with one female, watched two adult leopards kill a warthog together and seen leopards feed alongside hyenas on a kill when no one believed they would tolerate such a thing.
Tracking the leopards of days gone by to the leopards of today is a fascinating art. Some leopards of the early lineages remain, whilst new leopards show up too. Owing to the dynamic nature of leopard populations and their territorial behaviour, individual animals move into areas where they can secure a territory for themselves. On occasions this means they move away from Londolozi, never to be seen again, whilst at times new leopards arrive and establish themselves. Because of this, and because of the massive 6 million acre wilderness system of which we form a part, we know that the leopard gene pool of Londolozi and the greater African population only continues to grow stronger.
At a time when the future of leopards is severely threatened and where they are persecuted around the world, the important haven that Londolozi provides for these magnificent cats becomes ever more apparent.
These animals have intimately shared with us their story and thus woven ours into theirs. Through moments of beauty, mystery and exhilaration we have been made to fall in love with these cats time and time again. We trust that you may cross a few of their paths whilst on safari with us and we hope that you too get to share in some incredible encounters with one of the world’s most iconic cats both out in the wilderness of Londolozi and on the touch display- situated in the original Sparta Rondawels at Varty Camp.
We encourage all guests visiting Londolozi to visit the interactive touch display and experience for themselves this growing body of knowledge, videos, imagery and stories. To our dedicated online community around the world, stay tuned for an exciting announcement just for you on Tuesday…
Our thanks and sincere appreciation to Paul and Andy at Fonk Mobile for their work in the creation of this project.