I have always been a wildlife enthusiast, my love stemming from the many fortunate opportunities I have had whilst growing up, visiting game reserves, conservancies and pristine holiday destinations all over South Africa. Being amongst nature is certainly my favourite outdoor pursuit and I am extremely proud of the natural beauty that this country has to offer. However after spending a week at Londolozi I have a new-found connection to the bush. My appreciation for nature has gone from a somewhat tame form to an obsession that I want to share with the world.
Londolozi is a special place. For me the most special aspect of it is the way in which the wildlife resonates Africa’s beauty in the simplest yet most effective way – through transparency. There is no façade to what nature has to offer.
Humans have built monuments, towers, cathedrals and art pieces that attract tourists from opposite sides of the earth. Great attention is drawn to how long ago these structures were created, who designed them and for whichever king or ruler they were meant for. History books emphasise how these creations have withstood the weathering of time and what they symbolise. Sir Winston Churchill once said that history is written by the victors. What I interpret from this quote is that sometimes the truth becomes lost and we idolise people and monuments based on misconceptions or sometimes even deceit.
However nature is not the result of human’s intentions to be remembered in history books. Nature functions around a single goal and that is to survive. What you see is what you get and I find that blatant honesty truly beautiful. Being at Londolozi made me realize this beauty – through standing amongst an ancient Leadwood forest that will overshadow the history of the structures that we are so proud of, by sitting on top of a termite mound and grasping the hidden complexity of its architecture, feeling the energy of the unmeasurable intelligence of an elephant matriarch, watching a cartoon-like African sunset in the west while a full moon rose in the East and witnessing the magnificence of how every niche of an ecosystem is interconnected to function far beyond the capabilities of a manmade system.
Once you grasp this understanding of nature you feel a sense of belonging, the feeling that this is where we stemmed from and as a species have sadly diverted from so drastically. Londolozi helped me grasp the beauty and honesty of Mother Nature. I know now that I will never take what the earth has provided us with for granted and it has taught me that if society can replicate just a fraction of what nature has to offer, the world would be a much better place.
I cannot wait to visit this slice of heaven once again where I can witness the magnificence of a virtually untouched piece of nature that, wonderfully, is oblivious to the effect it has on me.
Written by Josh Attenborough, Londolozi Guest