There is a certain enjoyment that the holistic safari experience brings, but there is a wider satisfaction which each one of us finds elsewhere.
From guests, through rangers and trackers, to the back line staff and extended Londolozi Family happiness is a shared resource which supplements life. Enjoyment not only arises from seeing something amazing, for example, but witnessing someone else seeing something amazing and being a part of their memorable experience.
When love and passion collide with work there is no encumbrance to go the extra mile as the progress is a joint journey for staff and guests alike. And so with newly made friends always coming and going, it’s important to acknowledge the fun and the ridiculous which was part and parcel of the primary safari goal of finding animals, for once we all part ways we tend to let these memories trickle away.
Below is just a small collection of somewhat candid moments which may bring back memories of happy experiences for staff and guests alike.
It is no lie that we have fun here, and so I take even greater pleasure in watching anyone enjoy the work they do!
A collection of staff members (a herd?) assembles on Nick Sims’ vehicle for an afternoon bumble around Londolozi. To most of their excitement, the Tsalala pride and cubs came out to play. Granite Camp Manager, Graeme Gullacksen, gives us a thumbs up!
Lost for words… A cleanly shaven Garrett Fitzpatrick and guests watch two hippo bulls battle in shallow water. The vast range of expression upon the vehicle is testament to the rarity of such a sight. No time for explanation!
A Matimba male lion missions past at eye level for Dave Strachan, Sersant Sibuyi and guests. Smiles a plenty.
Alfie Mathebula points out interesting sights from the front seat; forever having as much fun as any of his guests! (I think I was spotted…)
Nick Sims, at it again. One rainy afternoon last year clearly never dampened the safari experience. With flatteringly matching rain ponchos on, all look delighted. Especially Nick.
After watching one too many action films, Varty Camp Managers Will Ford and Rob Crankshaw proudly show off their deck with Chuck Norris power stances. Ironically they are both some of the gentlest men around… Keep up the reputation, guys.
“When the subject gets closer than expected, the lens becomes too large”. I’m not sure who said that, but Callum Gowar and guests realised it quickly and subsequently enjoyed the sight of this Matimba male lion at close quarters. Freddy Ngobeni smartly had the wider lens on… That’s experience for you. Good work, Fred!
More photography! Everyone on board for a view, no distractions. Someone pass Ntsako Sibuyi and camera or binoculars, quick! Even Exon grabs a few quick shots from the front.
Learning from the great wildlife film-makers of the past, Tracker Bennett Mathonsi waits patiently for mating leopards to wake up from their slumber. To say that this man is passionate about capturing wildlife moments in stills or film is an understatement. Watch this space…
Self-proclaimed gin and tonic artist, Will Ford, prepares some extravegent beverages for guests while out in the bush. Apparent concentration and unrivalled dedication prevented any form of a smile from Will in this photograph.
Heartbreaker and Loverboy, Pinky and the Brain, M and M, whoever you know Melvin Sambo and Milton Khoza as, you are sure to have a laugh with them both. This unbreakable team of experience spotted me from behind a thicket. So wise.
Oh no, the staff are on another bumble! Not only did Ranger James Souchon have the courage to take out a full vehicle of staff members, but he had the audacity to find lion cubs which had eluded the rest of the team for days. (No, none of us have lived this one down).
An oldie but a goodie. This is from back in 2014 when Simon Smit resembled a kid on Christmas morning, “testing” his new lens by photographing anything and everything he saw.
Even from a long way out one can see the grin of satisfaction on James Tyrrell’s awful face as he captured something amazing. I’ll give you the credit this time, Jamo… I was on the wrong side of the river.
Caption this?! During a snake presentation for guests and staff, listeners had the opportunity to touch a massive African Rock Python as it was carried around the boma. Reactions varied, most notably between Jess MacLarty and Rob Crankshaw…
With his unfathomable connection to nature, John Varty attracts the unwanted curiosity of a wandering female Ostrich. Her persistent investigating of the famous JV at close range was to the enjoyment of Greg Pingo, Richard Siwela and all others.
On a dark and dramatically cloudy afternoon, Nick Kleer and Mike Sithole managed to keep the photographic opportunities alive. Here’s one for your wall, Nick.
Despite my best efforts to get a potentially award-winning wildlife photograph, Dan Buys and his family kept photobombing this sighting with the Mashaba female. You owe me a prize, the Buys(es?).
I find it one of the most humbling sights in the world to see a vehicle full of guests and experienced guides and trackers, all of whom are locked in gaze with uncontrollable smiles at the sight of something magical. Kevin Power, Ray Mabalane and new friends share in awe.