Working in the Cubs Den, walking between camps is a daily occurrence.
Over the past 3 months of being back at Londolozi I have started to take more notice of the many little creatures that I have come across on the path between Varty and Pioneer camps.
One morning, leaving Cubs Den, a large land snail was making its way slowly across the path from one patch of vegetation to the next. It was a beautiful morning, the ground and air were fresh from the night before’s rain and overhead was a cloudless sky. It was lovely to see this snail as during the drought last year they were not often seen as during prolonged dry periods they are able to seal themselves into their shell, by secreting a calcareous substance that upon contact with the air dries.
After popping into Varty Camp to discuss the days activities with guests, my walk continued to Founders Camp. Movement in a nearby bush caught my eye. Inside was a Kurrichane Thrush fluttering about in the bush. The most striking feature against the green bush was its orange belly. It seemed busy as it hopped to the ground, turning over leaves in search of a breakfast grub.
Outside Granite Camp was the resident tortoise, also having a breakfast munch on the succulents in the flowerbed. With my passing it retreated into its shell until it felt safe enough to continue its morning meal.
A few metres away from the tortoise was a Plumbago bush with its blue flowers or “earring flowers” as the Cubs Den children like to call them, as the flower is enclosed in a green sticky case, which is perfect for sticking to one’s ear lobes, enabling you to have the latest pair of bush earrings.
White butterflies fluttering past the bush stood out against these flowers. Not resting, merely continuing on their day’s journey.
On the left hand side of the path was a troop of Vervet monkeys, eyeing out the morning traffic. The babies were clinging to their mothers’ tummies and the teenagers practising their acrobatic skills in a nearby tree.
Walking towards Pioneer Camp I heard a big rustle to my right; there was a rock monitor lizard speeding down the slope away from the path. I don’t know who got a bigger fright: me or the monitor lizard! Upon reaching Pioneer deck a couple of female rainbow skinks dashed away from their sunning spots due the vibration of my footsteps.
Later that day, after a morning of track moulding, baking and painting, I reflected about the walk between the camps and realised the similarities between all the animals I had bumped into and the children. Each animal, like each child, was different in appearance and each has their own personality, making them unique. Like each child visiting Londolozi and each little creature, although they are small, can light up ones day with the joy they bring.