When you speak to the staff of Londolozi, you start to notice a core commonality running through us, despite it being an incredibly diverse team. This basic thread is that we all fell in love with Nature at a young age and were drawn back to work in this environment because of how much it impacted us as children. The Varty family have raised four generations of children out here and countless others have experienced and been changed by this wonderful wilderness playground. Recently, one of Londolozi’s Alumni, ex-Head Ranger Byron Ross, who actually trained me when I arrived in the bush to work as a Ranger, came back to visit with his family. It was amazing to see yet another generation be exposed to Nature’s joys. Below is an excerpt written by Nicholas Ross, a nature and photographic enthusiast, on his experience at Londolozi. At just 11 years old, he may just be our youngest ranger-in-training.
I am a 11 year old boy with a photography bug. Londolozi is a special place for photography and we saw and photographed seven different leopards in three days. However, Londolozi is special too because it is where my father and mother first met. During our time at Londolozi, I felt lucky as I was guided by two rangers who were both ex-Head Rangers of Londolozi, my father, Byron Ross and our host Oliver Sinclair.
My father went tracking with his old tracker Judas Ngomane and they were joined by Andrea Sithole and James Tyrrell. The trackers spotted a female leopard after tracking a long distance but she was a rather skittish leopard.
A gorgeous female who is found to the east of camp. Easily recognised by her 2:2 spot pattern she is often to be found in Marula trees.
The amazing opportunity of going to such an excellent wildlife sanctuary blew me away with many memorable sightings. Our two rusty guides figured their way around the reserve and besides all the leopards, I also saw rhinos wading in a muddy pool for the first time and it is a privilege to witness rhinos thriving on Londolozi.
Other sightings included hyena at a den site, lions eating a buffalo, a pack of wild dogs, herds of elephants, hippos, big crocodiles, giraffes, zebras, fish eagles and many other birds!
The highlight of the trip for me was definitely the small leopard cub that walked past our vehicle though.
We are so inspired by the young talent and passion that we see in today’s younger generation that we actually have a Cub’s Den Programme dedicated to them at Londolozi ensuring that every child’s safari is a fun and fulfilling experience. In the Cub’s Den children learn about Nature’s wonders amongst new-found friends in the most engaging classroom in the world. To learn more about the Cub’s Den adventures and what your young rangers-in-training can expect on safari, visit our website by clicking here.
Filed under Photography Wildlife
That was a wonderful read! Thank you!
Great article, I bet just writing it down brought many a smile to your face
A great read and thoroughly enjoyed hearing from a young future ranger. Train them young and they can spread the word to other kids about the value of wildlife in our lives.
I expect big things from Nicholas! Perhaps he’ll guide me one day…!