You might have visited Londolozi in the past few years. You might be one of the few thousand people that will be reading this blog today (well I guess by default you have to be!). It could be that you’ve never even heard of Londolozi before.
Maybe you’ve been here. Maybe you used to work here. Maybe you’re still planning a trip to come, or maybe you’ll never get that chance.
The bottom line is that by reading this you’re already engaging in some way with what we strive to do in this small slice of Africa, and that is to create an unparalleled bush experience that lets you reconnect; with nature and ultimately yourself.
Ironically, I’m probably more excited about the Londolozi experience than anyone, and I live here!
One might expect those who are exposed to it (and “it” is actually an intangible, but we’ll get to that in a moment) to become accustomed and in some ways desensitised to that warm glow inside, when you feel that everything is right with the world; the type of glow that some people strive for years to obtain, but is accessible here every day. This, however, is not the case. Quite the opposite in fact.
The more you feel it, see it and help create it in others, the more addicted you get, and the Londolozi staff are all testament to that fact.
When I look back over some of the things I’ve been part of, the wildlife I’ve seen and the experiences I’ve shared with the many people I’ve taken on safari over the years, I shake my head at the sheer diversity of fun that I – we – have had.
I’ve laughed my head off at Operations Manager Will Ford when he got stuck in a massive Albizia in a lion onesie, because he knew the family he was hosting had yet to see a big cat in a tree.
I’ve sat around the fire with only two guests and thirty staff, all singing “Wagon Wheel” at two in the morning at the top of our lungs.
I’ve waited with a female leopard for 14 hours on the trot in the hope that she’d lead us back to her densite and her newborn cubs. She didn’t.
I’ve watched guests burst into tears with sheer euphoria when a lion roared next to our vehicle, so overwhelmed were they by the majesty that is Africa.
I’ve participated in madcap quiz games that guests made up for their favourite staff, and delivered Christmas presents to local schools in a red Land Rover decked out like Santa’s sleigh.
I’ve tuned in to the Super Bowl at 03:30 with football-mad visitors from Denver, and streamed a college game live, hunched over a small laptop with my guests while they roared on the University of Alabama. Roll Tide!
I’ve seen couples meet at Londolozi, fall in love and get married, and I’ve seen rangers stand as Godparents to each other’s children.
But mostly, I’ve seen love manifest itself over and over, often in the most subtle ways.
I have countless memories from my time here, some of which are vivid, some of which are hazy, yet all of which have irrevocably altered the course of my life for the good. I feel like I am a far better person than I would have been had I spent my last 8 years anywhere else. Londolozi’s mission statement speaks of a place at which you can be the best version of yourself, and I think that pretty much sums it up for all who work here.
You see memory is a funny thing; you don’t always remember what someone was wearing, what they said to you or what they did, but you will never forget the way they or that moment made you feel…
Londolozi IS a feeling.
And if you’ve ever felt it, through a visit, a random memory or even just reading our daily blog, we would kindly like to ask you to cast your vote for Londolozi Game Reserve in the Conde Nast Readers Choice Awards today. You can do so by clicking on the button below and following the steps. With a bit of luck you may even win a 14 night cruise for participating.
With thanks and appreciation,
The Londolozi Family