My journey to Londolozi began back in February 2017, when while mindlessly browsing Instagram, I stumbled upon the reserve’s account.
After hours of scrolling through the incredible images, and subsequently reading countless posts on the blog, I realized that I had to do everything in my power to visit this amazing place. I found my “in” with my looming 30th birthday and my parent’s upcoming 35th wedding anniversary. Getting my parents onboard for the trip was the easy part. Waiting 14 months was a bit more challenging.
Fast-forward to late April 2018, when my parents and I arrived at Londolozi for our four-day, three-night stay at the recently-refurbished Varty Camp. To say that our vacation was worth the wait would be a massive understatement. We experienced luxury like we never have before. From Camp Managers Christy & Tayla to Chef Eric to Kylie in the Photography Studio, everyone that we encountered during our time went above and beyond to make sure that we had a remarkable time.
No one had more of impact on our stay than our ranger and tracker team of Grant & Jerry. Thanks to Jerry’s impeccable eyes and Grant’s ability to always get us the best position for a photograph, we were able to witness and capture memories that we will cherish for a lifetime. Without this dynamic duo, we would not have been front-row to two kills during our time at Londolozi.
Our first kill occurred on our very first game drive, after we had heard of a leopard in the area while viewing a trio of rhinoceros. Before we knew it, we were mere few away from the dramatic scene of a male leopard suffocating a baby warthog. Grant had noted the time of day and the likelihood of this leopard taking the warthog up into a tree to keep it all to himself. As predicted, we then watched as the leopard heard the sound of a potential threat and quickly climbed the tree, warthog in tow.
A leopard who took advantage of the death of the 4:4 male in 2016 to grab territory to the west of the Londolozi camps.
After arriving back in camp that evening, we were told of the rarity of witnessing a kill and that we should not expect to see another during our remaining game drives. We had been extremely lucky to witness the leopard/warthog event.
Well, less than 24 hours later, our luck struck again. Lions had been spotted earlier in the day, but in the evening, they were nowhere to be found. That was until Grant & Jerry were able to track the lions on foot and found one sleeping in tall grass. Upon further investigation, what we thought was a single female lion turned out to be two of the Birmingham males napping alongside four females.
We watched in awe as they slowly woke up, until all of the sudden, something in the distance caught the attention of a lioness and she took off running. Grant quickly put our vehicle in motion and followed her over the hill. The pursuit was thrilling. As we drove to catch up to her, the males were running alongside us.
In the few seconds lead that the lioness had on us, she was able to capture a wildebeest that had been distracted in a fight. It was incredible to see how this creature could bring down such a large animal in a split second. The males arrived just behind us and quickly stepped in to finish the gruesome task. For the next hour, we held our front-row seat to six lions eating the wildebeest. It was a surreal experience to watch this sequence from start to finish, to see them peacefully wake up from a nap to them devouring the wildebeest as the sun-faded from the sky.
Our time at Londolozi was truly life-changing, and I can say without fail that I will be back. I know that I cannot be satisfied by just one trip to this unbelievable place. The anticipation and excitement of pulling out of the lodge, unaware of what you might see around the corner, is an addictive feeling. That, along with the people, sights, food, and luxury, will undoubtedly draw me back. Thank you to everyone that made it magical!