I’m home now or whatever that means, returning to my family. The thrill of being at Londolozi and its inherent families of various animals was only outshone by the staff I met; each a contributor to my unique experience in this part of the Sabi Sand Reserve.
Traveling to Sabi Sand a couple of weeks ago was not my first adventure there. My first trip occurred 18 years ago, after a couple of other forays into Eastern Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe. However, that 2000 trip changed my outlook into safaris and how I came to experience this life in the bush. My last safari into this region was in February, 2017 – I knew it was not my last voyage there.
Following the Londolozi blogs for the past 18 months whetted my appetite for another trip. Traveling 34+ hours and across 10 time zones I finally reached this magical kingdom. I went in search of leopards, lions, perhaps a cheetah or two, and the elusive black rhinos. Eight days in Sabi Sand fulfilled all my dreams, save for the cheetahs so that will have wait for the next time. What I discovered at Londolozi was so much more than photographing the game I had longed to see.
I travel on my own, so am usually the odd man out on game drives, etc. But, from the moment I was delivered to Founders Camp by Samuel, an employee of Mala Mala, I was taken into the fold by Camp Managers Simon and Ben and from that moment I never once experienced any sense of aloneness. I ordered a glass of wine from Remind (the friendliest Butler); Sauvignon Blanc with three ice cubes. After that first order, it was never forgotten.
When assigned to a guide/tracker you never know what the experience will be like, nor who your Land Rover-mates might be. I hit the jackpot! One of my favourite bloggers and photographers has always been Guy Brunskill and there he was – my guide for the next three days along with the best tracker, Shadrack. They delivered! On our first afternoon we time spent with the Ndzanzeni young male and it only got better from there.
But the terrific staff did not end with my guide and tracker. When I tangled with a thorn branch, ripping into my tender, swollen skin from the heat, Anna the doctor was called to my room to administer some salve and sooth my concerns about the thorn embedded in my ankle. Kylie in the photography studio was an amazing aide in unearthing more tools to use in Lightroom. My dinner with Kim, the wine aficionado, was uniquely special – her bringing a very special SB to dinner.
And so my days within Sabi Sand ended perched on the side of my plunge pool, legs dangling in the cool water, glass of my favourite beverage next to me and hundreds of memories crowding my brain, seeking a place front and centre. How can I choose? It was all perfect. Please enjoy a few of my photographic souvenirs.
Written and Photographed by Londolozi Guest Denise Vouri