Today we celebrate Orchid Day at Londolozi, the perfect day to bring to life our logo and the exquisite Leopard Orchid, Ansellia africana, a symbol that permeates through Londolozi.
This orchid, revered for its beauty and intricate shape, is the only species in the Ansellia genus, and is unfortunately threatened in the wild in South Africa. These flowers can display brown spots on their petals resembling those in a leopard’s rosettes, and are often found living in the dappled shade in tree forks – a favourite place for the leopards too. Although this botanical may appear to be parasitic, it instead is an epiphyte, growing on the surface of trees peacefully, without removing any nutrients or harming the tree itself.
Ansellia africana, which lives in complete harmony with the trees at Londolozi and occasionally graces us with their spotted gems, also plays an important role in our logo. Today is a wonderful excuse to bring to life the meaning behind our logo, a symbol which brings together so many people from all corners of the globe to the Londolozi haven.
Bronwyn Varty-Laburn explains:
After having lived in the African bush for so long, one becomes very connected to seasons. There are certain plants and birds that appear with the onset of rains – it’s these new flushes of life that mark the changing of a season. These indicators let us know what is coming, from weather and landscape transformation, to the species which will start frequenting us. This full circle of change was the inspiration behind our current logo.
This change happened in 2007 . We needed to modernize but still remain true to the Londolozi meaning ‘Protector Of All Living Things’ all the while keeping the leopard as our spirit. The conceptualising of this new logo lead to the initiating of a renaissance, heading back to our roots and returning to what was truly at the essence of the brand. The logo needed a revival of renewed connection between the human spirit and the natural environment and so the Leopard Orchid inspired logo was born, a combination of the original leopard’s face in the shape of an orchid.
This logo is inspired by the Leopard Orchid, signalling the change of season – a change of consciousness and a return to family. The Leopard Orchid also has a special place for many at Londolozi. Shan Varty in particular, has a passion for this botanical, and has made it her mission to ensure that the genes of this orchid are kept alive in this area. Chris Goodman, our Head of Technical Services, has also taken up the hobby of propagating Leopard Orchids and, after sufficient development, places them in the crevices of tree branches to create a beautiful and peaceful connection between tree and orchid.
Adding the leopard face into the logo brought in Dave Varty’s favourite animal, and together with the Orchid inspiration, has made for an iconic logo which has become a fond and familiar symbol for the Londolozi Family and extended Londolozi Family.
After the release of the logo, people began recognising a butterfly shape. This shape was not Londolozi’s intention initially, however it fitted beautifully with the symbolism of transformation. Butterflies are seasonal at Londolozi, and so this new interpretation gave rise to similar ideas of pioneering a new way of being and transforming people’s perceptions of wildlife and the planet, which had always been at the core of the logo.
The Leopard Orchids that are scattered around Londolozi will come into bloom, with either fragrant yellow or spotted brown flowers, during our spring season (August/September), a beautiful time to be at Londolozi whereby a full circle of change has occurred. We look forward to sharing some of these beauties with you then.