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.
Filed under General Nature Leopards Occasions Relais and Châteaux
Lovely blog Jemma. I am fortunate to have a leopard orchid growing in my garden. I did not know that they are threatened in the wild. I can understand the reason for it as it is the sane with cycads and aloes. People remove it and most if the time plant it in a garden that has not got the same conditions to what the plant is used to. We should leave nature as we find it. Imagineva world where future generations won’t be able to see these plants in their natural habitat.
What I love most is when the logo WINKS at me – I love that; it always makes me smile.
Jemma thank you for the background. Always wondered about this. I loved the logo at first sight. The connection that is inspiring lives within me daily. This remains the most meaningful and enjoyable journey I have taken to date. The Leopard Orchid is a wonderful symbol and seems perfect in its adapted form for Londolozi
Jemma: This was a very interesting blog and beautiful photos of the orchids. I’m sorry that we don’t come during their blooming season. Mary Jane
Oh wow, that’s amazing! It’s poetic and fitting that the leopard orchid was chosen!
Lovely and interesting story, Jemma. I wasn’t aware of the Leopard Orchid but I think what you guys, especially Chris Goodman, are doing – is very important and so valuable to this planet and to our country here. Thank you all! Wendy M
Ah, now we know where the design ca from. I have to say one of my favourite sights is the brightness of the Impala Lilly against a parched and arid background
Fascinating! I’ve seen these leopard orchids within Sabi Sand, but had no idea they were endangered. Additionally, I had no idea these orchids were the inspiration for the logo. Thank you Jemma for a bit of history.
Jemma, it’s so beautiful, really inspiring!
Thank you for sharing!
And the iconic photo from Lex Hes…I see it every day, on the cover of ‘I Speak Of Africa’ on my Africa-shelf!
Any idea of which leopard this picture was taken of?
Ditto Marinda. Nicely done Jemma!
Interesting! Beautiful pic by Lex and then transformed into the flower. Really well done.
I have more of his photos, he is a great photographer.
Beautiful logo; beautiful piece.
We have always loved the logo and it is wonderful to be reminded of the meaning behind it! Thanks Jemma!
Lovely story behind the logo.