After the adrenaline and the awe, the “Can you believe we were that close…?” moments, the “Pinch me, this cannot be real” sensations, the light and the lightness we felt at Londolozi linger.
There is, of course, the delicious literal light. The slow slanting sun that creeps up slowly after the pitch dark wake-up knock. The sneaky late afternoon beams that catch the crown of a Roller, the mane of a lion, or the ears of a tiny elephant crossing the Sand River. The rose and honey tones that colour the zebras and rhinos in pastels and signal that sundowner time is fast approaching. The heart-searing spectacle as the sun melts into the horizon.
Soon, the light stops being part of the landscape and becomes a part of you. The lightness of spirit, of being. The subsuming light and peace and joy that begins to glow within you because of where you are.
And it’s not just you. It’s quietly apparent that everyone associated with Londolozi feels it too; they are infused with it. After hearing Dave Varty speak about his commitment to stewardship, to conservation, to the greater community (with due credit to Mr. Mandela), I’m convinced that this lightness arises from the Londolozi vision and mission: care for people, for environment, for creatures great and small.
Now, a hemisphere and an ocean away, no longer under the gaze of the Southern Cross, it is, more than anything, Londolozi’s light that stays with me, with us. Until we return.