About the Author

James Tyrrell

Photographic Guide/Media Team

James had hardly touched a camera when he came to Londolozi, but his writing skills that complemented his Honours degree in Zoology meant that he was quickly snapped up by the Londolozi blog team. An environment rich in photographers helped him develop the ...

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23 Comments

on 5 CRUCIAL Ways to Maximise Your Safari Enjoyment at Londolozi

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Marinda Drake
Master Tracker

Wonderful tips Janes. Each day on safari bring new experiences. Each safari is different. The best is to start with an open mind and no expectations. What is meant to be will come to you. Rather enjoy the drive. As you mention, trust the ranger and tracker. They will find what there is to see. It is not just about the animals but the trees, plants, flowers, birds, insects. It is not all about getting the best photo. It is about the memories.

Dave Mills
Explorer

Thanks, James, for your thoughts. Gotta remember them when I return to Londolozi with my grandson. He’s eight now, so we need to wait a couple more years. Trust me, I’ll return . . . with Henry!

Ian Hall
Digital Tracker

I think the three golden rules are be tolerant of other guests who may have a different agenda . I have seen thousands of giraffes , but if I am in a vehicle with a first time visitor, it will be the first time they have seen one.
The second is be patient, a wild dog that is resting under a tree might be the wild dog that is chasing elephants in half an hours time. ( I speak from experience here)
Three, sometimes, silence truly is golden

Ian Hall
Digital Tracker

No lady trackers?

James Tyrrell
Photographic Guide/Media Team

Actually Ian, Margareth Ngobeni, butler at Varty camp, tracks every now and then. But at the moment no, we have no permanent female trackers.

Vin Beni
Digital Tracker

Is that Freddie;s wife?
He has a wonderful son,

James Tyrrell
Photographic Guide/Media Team

Hi Vin,
No not Freddy’s wife (although it would be brilliant if Freddy’s wife were also a tracker). Margareth just shares the same surname…

William King
Explorer

The human behavioural pattern I’d most like to see adapted in the veld is the tendency to try feebly to impose order on the wild by commenting in a loud voice on what one is witnessing. This behaviour includes: Discussing last week’s family reunion or wedding and the big deal you are working, and monopolizing the attention of the ranger to the exclusion of other guests to show off what you learned 10 minutes ago. Unfortunately, the guilty will not recignize themselves as members of this sub-species.

Kate Doyle
Explorer

Well said! Especially about the quality over quantity. One day Elmon tracked a leopard on a termite mound, apparently waiting for its mom to call it for dinner. We watched her for a while and then she got up…and we followed her around for about a half hour. If we’d seen her on the mound and then left when she did, we wouldn’t have those wonderful memories of driving around in the bush following a leopard doing whatever it is she does all day. It was such a cool experience to “walk” alongside her and see where she went. She eventually ended up on a taller termite mound watching a herd of impalas. By then the sunlight was fading and it made the later photos of her richer in the oranges and deep yellows and it was a whole different experience from what we saw when we first found her. I’d take that over chasing down another animal any day.

Joanne Wadsworth Kelley
Master Tracker

Priceless guest information, James. Makes so much sense as well. Well done!

Johanna Browne
Explorer

Great post, wonderful information and reminder. Are these suggestions given out to each new guest? I so appreciate the tracker and guides position here!

Wendy Macnicol
Senior Digital Ranger

I so agree with the above sentiments, James. There have been times when we have seen NOTHING in the way of animals and birds – but do you know what? We just so much enjoyed being in the bush and looking at trees and plants and any insects. It was a most restful and relaxing and just plain super game drive ever. One time we decided to drive from the bottom gate at the Pilanesberg and drive out of the top gate – and do you know what we saw? Exactly one rather small white butterfly. That is all. But we still enjoyed our drive! Wendy M

Hello James,
Good written! I totally agree with you! Me and my husband we just sat down and enjoyed the ride! I was just incredible happy and felt an enormously joy to be out in the bush on such a wonderful adventure! Such an excitment! Each time we saw somthing fantastic, from a very little animal to the most dangerous ones. My husband became very intrested in birdies, I was very impressed when we meet three females lions!! I will never forget their power and how fit they were! (I go to the gym but realised very quickly that I have a long way to go before I can say that I am fit! 😉) I didn’t expect anything… I was just enormously happy and grateful for what we saw the dayes we stayed at Londolozi. The guides and trackers there are so good just let them do their job! Thank you for a very good blog!

Bruce Finocchio
Explorer

Right on target, James. Be present and let the magic unfold, nature moments are ever changing; each moment differs from the one before. Time seems to stand still when immersed in nature; senses are heightened. A Sanskrit Salutation to nourish your soul says it well. “Look to this day, for it is life, the very breath of life. In its brief course lie all realities of your existence; the bliss of growth, the glory of action, the splendor of beauty. For yesterday is only a dream, and tomorrow is but a vision. But today, well lived, makes yesterday a dream of happiness, and every tomorrow a vision of hope. Look well, therefore, to this day.”

Doug Hammerich
Senior Digital Ranger

I’ve got to say, with Kevin and Ray as our Ranger and Tracker, each game drive we took was beyond fantastic and beyond any expectations I had before arrival in Londolozi.

Joan Schmiidt
Digital Tracker

James, wonderful blog! We will be returning in 2020, for our 50th wedding anniversary (our fifth time being there at Londolozi-it is my favorite place on the earth)

Judith Guffey
Senior Digital Ranger

We met Elmon in the 80s. Can’t wait to see him again.

Joan Schmiidt
Digital Tracker

We met Elmon in 2011 – he was our first tracker along with James Hobson. James Hobson was amazing, we saw the space station racing across the sky!

Bob & Lucie Fjeldstad
Guest contributor

Excellent points James. It took us a number of trips to truly appreciate “Take in the moment” and now that’s all we want to do and it rewards us with incredible photographs! Staying with one animal all morning or afternoon really teaches you about his/her life story but that’s almost impossible with fellow guests checking off the animal lists provided in the rooms.

Victoria Auchincloss
Senior Digital Ranger

This is such great advice! We always just say when the Ranger says well what do you want to see today. We always say let’s go see who is out there!! We have never been disappointed. Victoria

Vin Beni
Digital Tracker

Five different experiences with different 4guide/5tracker combinations. Each has been special.
Hard to convince some that PATIENCE is so crucial to enjoying each unique experience.

I’ve learned to smile after game drives upon hearing others do the one-upmanship drill about sightings. Think about all the potential sightings we all miss every day.

This post should be available to all who arrive–particularly first-timers.

Thanks for capturing it!

Beth Patterson
Explorer

Love this advice! We will be visiting Londolozi in a few weeks and just can’t wait… so excited. We have loved the blog, tips and photos! Anyone need anything from Texas… we’re heading that way soon;)
Beth Patterson

Denise Vouri
Guest contributor

Well written James. It’s a good message for new safari guests as well as gentle reminders on how to achieve the true safari experience for returning guests to Londolozi and other properties. Clicking is good when warranted, but quietly watching is the best!

Perhaps your 5 ways to best enjoy a safari should be included in the guest room manual…..

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