In less than a month I will return to Londolozi and can hardly wait! Then I started to wonder whether our first visit set the bar too high.
Our first trip to Africa was in November 2016. Over our four days at Londolozi we saw stories unfold with drama, comedy, love, tragedy, family, conflict, industry and enjoyed pure relaxation. How can our next trip possibly measure up?
*Note: Several similar pictures were posted by guide Alistair Smith
The highlight of all our trips to Africa (thus far!) was the two hours we spent with the Mhangeni Pride and Majingilane coalition; I counted 24 lions all at one place on the Sand River. Action was everywhere, especially with all the energetic cubs. Then entered an unwelcome rhino and real drama unfolded. It would appear from fresh wounds on both the rhino and one of the lions this was not their first altercation.
“What is drama but life with the dull bits cut out” ~ Alfred Hitchcock
Kids will be kids. After playing among themselves, the cubs got bored and decided to irritate a hippo. The result was predictable.
“Life literally abounds in comedy if you just look around you” ~ Mel Brooks
I know it can be misleading to attribute human emotion to animals. However, sometimes it is hard not to do so. We had the opportunity to watch a leopard cub and its mother interact. The cub couldn’t make it all the way up the tree to his mother and was left below. If that isn’t love and longing in his eyes, I just don’t know what you’d call it!
“Mama was my greatest teacher, a teacher of compassion, love and fearlessness” ~ Stevie Wonder
Does any animal reflect what we call family the way elephants do? I can watch elephants for hours, they are just so extraordinary! But I don’t think they would be nearly as interesting if they didn’t have such a tight family structure.
“If elephants didn’t exist, you couldn’t invent one” ~ Lyall Watson
Our first leopard sighting was seconds after he made a kill. How can such a scene not stir pity and sorrow for the fallen?
Well, maybe not every “kill” evokes the same emotion…
“Life’s tragedy is that we grow old too soon and wise too late” ~ Benjamin Franklin
It may have been a practice fight but it was still amazing to see these two giants go at it!
“Conflict, when handled correctly strengthens” ~ Benjamin Watson
We could all learn a lot from the work ethics of a dung beetle. I especially love the fact that it is covered by tiny, equally industrious, flies which I couldn’t see until I enlarged the picture.
“A lot of hard work is hidden behind nice things” ~ Ralph Lauren
Once the day was finished, after our sundowner and dinner, I felt just like this lion: blissfully relaxed. The stress of normal life was gone. What more could I ask for?
“Lions don’t lose sleep over the opinions of sheep” ~ Various
It looks to me like this guy doesn’t lose sleep over anyone’s opinion…
But the question remains, can Londolozi exceed expectations? It probably doesn’t really matter; the fun is in the attempt! We just need to avoid the disaster that happened to W.C. Fields: “Reminds me of my safari in Africa. Somebody forgot the corkscrew and for several days we had to live on nothing but food and water.”