Our visit to Londolozi was a magical experience to say the least! Our four days there at Founders Camp were part of a larger trip that included multiple stops in other parts of South Africa as well as Rome and Italy. Traveling with other family members who had visited Londolozi before made the trip even better.
Photography has been an active interest area for me for over 60 years. We ended up with about 5000 pictures from our trip, many taken on safari and other events and experiences there at the camp. My gear included a Nikon D5600, various lenses, a DJI OSMO Pocket, and assorted iPhones and smartphones. The gimbal-stabilised OSMO is particularly useful in capturing shake-free video when traveling through the bush in the Land Rover defender.
Our guide Chris Taylor and tracker Euce were both amazing in their jobs and support of all the incredible things we saw and experienced. They explained so much as we went out on each safari ride with animal history, identification, and lots of other data. Any time you saw Euce’s hand go up for a stop, you knew something incredible was about to be seen!
As said by a family member, it’s difficult to even try to explain what it’s like at Londolozi to someone who has never been. Words are just not enough.
One day at lunch at the main Founders deck our butler Matthews (another outstanding staff member) was taking the dessert order and said: “Today we have watermelon sorbet, and an elephant.” As we looked up, sure enough a large bull elephant was walking across the rocks right below us!
Most days when we went out on safari, Chris would say something about the goals for that drive, often based on sightings the day before. One day he suggested looking for wild dogs, which are rare there apparently, but some had been sighted the day before.
About an hour later we found the two dogs, who were beginning to look for prey. They were followed somewhat closely by two hyenas (which Chris said is common). As the process unfolded, we were joined by other Land Rovers. As the dogs took off after prey we followed, as did the hyenas behind us. For those familiar with the TV series Downton Abbey, it was like the fox and hounds chase there. On road, off road…we all went for miles. To say it was exciting would be a massive understatement!
One day we watched a young leopard working on a tortoise. Another day it was a large male lion lying in the grass 15 feet away, who had clearly eaten a very large meal.
A few days later an entire pride of lions, about 15, just sitting around in the grass. As they eventually began to move, Chris moved the Defender around and we ended up facing the line, as each lion right by us only three feet away.
A few days later it was two leopards (female and a mostly grown cub) sitting on a small hill with their kill hanging from a tree a short distance away. That experience alone resulted in a number of really good photo opportunities.
We watched herds of elephants on many occasions as we rode about. One time seeing a baby elephant getting very close, who was clearly curious, until its mother stepped in and changed the direction of movement.
We saw crocs in the water at the bridge waiting for fish to come to them. There were herds of buffalo in the mud at one of the large watering holes, including a rhino that came late to the party. We saw a large angry elephant one day who was clearly upset about something. After a while of throwing branches around, we heard a loud trumpet as he began to charge in the direction of the Defender. We left quickly… It was very much like a scene out of an old Tarzan movie!
The list goes on and on, and it was an experience we will never forget. The many photos and videos will make the memory even more complete. I regularly create shared photo albums for family and friends using Apple iCloud features and options. I will do that here as well, making the images and videos available to many others.