It’s almost been a year since I started at Londolozi and there a few things that I have a better understanding of now.
The biggest by far is the feeling of community. Everyone refers to the family feeling at Londolozi, but there are a few people in particular that make that feeling truly come alive.
My role as a camp manager means that I interact with many of the different Londolozi departments on a daily basis. Housekeeping, laundry, gardening, maintenance… you name it. It is essential to have good channels of communication with all the teams but what counts the most is the individual relationship you have with the team members.
One man in particular needs special mention here: Colbert Mdhluli, Varty Camp Butler.
Colbert represents the Londolozi values in so many ways. Always putting the team first, Colbert never fails to have a wide smile across his face. His knowledge of languages is amazing; Shangaan, isiZulu, Afrikaans and English are all part of his repertoire, but where he really excels is his mimicry of bush sounds. His Scops Owl call has had many a ranger grab for their binoculars to try and find the bird, and his impression of a hippo often comes echoing out of the tea room during breakfast service.
Colby has worked at Londolozi for over 20 years. He has met Nelson Mandela, countless international guests, guides and camp managers but he still makes you feel like you are the only camp manager he has ever worked with.
I’ve learnt many things in my year here, but some of my favourites are from Colbs:
You don’t have to use words to communicate.
An ice bucket from behind the bar makes a great drum for choir performances.
Saying ‘Why not?’ in a deep voice and then laughing makes any task easier to handle.
Thanks Colbs for the lessons and I look forward to learning more from you in the year to come.
We have known Colbert since the first time we visited Londolozi and we look forward to seeing everyone we visit. Always a smile and always helpful. Thank you Colbert for all you do to make us happy at Varty Canp! Victoria
Eish, Signore!! My mpho at Varty. A man of many many talents indeed. Only 4 languages does give the credit he deserves, I have seen him in ‘action’ in spanish and italian too.
Besides the drumming he sometimes dances (he is bit shy, so you have to push him a little bit!) when the choir is in camp, if you think he is a good drummer, wait until you see him dancing. He legs are not bone and muscle, but entirely made out of flexible rubber!!
He is the person you want as a neighbour, as a friend and, yes, as a brother!!
keep up the good work!!
Colbert is the most amazing person.
Always smiling. Always welcoming.
I always look forward to seeing him at our next stay.
Better than family!
Loved his kidding around, greeting us with Hakuna matata— always there with a warm smile!
Colbert and Grace ~ Eddie and I think of you both so often and look forward to next year when we return!!! ❤️❤️
Whilst I’ve not met Colbert as I stayed at Founders Camp, I will attest to the fact that everyone I met from housekeeping to managers, always had a smile, a friendly word and insured a fabulous experience- so much that I’m returning next month! Thank you for sharing your story.
Why not???? Indeed!
Hakuna Matata Colbert! You are the soul of the veranda at Varty Camp. Thank you, a million times. Jacqueline
Grace, we met Colbert while we were staying in Varty camp. He was wonderful!
If I am not staying at Varty Camp, I always make an effort to visit with Colbert. A gentleman and wonderful person!
Love the profiles of the dedicated and impressive staff!