About the Author

Dean de la Rey

Alumni Ranger

Dean was a guide at Londolozi from 2018 to 2022. He grew up in Johannesburg and it was from his very first trip to the bush at the age of two that he was captivated by this environment (he claims he can remember ...

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on My Open Letter to Guests of Londolozi

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Beautifully written! Spoken from the heart.. We Londolozi guests miss you all and the smells and sights and sounds of Africa and the joy that we experience when we are with you. We dream of the day we can return (we have booked again for next year!!)… but the weekly updates and virtual safaris keep us going – so keep them coming !! – they keep us sane and give us hope for the future

Thank you for the comment Gillian. Keeps us all going too. See you next year.

like you we miss Londolozi when we are not there, but I hope you all realize how your daily blogs are to those of us who look forward to this link to keep us in touch. Thank you all for this bright start to a day without safaris.stay safe and we will all be back . Victoria

Oh Dean, we miss Londolozi just as much. Life has changed and although we know it is for our own good and the good of all our people in Africa it still pull at your heartstrings every time you watch the videos on the Instagram story or read the blog. We will have to stay posive and remember when this is all over we will be able to travel again and visit our favourite places that we miss so much.

Couldn’t agree more Marinda.

You have described the problem exactly, Dean! Like you, we were supposed to be there now having waited almost 2 years to return. We postponed until next year but…another year!? We miss Londolozi.

Thanks for the comment Mary Beth, always worth the wait. See you next year.

Dean, Thanks for your great post. You are right about the feeling! The closest we get are all of the daily posts. Your comments about the daily routine remind us of some of the things we love the most – especially that first cup of coffee, seeing the sun start to rize, and our morning bowl of porrige before heading out – and you’re right – seeing the smiles and eagerness of our ranger and tracker ready to head out! We can’t wait to be back at Londolozi – just like you! 😉

Thanks Michael and Terri. Appreciate the comment. Hopefully see you soon.

Master Tracker

It seems like a lifetime ago. I’ll never look down on a zombie again

I so miss Londolozi as well! It has been an important part of my life for the last 30+ years! I have been lucky enough over the last few years to come annually and some years twice! We should have been with you in early May, have postponed and will def be back as soon as possible. Much love to you all, a special shout out to the Tree Camp team and Sandros, sala kahle x

Thanks for the comment Bridie, look forward to your next visit.

Thank you Dean. I needed this this morning. We left Londolozi this February for our 5th time….this trip we stayed at Founders for 3 weeks! Londolozi is magcal and thinking of her always brings a smile and a tear witing to return………until then…SK

Hopefully more smiles than tears, glad you enjoyed Sherry.

Dean, I have never been to Londolozi much less Africa, but your letter got me choked up. My dream is to come to Africa one day not sure when since the world is at a standstill right now, but one day I pray that I will fulfill my dream. Thanks for such an awesome letter.

Hopefully you manage to fulfill that dream, will be the best thing you do.

Dean, what a wonderful blog – I miss Londolozi too – we have been there 2011, 2014, 2017, 2018 – we are supposed to come for our 5oth wedding anniversary (Sept 5, in 2020)

Thank you Joan, Hopefully we still able to see you for that massive celebration in September.

And we miss you Dean! Hope to see you this coming November!
Jim, Tish, Annie, & Doug

What great news. So nice to hear from you, send my regards to the family.

The anticipation builds regularly as we get closer and closer to our next visit!

We miss Londolozi as well. anyone who knows my husband and I know that our favorite place to return to is the African bush and to our Londo family. If it were possible, we would visit on a monthly base. Everything you described, we agree.
One of my husbands favorites are the evening drives back to camp. On clear nights, we have the luxury of seeing the Milky Way and Southern Cross, which is not visible in the States.
Thank you for sharing.
Inkomu Swinene

Thanks for the comment Christy and what a important part of the bush you pointed out with that clear evening sky of stars.

Welcome to OUR world, Dean! :-))

Not so easy

Oh Dean, I hear you and feel your longing to return to the place that fulfills your childhood longings – not just your place of employment but your second family.
I visited Londolozi my first time in November, 2018 and knew a second visit was in my immediate future, as soon as I could financially make it work. That second trip was planned for March 26-31, 2020- well we know how that turned out. The kicker was I had fractured my arm in two places in February 16 and couldn’t travel- the double whammy. Not only was I incapacitated but I couldn’t make my trip- then the virus canceled everything anyway.
So, I’m still in a cast, moderate therapy and planning my return. See you as soon as I can. ❤️

Thanks for the comment Denise. Wow, a number of unfortunate events. I hope you recover soon and are able to join us again. Look forward to it.

I know…………….. the video helps a lot, but still………….

Senior Digital Ranger

I have my photos and videos and such wonderful memories but I can’t get that restorative feeling of being a part of nature, of being humbled by nature, without being there. I sometimes actually experience an aching sensation to be there again. I’m so thankful, though, that I had the opportunity. I miss Londolozi.

Thanks for the great comment Leslie.

You nailed it Dean. You know exactly how we feel and how much we hate to leave. Every trip home seems to become the initial planning stage for our next return and then the longing begins. The only difference is you don’t have to listen to my wife’s counting of the days until we are heading back to Granite and Londolozi!

I enjoyed this comment, Hopefully Lucie gets you back sooner rather than later. Thanks for the comment Bob.

Dean, I can totally relate to your feelings! I have such wonderful memories of being at Londolozi – out in the bush with you exactly one year ago. Dreaming of when I can come back, as well…

Amazing how time flies. Look forward to it Saki.

Senior Digital Ranger

Isn’t all of Africa wild? What does Africa look like out of the wilderness? I mean, I don’t know what your towns and places outside busch look like?I know some of them are developed but I always imagine them with the presence of wild animals. Can you “get them close to me” with a short description? Please.

Love this post! A few weeks ago, I got a job at a new wilderness reserve in KZN, but lockdown has prevented me from getting there! Desperate to start working in the bush!

Congrats. All the best when you start.

I find you letter especially poignant. I am thinking as we even begin contemplating coming back to a “new normal,” one of the last things we will get to experience again will be travel. Like sporting events, brilliant concerts and plays in theaters, travel so often involves mass numbers of people gathering together towards their common goal. Until we have a reliable vaccine against this, and future viruses, that gathering together will be appropriately viewed as too dangerous. As I approach my ninth decade of life, I wonder how much time, energy and health I will have left to experience any of these wonders. Perhaps, I can achieve some solace from the quiet wisdom of this beautiful five minute video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XELczQ3JWQY&feature=youtu.be

Wow, Dean, what a letter! For me, coming to Londolozi is the pinnacle of happiness. A lifetime of being there would never be enough – but it would be an unbelievable lifetime. Can’t wait to be back again sometime soon!

Thank you Kara, you said it perfectly. Look forward to the next visit.

Senior Digital Ranger

Dean. We feel your pain! Londolozi is truly a special place in our wonderful world that is presently not aligning with the Universe. But, it eventually will–hopefully soon–and we know you will return to the Land that embraces one’s Soul! Have pity on the rest of us that look forward to Londolozi’s daily Blog for photos and bush experiences to somewhat satisfy our longing! Be Well, and we know that your family is enjoying having you home at the moment!!

Thanks for the comments Camille. Appreciate the nice words. Send my regards to Bill. Stay safe.

Would give anything to hear, see, appreciate and feel the bush again! You are making me feel nostalgic 🙁

That makes two of us Christiaan.

I miss Londolozi every single day! Praying we can make our planned revisit in November….12 time zones apart but Londolozi has my heart!

Hope to see you in November Judith.

this this this this – YES. Thanks for capturing it so well, Dean. Missing all of it and all of you, Londolozi! Sending love from NYC <3

Beautiful reflections Dean. I am knew to the Londolozi community, invited by my sister to engage in a seven day meditation challenge, but am now fully engaged…if only through cyber means for now. Enjoying the daily Londolozi Stories, Boyd’s podcast from the treehouse and anything that comes my way from you all had been a great gift during this very strange, but somehow important time in history. Your longing to return to Londolozi and the bush is completely understandable and I haven’t even been yet! Alas, all the best to you and a safe return!

Hi Dean. I also miss Londolozi in a way. For some time there was a gap of not receiving this blog from Londolozi and my husband Neil (83 and I (82) REALLY, REALLY missed our virtual safari every day. The glitch was fixed and once again it is up and running. We just LOVE the Bush and were missing it so much until we discovered Londolozi with its TWIPS and virtual safaris!! Thank you guys for lightening the spirits of two old ex Bush people!! We so enjoy you guys! Warm regards. Wendy and Neil MacNicol

Hello Dean, Beautifully written! I understand, it is a lot of us that cannot do what we normally do. But time passes and it will come a new time and a time to go to Londolozi! I also miss the bush, the thrill to se all the wonderful animals, live a little more dangerus and feel more alive. Not to be forgotten; the sounds from the African bush! I think patience is the word for now, if we wait something beautiful will come out of it… Hopefully a normal life again! I hope you can return soon! Thank you for sharing!

Senior Digital Ranger

Great blog, thank you! I too have loved the bush since childhood and I’m currently craving it more than ever. I have only been to Londolozi once but it truly stayed with me, in fact I don’t think I’ve ever resonated more strongly with the ethos of a place. I long to return!

A lovely post to read Dean. My husband and I have visited four times and I’m desperate to return , hopefully next year. I miss the bush, the sounds and Anna’s wonderful cooking! Hopefully life will return to normal soon.

Senior Digital Ranger

Was supposed to be leaving for Londolozi mid-May. This should have been the anticipatory countdown. My duffel would already be packed as I struggle to get all the work done I can so that they won’t miss me as much for a few weeks in Southern Africa. Instead…..

I stayed in Founders for a week last fall and loved every second. And yes, like everyone, I miss the comfort, quiet, fascination and beauty of the bush. Everything tactile, settling, humorous, and endearing about the camp creates a memory that aches when I think of returning. I hope to in 2021/2022. My envy of SK’s comments puts a smile on my face thinking of spending 3 weeks at Founders; a contemplative time for reflection. Dean, your Open Letter to Guests was inspiring. Heal the world. Heal Londolozi. … I will be back to feed my soul with treasured goodness. Thank you!

I know! November 2021 seems so far away! Then I try to remember the shamanistic view that is outside space and time, and visualize being there now. It helps a little!

In Ireland in lockdown with my elderly parents things can be quite tough at times but this piece is a reminder of how wonderful our wildlife and the environment we live in. Please God I will get a chance to go to Londolozi in the future.
Meanwhile keep well and keep safe.

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