Five weeks into hard lockdown in South Africa, I wrote an open letter to guests explaining how much I miss Londolozi and understand their pain of not being able to return for now.
Although there are still some travel restrictions in place in what has become a pandemic we will never forget, things are slowly starting to open up again and soon much like me, you’ll be back too. Let me tell you one thing, its good to be back.
So here’s my sequel letter…
Dear Guests of Londolozi,
I was patient, as have you been, but as the world slowly opens up to what we knew as normality, your visit to this beautiful land within South Africa isn’t far off. Every blog you read, every hour spent watching virtual safaris, every dream waking up and wishing you were on Londolozi wasn’t all a waste; it gave you this sense of belonging, it maintained your craving for the wild and keeps you glued to the passion and desire that drives you to a place we have all fallen in love with.
The rains have arrived just before you will, filling the pans and wallows and flushing the land with different hues of green. The flowing Sand River means that it’s an even more exciting river crossing into the north, where you hear the sound of new impala lambs calling for their mothers. The early sunrise will awaken you as the recognisable calls of the still-territorial Birmingham males remind you that this is still their territory. That same Jackalberry tree you saw a year, years or months ago provide the same shade as your friendly tracker and ranger await you at the Land Rover, ready to go on drive.
Some of the best leopard viewing in the world hasn’t changed, but that cub you once saw, now has a litter of her own. The prides you once knew have split and the prides you once thought decimated have been re-ignited.
Your favourite rocky outcrop bursts with vegetation as it breaks the outline of the skyline, and from its high point you can see for miles, until the land fades into a hazy distance, holding untold stories and teeming wildlife between.
That same spot you remembered sharing a drink with someone special and watching the African sunset from is now overgrowing with wildflowers where your feet once stood.
The crackling wood fire in the boma you long to have dinner in has been lit once again while lanterns light every path you will soon walk; light at the end of the long dark tunnel of 2020. Butler Tami Nlovu is ready to greet you with that welcoming smile, and the call of the Scops owl trills from the leadwood tree overhead. You are going to find yourself enjoying a dance with the beautiful Londolozi ladies choir. The goodnight calls of Hyenas ripple through the stillness of the night and your room pool lies transparent under the Milky way.
I am ecstatic to be back.
Londolozi and its wildlife look forward to welcoming YOU back.