My wife and I were very fortunate to be back at Londolozi in January 2021 for yet another much anticipated safari.
A few days before we were due to arrive at Londolozi, the weather forecast send out warnings regarding the tropical Cyclone Eloise moving in over Madagascar towards the mainland of Southern Africa. We were in the south of the Kruger National Park the week before Londolozi, and I visited the storm report website almost twice a day keep an eye on movements of Eloise.
Londolozi also send us a warning via our private guide that heavy rain was expected and we could make a decision regarding our booking.
However, since we’d never been to Londolozi during the green season and it seemed like Eloise was moving slightly to the north over Zimbabwe, we decided to give the safari a go.
It turned out to be an excellent decision and we only missed out on two game drives because of heavy rains (rain fall of 175mm over a period of three days!).
Each and every game drive was unique with very interesting sightings and photo opportunities. Also unique was getting stuck in the mud next to three lions (a first for Byron (ranger) and Jerry (tracker) in a very long time). We had to call for the assistance of another vehicle to pull us out. Not a very “lekker” feeling for the staff to get out of the vehicle to attach the rope to the vehicles with two lions lying only about 20 meters from us.
We were spoilt beyond all expectations by the Londolozi staff, and our thanks must go to everybody looking after us during our visit.
At the forefront was Phil, the two new camp managers and the rest of the team on the floor always ready to assist with anything – much appreciated. The kitchen (with chef Chane and her team) is one of the best, and the food was EXCELLENT!!!
A special thanks to Byron (our private guide) for making all the arrangements (and negotiating all the changes) and ensuring that we had a lovely time during our stay – especially on the game drives. Well done with the tracking, Jerry – amazing to see you at work (just loved to watch the fingers at work when you spot track in the road) and we thoroughly enjoyed your company.
As many of you will know, Londolozi is famous for its leopard sightings, and we saw 15 different leopards in various areas of the reserve during one of our previous safaris. Once again Londolozi did not disappoint us during this trip.
However, Londolozi is not just about leopards and there are many other sightings and photo opportunities – you just need to have the patience to wait for the right moment. We were also doing some birding on the side during the game drives – nothing serious but at the start of the safari we had a goal to identify 130 or more different species (the number achieved during our previous visit). We started birding about five years ago because of our interest in photography and I do keep a record of the birds identified during each trip on my cell phone app. We were fortunate to identify 154 different species during our stay this time, with much-needed support from Byron. This count included a few very interesting lifers for us – one of these was a Lesser moorhen not often seen in South Africa but seen twice during our game drives (very exciting!).
Now, just a few of the photos I took during the trip (all taken on a Sony A9 ii) – enjoy the safari with me:
Filed under Guests Photo Journal Wildlife
Eloise, I saved Elephant🤗
Willem you foto’s are absolutely beautiful. Reading through your story gives us so much insight to your safari even though you got stuck in the mud, your story is filled with appreciation of the Londolozi staff and the wonderful time you had there. The hippo foto’s are unique, I have never seen that before. The eagle about to fly an exceptional foto, not forgetting the lions all the other beautiful foto’s. Good story, thank you for sharing it with us.
Great photos! Thanks for including Cry & Phil–two of our favorite staffers!
We once experienced a flat tire replacement with lions nearby.
Willem, Thanks so much for sharing your story! It was wonderful to see the smiling photo of Cry and Phil, as they are two very special people who enjoy seeing on our visits. We have never been to Londolozi except during the winter months, so it was interesting to hear your perspective during what sounds like a very wet time. Your images were beautiful and it was really fun to see the hippo flipped! Thanks again for the great update!
What a wonderful visit to Londolozi. they never fail to make the trip different and surprising g and fun. We are trying to decide if we will be able to go maybe in the fall. Thank you for the wonderful pictures!! Victoria
How wonderful I do hope we will be free of Covid 19 and join you! I loved the upside-down hyppo it seems it had fun!
What a great time you had on your visit! Thanks for sharing your photos!
Thank you for sharing your exciting safari at Londolozi with Eloise!! Your photos and vivid descriptions are exceptional. I am quite envious of your 15 leopard sitings. When we were there I had no idea that we should keep track of the names (and Dean’s pronunciation didn’t stick after the fact)…except for the evening after chasing wild dog when our vehicle broke down. As we waited for a rescue enjoying our sundowners the Inyathini male happened by and made quite an impression! I’m still smiling from your happy hippo pics!
I enjoyed your photos and story, Willem and will look forward to part 2. Interesting to see Byron is still around, he was our ranger back in 2011 when he was still working for Londolozi.
Willem, how terrific that you and your wife forged ahead during your travels and were able to experience some of Cyclone Eloise’s weather. I’ve not been to Africa during the winter, as you’d not traveled during the summer, so your story has made me think of switching travel seasons, but not not this year- I’m already booked for March/April. Your images are a good combination of exciting moments along with the personal portraits. Wishing you continued great travels!
Great photos and a great story. And Londolozi ist the best – naturally
Isn’t Byron a fun guide to go to Londolozi with? Sounds like you had an eventful and exciting trip!
Interesting time there! Thanks for sharing the pics!
Super account of your recent trip Willem and the photos to match! The roly poly hippo was just fab🙏🏻👌🏻❤️. Well done for not back out on your trip as it certainly sounds as though You had a brilliant time !
Great shots! Thanks for sharing these.
Wow you guys really had an amazing time at Londolozi. Great pictures!
Thanks for sharing sounds like a wonderful time!