We all have a different idea of our ideal safari. Some people prioritise photography, some make sure that there’s a good sundowner spot to enjoy a gin and tonic, others prefer to enjoy a more spiritual experience or just simply escape and slow down from the hustle and bustle of a busy lifestyle. Whatever the case may be, we can all agree that in whatever state of mind you find yourself while at Londolozi, an incredible sighting can and often is the highlight of one’s stay. After giving it some thought I have come up with my list of Londolozi bucket list sightings. These sightings are not necessarily made special by something in particular but, when experienced, have that certain ‘wow factor’ about them.
I focused on making these sightings special and unique but at the same time very attainable.
To narrow this list down was way harder than I thought it would be; I initially wanted it to be a top 5 but couldn’t resist making it 10 (so stay tuned for the second 5 in Part 2 in the coming days). In choosing the sightings I focused on three criteria. Firstly, where applicable, I tried to make them Londolozi specific by mentioning a particular area in which the sighting would ideally occur. However, if the sighting is not in that mentioned area, you can still consider it to be just as special. Secondly, I have kept it to large mammals so as to appeal to as many people as possible (the bigger animals are often the crowd pleasers) and this also narrows down my own options and makes compiling this list sightly easier for myself! Lastly, I focused on making these sightings special and unique but at the same time very attainable. Seeing a pangolin, aardvark or cape clawless otter is undeniably a phenomenal sighting but, honestly, your chances of actually seeing one are next to nothing – hence I have left these sightings, and ones alike, off the list. Maybe there’s an opportunity to make a separate list for this category of ultra-rare sightings in the future… stay tuned for that!
In no particular order, here are my Londolozi Top Bucket List Sightings…
An Elephant Bull Moving through the Leadwood Forest
Elephants carry such a magical presence about them. Their slow, deliberate movements illustrate their deep wisdom for and connection to the land. Whether you find yourself surrounded by a herd or alongside a large bull, you will feel what I am talking about. The leadwood forest, in my opinion, is the perfect stage to complement these giants, surrounding them with ancient trees. A truly spiritual experience.
A Male Lion Roaring on the Airstrip
Any male lion roaring is a sight – and sound – to behold. It reverberates through your body and is the epitome of power and dominance in this environment that can leave one speechless. The reason I specified the airstrip is that, aside from it being an open area giving you a full view of the lion, it’s also close to camp. This means that you’ll ultimately be woken to the bellowing sounds of the lion calling nearby, building a sense of excitement and anticipation to hop on the vehicle, set off into the rising sun and follow the calls. A short build-up to a sighting like that makes being in that moment all the more meaningful.
A Mother Leopard with Cubs
I personally try not to prescribe human qualities or emotions to animals but I run into trouble whenever I spend time with a mother leopard and her cubs. The pure care and tender attention that she pays her offspring are enough to bring a tear to your eye. For a creature that is otherwise so solitary, that then shifts her whole existence into providing for her young in the most selfless fashion must be admired on a deeper level of appreciation. The cubs are also very cute!
Finding a Rhino on Foot
A slightly less conventional experience that not everyone may be after but is however one that will stick with you long after you leave Londolozi. Tracking is an integral part of the experience that we provide and allows us to engage with the wilderness on a much deeper level. A certain degree of this can be enjoyed from the seats of the Land Rover but it’s only really when you get on foot that you get a true sense of this ancient art form. Tracking rhinos is often a simpler but equally rewarding task that guests can get involved in under the guidance of the guide and tracker. Finding the rhino is obviously the goal but the journey of getting there is the true experience.
A Large Herd of Buffalo at a Watering Hole
Perhaps it’s the sheer volume of 500+ animals, some weighing close to a ton, all in one area, interacting and living together that we find appealing about a large herd of buffalo. Like the elephants, they too have an affinity for bodies of water and retreat there to drink and get some reprieve from the heat and insects. When it comes to enjoying such a sighting, there is no single element of it to be described but rather the many independent ‘side-shows’ that one can see in a herd. Two young bulls sparring for dominance to the right, a mother nursing her calf to the left, an old bull with plenty of character tossing his horns through the mud in front. These hundreds of individual stories all developing in one sighting are what captivates one when spending time with buffalo.
Bonus #1: Sunset at Weavers Nest Pan
Of course, these are just my opinion of the top sightings one can enjoy at Londolozi. I’d love to hear if any of you have enjoyed any of these sightings here in the past or wish to experience them on your next trip, and look forward to sharing Part 2 with you soon.