After starting at Londolozi over a year ago, I still find it so fascinating to find out how each of the Londolozi Family members has found their way to Londolozi. Everyone has their own story and path that has led them to work in this magical place. Not only do my colleagues find this interesting but arguably, one of the most frequently asked questions I receive from our guests is…
“So, how did you end up at Londolozi?”
And the truth is – it’s an odd one. I had always planned on doing “something” after I graduated from university and before entering into what I had deemed the corporate world. That something happened to be in the form of a teaching job in an Asian country, Taiwan to be specific. It was this move that helped me pave my way to Londolozi. Time away from my home country made me realise the fact that I truly had been living in one of the world’s most interesting places. Like many people, I was guilty of not experiencing some of South Africa‘s most magical and sacred places, not knowing what each province had to offer and not experiencing the country to its fullest. It took me moving overseas to truly yearn for Africa and what experiences she had to offer me.
It was here, that for the first time I was made aware of the cultural richness and diversity of the Asian culture and this adventure would give me hours of experience with children which was invaluable. While I was in Asia I came to meet more and more people asking me about Africa. Living abroad gave me wonderful opportunities to think more deeply about South Africa, what it meant to be South African and how best to describe it to those who knew nothing about it.
South Africa is truly a melting pot of culture and, so don’t expect a short answer when asking a question about our fascinating country. I always giggled when people asked what our traditional South African food was and I had to respond with the following roast chicken and salad, a braai or pap and impala topped off with mopane worms and sheba (one could carry on for quite some time listing traditional dishes).
I’ve narrowed my South Africa list down to a classic Top 6. Remembering that Londolozi is automatically first on my list, as it should be yours 😉
You cannot come to South Africa and not experience an open-air game drive through a wilderness area. Experience a wide range of ecosystems and habitats while viewing some of Africa’s most spectacular wildlife. Other than Londolozi, South Africa boasts impressive game reserves throughout the country from the Kruger National Park and Sabi Sands to the Zulu Land reserves.
2. The Garden Route.
Think small, quaint coastal towns, wetlands, lush forests, rare birding, and quiet beaches… the perfect self-drive holiday.
3. Drakensberg Mountains
Climbing and staying beneath the impressive Drakensberg Mountains in KwaZulu-Natal is a great experience for the more adventurous. Discover bushman paintings, waterfalls and rock-pools as you hike one of South Africa’s most impressive mountain range. Make sure to explore the countryside and Midlands Meander while you’re in this region of the country too!
4. Cape Town
A favourite amongst many is of course Cape Town (which also happens to be my hometown) and her exquisite Table Mountain. Pictures do not do this experience justice – a must-do for those visiting the Cape. For wine lovers, this is the best spot to take a wine tour through the quaint town of Stellenbosch and picturesque Franschhoek.
5. The Battlefields
For those with an interest in history, KwaZulu-Natal is also home to the battlefields. Take a walk through South Africa in the 19th century and enjoy the beauty that this place has to offer.
6. Whales and Wild Flowers
If you’ve ticked off the Big 5, then next on your list should be whale watching off the Hermanus Coast. This is a spectacular experience and shouldn’t be missed if you are in the Western Cape between July and November. Other beautiful phenomenons that take place in this region of the world are the flowers. Walk through carpets of wildflowers in the West Coast National Park during the months of August and September.
On returning home from Taiwan I had no doubt that I wanted to pursue something more African – an experience which would allow for growth, learning and a connection to Africa and her people. Choosing a place like Londolozi proved to be my biggest blessing, because it is here where I have found myself immersed in many of Africa’s most traditional ways, her wild beauty and old world wisdom. One only needs to take a walk into Londolozi’s Futuristic African Village to understand and appreciate this.
I had left for Taiwan to find myself and it was there that I found out that in order to do that, I had to go back home! So that is how I found myself at Londolozi.