A Nature Reunion Ambassador is an individual from our very own Londolozi Family. Someone who, on a daily basis, interacts with the reserve, the wildlife and the elements and who truly understands nature and how intertwined it is with their being.
We’ve arrived at Part 4 of our Nature ReunionAmbassador series and we are sure that by now you are fully up to speed with what it means to be an ambassador and the unique and creative ways in which you could become one yourself. This series has been a fascinating, creative outlet and realisation of a nature connection for many. A campaign that we thought would be short and sweet has gained momentum as we have new members of the Londolozi Family approaching us to share their relationship with nature every day. We hope this series has brought you some joy and that it has inspired you to find unusual and simple ways to bond to and spend time with nature.
Here are our next three Nature Reunion Ambassadors who you might recognise from your trip to Londolozi or from the blog…
Dean De La Rey, Ranger
Being a Ranger at Londolozi and spending time out on the reserve for the majority of the day gives them knowledge about all the specifics of the landscape. There are so many sacred spaces…hidden drainage lines, secret trees, unique rocky outcrops and spectacular views. We are sure each Ranger has their favourite spot that they love visiting. Today Dean shares his special spot on the reserve with us:
“One of my fondest memories as a child is spending time in the Kruger National Park with my family. There was a viewpoint where my Dad would say to me, “Boy, for as far as your eyes can see, there is only wildlife.”
The view of a vast, untouched wilderness had a huge impact on me and blew my mind as a child! As I got older I began to understand the importance of an immense tract of land where wild animals could roam and my wonder transformed into happiness.
There is a specific point on Londolozi that reignites that exact feeling – Ximpalapala Crest. If you look north-east from the crest on a clear day, protected land lies before you for as far as the eye can see. It extends towards the eastern stretches of the Sabi Sand crossing fenceless boundaries into Kruger and then into the Limpopo National Park. Wildlife can never have enough land. Standing in this spot makes me proud to be playing a role in the protection of wildlife and wilderness.
I dream and hope that in my lifetime wilderness areas such as this only grow in time and staring out into this space of natural vastness, gives me hope. A Nature Reunion for me is reflecting on the good that is being done to create safe havens for our wildlife” ~ Dean De La Rey
Karin Webber, Executive PA
“To me a Nature Reunion is walking barefoot with squishy sand between your toes. It means getting dirt under my nails when I work in my little garden outside my house in the staff village. It’s when I plant something that will grow with me during my time here at Londolozi.
It’s waking up on a cold winter’s morning seeing your breath like smoke in front of you. It’s my first game drive at Londozi and Barry Bath teaching me about all the grasses that were growing so abundantly after the great summer rains – ‘cat’s tails’ and herring bone. It’s finding a flowering Plumbago when out on an afternoon drive or smelling the star Jasmine outside the Healing House. A Reunion with nature means watching the sun go down and the moon rise over the wilderness with a Marula tree silhouette against the skyline.
It’s trying to describe the blues, greens, pinks, golds and oranges that are held in the colours of a late autumn afternoon. The light can be both soft and yet so clear It’s the view of the Drakensberg on the western horizon and the outline of a knob thorn standing alone in the bush. It’s being reminded of how small I am, how insignificant human beings really are in the bigger scheme of things. I am constantly reminded that we are all connected. I am connected to the small dung beetle rolling away the dung of a mighty elephant to start a new life cycle; and to the baby elephant learning to use its trunk for the first time causing the same delight as a toddler who takes her first steps.
It is the roar of a lion that rumbles through you when you are sitting on the game viewer at night, with only the stars between you and the sound. It is the leopard on the termite mound soaking up the warmth on a July morning. A Reunion with Nature for me is knowing that I am alive and remembering that I am human. It makes me believe in the privilege of being better and being part of something bigger. It is knowing I am a part of something and that I belong” ~ Karin Webber
Chris Taylor, Ranger
“I have always enjoyed the early mornings, especially when I find myself in such a special wilderness like Londolozi. There is an undeniable sense of excitement and anticipation in what the day might give you.
Soon after arriving here, I found a small but very special window in my routine that gave me the opportunity to capitalise on this early morning atmosphere. Each morning, before any guests are given their wake up calls, I wander down to the deck alone and make myself a cup of tea.
It’s usually still quite dark, depending on the time of year, but there’s always a faint glow of orange on the horizon and a slight chill in the air. I take a seat at the edge of the deck, giving myself the widest view of the river bed below. While visibility is quite limited, it’s the sounds that really draw me in.
The bird calls are the most noticeable as the robins and francolins make their presence known. But further in the distance, if I’m lucky, there’ll be a faint rasp of a leopard or a whoop of a hyena. The fifteen minutes that I have there each morning is always the first highlight of my day, a meditation if you will, a moment that slows things down and clears my head, gives me inspiration and reminds me how lucky I am to call a place like this my home” ~ Chris Taylor
Keep an eye out on our Instagram page for new Nature Reunion Ambassadors…