About the Author

Garrett Fitzpatrick

Sales Manager

Garrett has always had an incredible love for the wilderness and found his way to Londolozi straight after University. After spending time as a Londolozi Camp Manager, the incredible stories of daily sightings from his ranger counterparts and guests alike pushed him to ...

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19 Comments

on Ecotourism in South Africa: From Pioneers to a Social Enterprise

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Vin Beni
Guest contributor

We have watche with awe and amazement the transformation even in the last 8 years since our initial visit in 2013.

Garrett Fitzpatrick
Sales Manager

Hi Vin, that is so great to hear. Thank you for your kind words.

Jan-Erik Rottinghuis
Guest contributor

Garrett, well written and a lovely supplement to the Londolozi heritage. The place is continuing to tuck at my heart strings after my first visit in 2008, with Duncan stringing his guitar at the campfires of Tree camp. I just returned from 3 weeks in Kenya, but Londolozi will be again in my future safari plans. Not least to witness these wonderful contributions you are making to the whole African continent. Thank you for the updates… warm regards. JER

Garrett Fitzpatrick
Sales Manager

Hi Jan-Erik, I can picture the scene, Duncan sure knows how to liven up a boma. It’s great to hear that you have been out on safari recently, Kenyan looks spectacular! Looking forward to having you back with us in the near future!

William Paynter
Senior Digital Ranger

Londolozi is truly a pioneer story. Discovery, perseverance , and willingness to take the risks and seize the opportunities presented are all part of the story. Well done to all the Varty and Taylor(Ungerr ) families!!

Garrett Fitzpatrick
Sales Manager

Thank you for the kind words, William. That’s what it’s all about, it’s a never-ending campfire story!

Bob and Lucie Fjeldstad
Guest contributor

Nice retelling of the Londolozi story, Garrett. I believe more of John Varty’s efforts could have been included which, together with Elmon Mhlongo, brought “the leopards of Londolozi” into the international spotlight and really focused attention on Londolozi as a prime safari destination. FYI that is JV walking with Nelson Mandela.

Garrett Fitzpatrick
Sales Manager

Hi Bob and Lucie, thank you and I would agree with you, there is so much more to the story and I struggled to keep it as concise as possible. I would say John and Elmon’s role tracking, habituating and documenting the Leopards of Londolozi was so important that an entire blog on just their stories alone would still not be enough.

Valmai Vorster
Digital Tracker

Hi Garrett, just goes to show what can be done, if there is a will there will be a way. Transforming cattle grazing land with the minimum water , to what it is today is absolutely astounding, hard work, dedication and the love of nature. The Varty Brothers loved the ground and put everything in to make it to the renowned place, which it is now Londolozi. With the conservation development and raising the water table and letting nature survive made all the difference. So much work was done and today Londolozi is world renowned and one of the most beautiful places to be on safari. So many different animals to see and the land restored to its best, is a winner.

Garrett Fitzpatrick
Sales Manager

Thank you for the kind comment Valmai, it’s amazing to see the land and animals thriving after all the work that was put in during those earlier years.

Leonie De Young
Digital Tracker

Garrett this is a really educational and interesting blog. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. It has only reinforced my opinion and admiration that I have for Londolozi. Although I have never been there and likely never will visit, I truly applaud what the place stands for. I sincerely hope and pray that other establishments take a page out of the Vartys’ book and do the same – it is a win-win for everybody. Thank you very much for sharing with us.

Garrett Fitzpatrick
Sales Manager

I’m really glad you enjoyed the blog Leonie, and thank you for the kind words. The good news is that over the years there have been more and more like-minded organisations that have implemented similar conservation models, having positive impacts on people and wildlife alike.

Francesca Doria
Master Tracker

Thank you for this detailed story of Londolozi! I always wondered how it became what it is now after seeing John Varty’s documentaries

Christa Blessing
Master Tracker

Nice article on Londolozi’s history.

Denise Vouri
Guest contributor

In your story Garrett, you have truly captured and expressed the Londolozi story. For those of us familiar with the property it was a good reminder as to why we’ve visited and continue to return. There’s a harmony there that’s difficult to explain to others but I feel it whether I’m out exploring, sitting quietly on my deck or watch the fire crackle in the boma, knowing that ecotourism can and does work.
Thank you!!

I can verify that you only awakened at the destination.😁😁 Usually the Klaserie or the waterberg. So glad all those trips instilled a love of the bush, the passion to contribute in making a change and joining the Londolozi Family.

Michael and Terri Klauber
Guest contributor

Garrett, thank you for your detailed dive into the concept of ecotourism! To us the story of Londolozi is an inspiration and a model of success. The philosophy mission and goals are being accomplished every day. The Varty family’s continued focus on incorporating ecotourism and social enterprise is a gift to all who visit and live there!

Lisa Antell
Digital Tracker

And this is what makes staying at Londolozi such a wonderful adventure!

Cally Staniland
Master Tracker

Great Blog Garrett, 🙏🏻we count ourselves very lucky to have visited Londolozi in 1980 when accommodation was perhaps a lot less luxurious but what a magical place it was 💕. We have very fond memories indeed of that first trip. Saw our first ever Leopard then too.

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