Growing up, I’ve always loved elephants and spending time with them. I find it so peaceful sitting quietly and watching them eat, pulling leaves off trees, completely unphased by your company.
Although I grew up right on the doorstep of the Kruger National Park and the bush is a very familiar and very comfortable space to me, moving to Londolozi and spending six weeks at a time away from the rest of the world was a big adjustment. When I was away from home whilst studying and things started to get tough, my mom always encouraged me to find joy in the little things. Often easier said than done, it became my catch phrase, or mantra, when I was stressed or overtired. Now is no different. There are often days that I’ve had to remind myself to find joy in the little things. It’s always on these days that the elephants have come to pay us a visit below the deck.
Watching these magnificent creatures emerge from the surrounding bushes to make their way to the Sand River in front of the deck is always the most exciting sight for me. Sometimes it’s only a single elephant, other times an entire breeding herd. It’s a sight that truly never gets old. We’ve had the privilege of spending time with them in the mornings before any of the guests have returned back to camp from drive, and we’ve had sundowners with them in the afternoons as well. Each time more special than the last.
My personal favourite moment, is when the elephants emerge and guests come to the deck from their rooms to watch them graze. The reason this is so interesting for me is that these same guests have, some mornings, followed a pride of lions on the move, or maybe even gone on an exhilarating chase as the wild dogs hunt a herd of impala. Yet when the elephants come to visit and do nothing other than pull the leaves off the trees or grab a drink of water, the excitement of seeing them is unbridled and it seems everyone drops whatever it is they are doing to come and share in the moment. It’s times like these that make it easy to find joy in the little things, and in turn be reminded of how fortunate we are to live and work in the most amazing of places.
Another favourite for me is when we arrive on the deck in the mornings to begin our day and the elephants are already there. Often so silent you don’t even know they’re there until you walk to the edge of the deck. We brew a pot of coffee, set our admin aside for a couple of minutes, and simply just enjoy the company of our visitors. Selfishly, I like to think they’re there just for me, to let me know that no matter how busy the day ahead might be, there is always joy to be found in one’s surroundings.
My encouragement to you for the last push of the year, is to find joy in the little things. Whether it be watching Londolozi’s Instagram safari stories, sitting quietly with a cup of coffee in the mornings or noticing new leaves on the trees on your daily commute; find the joy in those moments and in your surroundings. You’ll be surprised as to how much of it can be found in one’s daily routine if you simply look for it.
Filed under Camps General Nature Wildlife
Elephants are magnificent animals, large yet non threatening when grazing. They seem to say just let me be and I will mind my own business.
Thank you for sharing such peaceful and amazing pictures. I don’t understand what’s exhilarating in a hunt with suffering prey, I do agree watching elephants, giraffe and other pacif giants in luxury greenery helps to reconnect with nature and balance.
There is nothing like meeting a herd of elephants complete with babies to brighten up your day. I love it when a young elephant comes toward the car being ferocious. On the other hand I remember one afternoon with Allie we turned off a road and out of the trees came what seemed to me an enormous make elephant. Trunk up and obviously not wishing to see us. Alice backed right up and we departed. There are so many wonderful animals at Londolozi, each different but wonderful to see. You all have a fascinating job! Thank you for all the elephants today. Victoria
Ashleigh you are certainly right when saying we must enjoy the little things. There is so much going on in the world with this pandemic, that a person forgets to look for the smaller things in life. I have just come in from outside and it was raining slightly, and one of the three owls that breed here in my tree in my back yard was sitting on the wall. I went up close to see and speak to the Spotted eagle owl, the more I spoke to it, the more it opened and closed its big eyes. Too beautiful for words. So precious and I am so privileged to have the owls right here in my yard. So I can relate to you Ashleigh for spending time with the elephants there at Londolozi.
I also love watching elephants – they are such wonderful animals. And you are right, it’s very often the small things that can make you happy or content.
Love the elephants of Londolozi as much ( if not more) than the leopards of Londolozi
Perfect thoughts as we here in the US celebrate Thanksgiving! It’s easy to be thankful for elephants!
Thank you for your great article and for all the hard work you and the rest of the staff put into making guests’ experiences unforgettable.
Sometimes it’s the little things that become the big things in our life Ashleigh. Your Mother had the right idea. You need to find joy in the little things in our life and be thankful for all we have. Many people worldwide are not as fortunate as we are. A really nice and thoughtful blog. Thanks for sharing.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts Ashleigh and I totally agree with you. Even when things around us seem grim, there’s always something to brighten our day, even if it’s just the call of the little brown birds.
I have been lucky enough to have been inside a family group of elephants as they just passed us by by walking on either side. A wonderful experience , on a par with watching wild dogs hunt
Ashleigh it certainly is the little things in life that bring us so much pleasure and as we live on an island that is only 246square kilometers and very built up my small pleasures come from my garden. I would do anything to be in your shoes to enjoy those Eli’s on an almost daily basis and to be able to look out to an uncluttered horizon.🙏🏻. Enjoy every moment 💕