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.