Kruger National Park in the Greater Limpopo Transfrontier Park (GLTP)
What is the difference between Kruger National Park and the Greater Kruger? Where is Londolozi? Have a read to find out:
In the north-eastern corner of South Africa is a section of the Greater Limpopo Transfrontier Park (GLTP). It is astounding to know that this park encompasses 35 000 km² which means that Hawaii at 28 000 km² could easily tuck right into it. In the park, there are no fences allowing the free flow of wild animals, but its most pioneering conservation claim is that it stretches into three countries (South Africa, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe). Three different political ideologies came together for the greater cause of protection and conservation of the land and wildlife. Within this magnificent expanse of wildlife, in South Africa, sits Londolozi Game Reserve – roughly similar in size to Paris!
If you would like to find out more consider reading Rob Jeffery’s blog: “Size Matters.”
Vast wild spaces don’t always convert into successful game viewing areas, location is critical. The Kruger National Park is considered one of the best state-run reserves in Africa. As a result, it carries certain rules and regulations. Game viewing has to be done from a closed vehicle and vehicles are not permitted to leave demarcated roads. To those arriving in camps, there are time restrictions limiting when you can arrive or have to leave the camp. Make no mistake though, it is a cost-effective and spectacular way to visit SA!
Londolozi and the Art of Tracking
Bordering the Kruger National Park you’ll find Londolozi which is a private game reserve (which we’ll get into locating soon). Londolozi’s exclusive nature allows for sensitive land care practices and a dynasty of Leopards that have been followed into their 5th generation. Londolozi’s open vehicles venture off-road allowing for spectacular up-close game viewing. This is done with careful training and knowledge of the landscape.
Londolozi has been the location of the Tracker Academy, founded by Londolozi alumni Ranger Alex Van den Heever and tracker Renias Mhlongo. They developed the idea of a formalised tracking school over ten years ago, where the fundamentals of the art could be taught. Through the generosity of the Rupert Foundation, the Tracker Academy was born. This wonderful school builds important skills passed down over generations by experienced Shangaan trackers. Combine the skills of these trackers, who emerge from the academy, with a team of rangers that know and understand the Lowveld bush, whose only priority is you, the guest. What do you get? An experience that guides you every step of the way, it teaches you about our wild spaces and how best to interact with them.
For a better understanding of the differences between the Londolozi and Kruger National Park experience visit the article written by Duncan Maclarty: “What are the differences between the Sabi Sand Reserve and the Kruger National Park?”
Private Reserves due west of Kruger National Park
To narrow it down further, we will discuss Kruger National Park, the Greater Kruger, and their location in relation to Londolozi. The Kruger National Park is a state-run reserve that makes up a whopping 19 485 km² of the Greater Limpopo Transfrontier Park. Kruger National Park sits in the northeastern corner of South Africa. To the west, bordering it, lie four private game reserve areas: Klaserie, Timbavati, Manyeleti, and Sabi Sands (where Londolozi is located). These four private wildlife areas (known as Associated Private Nature Reserves), combined with Kruger National Park, form an area known as the Greater Kruger. That is why you will often hear folk saying that Londolozi and the Kruger are one in the same. Or at least that Londolozi lies within Kruger.
So now let’s zoom further into the map, due west from Kruger National Park, into the private game reserve areas. More specifically, let us move into the Sabi Sands, an area 650 km² that sits furthest south of the four private game reserves. There are different camps, one of which is Londolozi. It sits in the heart of the Sabi Sands, our private space is only for Londolozi guests.
Londolozi is all about its special location
The Sand River bisects Londolozi, flowing eastward. Running past the front of our camps. This River is Londolozi’s lifeblood and it draws all manner of wildlife. In Londolozi’s north, we find the Manyeleti a name that means “place of stars”, a subterranean river that flows below the earth’s surface for most of the year. These rivers converge to the east of Londolozi. Meaning that we have the privilege of two rivers feeding our vegetation and sustaining wildlife in different parts of the Londolozi Game Reserve.
The Leopards of Londolozi
The Panthera Organisation has conducted research that confirms the Sabi Sands has the highest density of Leopard in South Africa. My view is that there are three possible reasons for this:
- Firstly, our Granite koppies provide the perfect refuge for a Female Leopard to birth and raise her cubs
- Secondly, our widespread, tall grasslands host large impala populations. They are the perfect hunting ground and prey for Leopard.
- Finally, Londolozi has committed to growing a relationship with wild Leopards, nurturing trust and respect. Slowly over decades, Leopards have grown accustomed and our vehicles. The mother Leopard was the first female to allow trackers into her world. Her trust was modeled by each of her cubs, establishing a dynasty of wild leopards that we get to enjoy today.
If you would like to break things down even further you’ll have to join us on safari. Here you can experience the vast array of wildlife that populate the beautiful Londolozi Game Reserve. The rivers that meander through lush green African bush, attracting all manner of life. The diverse group of people who call Londolozi home. Their open arms await the guest (that’s soon to be you by the way) If you’ll join us?