One of the biggest privileges that come with working at Londolozi is the opportunity to go on Staff Bumbles. A “bumble” is the name given to a safari conducted by a ranger for staff members – one where we get to ‘bumble’ around just enjoying the wilderness after a day of work. When there is the space for it, a message goes out to all staff that there will be a bumble going out at a specific time and the race is then on to book a seat before the vehicle is at full capacity.
Amongst other things, I love bumbles because they are often a gentle reminder as to why people from all corners of the globe brave a long-haul flight to come and spend time in nature and specifically, spend time at Londolozi.
I recently had a really outrageous encounter whilst on a bumble. At the start of the drive, Ranger Barry Bath asked us what it was that we wanted to see. Naturally, a leopard was listed as one of the animals to add to the agenda, and so we set off for the afternoon to see how many items we could tick off the list. We had been driving around the northern part of the reserve for quite some time and with the daylight fading and the grass being as long as it is after the rainy season, our hopes of seeing a leopard slowly started dwindling.
Barry made a last-minute decision to change his route, and as we rounded the corner, there lay a leopard on top of a termite mound, fairly well hidden by the long grass. With lots of excitement flying around the vehicle, Barry turned the vehicle off and we just sat in her company. There was a bit of conversation that followed as to which leopard it was that we were viewing (when it comes to identifying leopards at Londolozi, one looks at the spot pattern above their upper lip). This leopard in particular also had a very distinct pink nose.
Whilst the others were still talking about the possible leopard it could have been, I pulled out my phone and began going through my picture archive from the last year, certain that I had seen this particular leopard before. Upon finding the image I was looking for I was struck by the most outrageous detail. The date and time stamp of the picture was 12 January 2021. The exact date of the bumble I was currently on, only a year later. With the exact same leopard – The Nkuwa Female.
One of two sisters born to the Nhlanguleni Female, both of whom made it to independence, the first intact litter to do so in 7 years.
Upon your visit to Londolozi, ask your Camp Team about their most memorable bumble. For some, it will be the time they got to put their feet in the river, for others it will be the time they had the best sightings of their lives. For most, it will be the time they got to spend with their closest friends out in the reserve after a busy day of work. Each staff member will have a different story to tell, best ensure your drink is full and your seat comfortable. We look forward to sharing our stories with you soon!
Filed under General Nature Safari experience Travel Wildlife
Sometimes I find that just sitting quietly in nature is the best way to let nature reveal itself. A bumble sounds like the perfect opportunity for staff to relax and allow themselves to be immersed in nature without an agenda. Thanks for sharing Ashleigh.
I am always amazed at how lush & green the property is in the summer. Our 5 visits have all been in winter (July-August), when everything is brown/gray–but when observing the wildlife is easier.
Can’t wait to hear some of these stories! I loved the lighting in these photos, and all the greenery. Thank you!
Anytime I experience a synchronicity, I know I’m in flow with my Highest Self and the Universe. It’s always such an expansive feeling. I’m so glad the staff get to go out on game drives to experience the magic of nature as well.
I am sure the staff are very excited when there is a bumble being announced, then to make sure they book in time other wise they will not be going out for a drive. That alone is a great privilege to be able to go out on a drive to see the wild animals. Londolozi is such a special place, paradise on earth.
Great fun Ash, nice read!
Loved your post Ashleigh! I’d love to go out on a bumble with staff members, just to get their perspective since they’re living in such a wonderful place. Then to have seen the Nkuwa female exactly one year after your first sighting, is definitely a sign of good karma. It’s so much fun to just leave camp without an agenda, and see whatever there is to see, because everything in nature is worth seeing!
A nice treat for the staff to get out and see the wildlife and sights of the property. My wish would be to be sitting with a drink in my hand and watching one of your beautiful sunsets. Good there is plenty of grass to sustain the animals during the winter months. Thanks Ashleigh, enjoyed reading.
There is no such thing as coincidences, Ashleigh. That’s your leopard 💫
What a great coincidence Ashleigh !
Nkuwa is such a beauty! Any signs yet that she is pregnant?? Hoping for cubbies with her paramour, Hosana!!