It’s pretty hard to describe life at Londolozi purely as ‘work’. The opportunity we get as rangers to head out into the bush every day to view magnificent wildlife and share incredible moments with our guests can not be ignored. I for one, count myself extremely lucky to be given these opportunities and try my best to continuously remind myself not to take any of these special moments for granted. A question we often get from our guests is:
“What do you rangers get up to when you’re not out in the bush?”
Living with a bunch of people who are like-minded and working at Londolozi for similar reasons creates an environment with flourishing camaraderie, extreme banter and a healthy, tightly nit community. After the morning game drive is complete and once we have completed our work duties, the rest of the day until the afternoon game drive usually is available for us to do as we please.
On most days, the members of the ranging team who are available and whoever else has a bit of time and energy will look to get a touch rugby or soccer match underway on our village soccer field. Rangers, head rangers, camp managers, trackers, general staff, guests, accountants, ladies and gentlemen are all invited to play. The right combination with the perfect balance of competitiveness as well as fun is achieved in every match. Letting off a bit of steam, getting some exercise in and just having a good time with your colleagues is what it is all about. Many laughs, falls and good times make up at least one hour of our day.
After the final goal or try has been scored and the over-competitive ones have accepted defeat we then tend to head down to the ‘Wallow’ to cool ourselves off. We at Londolozi have access to a beautiful swimming pool and fully equipped staff gym. After the morning’s exercise, whether it be the exciting match in the village or a quick session in the gym, people often, especially on the hotter days, come for a much-needed swim in the Londolozi staff swimming pool.
After lunch is often a ranger’s downtime. One of my favourite things to do during this period is to enjoy a little peace and quiet. I’ll often make myself a cup of tea, sit outside on my veranda and enjoy the sounds of nature. The sounds of the Sand River flowing not too far away and the continuous harmony of many different bird species as they come and go from the natural gardens. Sunbirds feeding on the aloes, Robin-chats singing in the thickets and the Natal Spurfowls with their newly hatched chicks keep me entertained for hours. I find this part of the day to be as important as any other. Just sitting, listening, and enjoying the opportunity of peacefulness away from artificial distraction is an amazing opportunity. This is also a great time to look at the images I have taken over the past couple of days and edit them.
Londolozi is an amazing place which so many of us are lucky enough to call it home. The relationships we get to form with fellow staff from different backgrounds and walks-of-life makes this place so special. We get to form relationships with people and wildlife surrounded by the purity of nature. A day as ranger is a day well a spent.