Having recently shared with you the ‘Senses of Safari’, you might have read about the nostalgia associated with taste, smell, feel, sound and sight. There are certain sensations that trigger beautiful memories of your time on safari – and many of you were whisked away down memory lane as we described these typical experiences. This month however, we wanted to share with you Londolozi’s African Christmas. For many, Christmas is associated with snow days, beanies and gloves, perfectly placing a carrot as a nose on a snow man and egg nog sipped on by a cosy fire. While this may be your typical nostalgic Christmas, at Londolozi you will find something very different – a contrast, an inverse, an antonym to a typical Christmas.
Today we take you through the joys and inimitability of a Christmas spent in Africa – why an African Christmas?
It was the night before Christmas…
To wake up surrounded by animals!
That excited feeling for Christmas Day you get when lying in bed on the 24th of December is something that never leaves you even as adults. As you slowly drift to sleep with the crickets chirping, hyenas ‘whoop’ in the distance and a lion roars for those who listen carefully. For some reason you wake up a little earlier on this particular day as you anticipate the festivities ahead. As you begin to stir, you are greeted by a mesmerising dawn chorus as the birds wake with you. It takes you a few minutes to realise you are surrounded by wildness and not in your townhouse at home. Movement can be seen on the horizon as the rest of the wildlife rises, leopard slink off after a night of hunting and elephants begin to crunch and crack as they feed in the river below your suite. What will this Christmas day hold?
And track a lion by noon…
Present opening will have to wait as you sip on a delicious cup of coffee and head out on an early morning game drive as the sun rises, lighting up the contours and silhouettes around you. This Christmas is different, it’s packed with adventure and curiosity floods you. There’s no need to look for reindeer footprints as your tracker discovers the striking tracks of a male lion on the road. Now the challenge is on – finding this lion will involve putting together the clues left behind for only those patient to see. The ancient wisdom of tracking, passed down from many generations is how this lion will be discovered, and luckily you have just the man for the job with you. Grass bend at an angle and a startled impala lead you on route around the reserve. As your heart begins to beat so loud you can hear it, you finally turn a corner and the most majestic creature stands before you in the wild, in his home – the ultimate Christmas gift to receive.
To Shower al fresco and spend long days at the pool
There’s been no need to pull out your pair of jeans or sweater, as days are balmy and tepid. Dreamy afternoons spent by the pool with an icy gin and tonic in hand are plentiful – and the dappled shade that mottles your deck is welcomed. While your friends are posting pictures of snow-capped mountains you sink a little deeper and fully immerse yourself in the warm African wilderness. Surprisingly al fresco showers are glorious and the best way to freshen up before your next game drive…
To know the wisdom of trees…. far beyond them being just for decorations
Trees are no longer decorative, they live and breathe throughout the reserve. They are shelters, homes, shade, food and landmarks to many and are the foundation of the reserve. Each with their own character, tell stories of what they have witnessed. A Leadwood’s smooth patch has seen many rhino’s rubbing against it and the scar in a marula’s trunk reveals an altercation with an elephant. The perfectly round holes in an old knobthorn have been the home to many generations of barbets and the sturdy and loyal branches of the Natal mahogany have been the perfect nap spot for countless leopards. There is not just one Christmas tree this year, there are many, all whispering stories of years buried in African soil.
To belong to a family (your family and the Londolozi Family)
You arrived alone, with friends, with your family and you are leaving with an even bigger one. Your butler has become your new best friend, your camp manager your festive cousin and your ranger and tracker long lost friends. You’ve done the village walk, edited your pictures in the Photographic Studio, met the ladies from the Healing House and tasted South African wine with Kim – you are now a part of the Londolozi Family and will be from this point on. Your small, quiet Christmas was not so small after all!
Why an African Christmas?
The real question is… Why Not?
Before you go…
We never accept traditional Christmas gifts as having our guests visit us during this magical time of the year is a gift all on its own! But, if you are looking for a way to pay it forward this festive season, read our blog post about the Londolozi Ripple Fund.
As a Londolozi Ripple Fund supporter, you join a global tribe of people who hold the belief that the restoration of the planet can only come out of a profound shift in human consciousness. By valuing micro impact just as much as macro impact, you begin your own ripple effect. This festive season, we invite our global Londolozi Family to support the Londolozi Ripple Fund and create your own important ripple. You can choose to support any of our varied causes, whether that be education with The Good Work Foundation, the preservation of ancient knowledge and skills with The Tracker Academy, the protection of rivers, the training, and supply of highly skilled rhino guardians on the ground to counter rhino poaching or the important micro-contributions towards local organic farmers and small business owners surrounding Londolozi. No contribution is too small to make a significant ripple effect.
How to Contribute
- If you would like some more detailed, one-on-one information, or if you would like to make a donation to the Londolozi Ripple Fund and start your own ripple effect, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Donate to reimagining education with The Good Work Foundation (use the #Londolozi in the comments section)
- Donate to the preservation of ancient knowledge and the creation of safe havens for iconic species like the rhino with Tracker Academy and Rhino Guardians (use the #Londolozi in the subject line)
Stay in the Ripple
To stay connected, we have established a Londolozi Ripple Fund Impact site where you can follow regular updates on projects and donations as they unfold and follow work that has already been successfully completed. If you would like to receive the Londolozi Ripple Fund Impact newsletter, please let us know on email@example.com
In the words of Margaret Mead – Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.