I wake up every day and feel incredibly grateful – grateful for this place, its people, and its land. Londolozi has been a place of profound transformation and learning for me, it is safe to say I have felt the Londolozi Effect. On a recent afternoon drive in the bush, we were watching the sunset while at Finfoot Crossing. The chatter among the group quickly turned to quiet contemplative silence, and we were all completely captivated and mesmerised by the artistry all around us, and the beautiful colours transforming in front of our eyes. In this moment of stillness, I started thinking about exactly what it is I’m grateful for. Over the years, this sanctuary has taught me numerous valuable lessons about life, nature, and the interconnectedness of all living beings. From the majestic birdlife and graceful leopards to the humble dung beetles and ancient towering trees, the connection of harmonious village life and family, every aspect of Londolozi has left an indelible mark on my soul.
Today, I want to express my deep gratitude for this remarkable place and share some of the most important lessons that I have learnt from my time at Londolozi, in essence, my Londolozi Effect:
1. Slow Down & Savour the Moment
In the midst of a fast-paced world, it’s easy to rush from one thing to the next, without truly experiencing any of them. But when you’re in the wilderness, and especially at Londolozi, time seems to slow down, and you’re reminded of the beauty of taking things at a leisurely pace. Whether enjoying a bush coffee watching the sunrise or warming up around the boma fire, remember to savour the moment and let it fill you up to the brim. Nature continually reminds us to slow down, take it all in, and just breathe. Nature is not in a hurry, and we as human beings don’t always have to be in a hurry either, if we aren’t careful, we will let life pass us by, unsavoured and unappreciated, and that would be a great shame.
2. Embrace the Unexpected
Life is an unpredictable journey, full of twists and turns that can both challenge and exhilarate us. When we learn to let go of rigid expectations and embrace the unknown, we open ourselves up to a world of possibilities. This is just like on safari at Londolozi. The wilderness is full of surprises, from unexpected animal sightings to sudden changes in the weather. But rather than feeling frustrated or disappointed when things don’t go according to plan, Londolozi has continually reminded me in its unspoken way to embrace the unexpected and see where it takes you. Some of the best experiences in life are the ones that happen when we least expect them.
3. Trust your Instincts
When you’re here in the wilderness at Londolozi, you’re more in tune with your instincts and intuition than anywhere else in the world. The Trackers rely on their keen observation and gut feelings, which can lead to remarkable discoveries – and I think there is a great lesson in that – trust that inner voice that tells you when to be still and when to move forward. Whether you’re tracking an animal, or navigating unfamiliar terrain, your instincts can be your greatest guide serving as an inner compass guiding us all towards our authentic path. It teaches us to honour our unique perspectives, to listen to the subtle whispers of our souls, and to forge our own paths with confidence and conviction. When we trust our instincts, we tap into an inner wellspring of wisdom, paving the way for personal growth, fulfilment, and a life lived authentically.
4. Find Beauty in Imperfection
In a world that often celebrates perfection and strives for unattainable ideals, recognizing the beauty in imperfection becomes an act of liberation. Africa, her inhabitants, and the wilderness are not a place of perfect symmetry or tidy order. It’s full of rough edges, rugged terrain, wildness, and weathered landscapes that bear the mark of time. But it’s precisely these imperfections that make it so beautiful and enchanting. Imperfection tells a story of resilience, growth and uniqueness. Look for beauty in unexpected places, and appreciate the ruggedness of the world – it will open your eyes to finding perfection in the imperfection around you. When we embrace this, we open ourselves up to a world of compassion, acceptance, and self-love, realizing that it is in our imperfections that true beauty really thrives.
5. Disconnect to Reconnect
In a world where we’re constantly connected to screens and devices, the wilderness is a welcomed break. By intentionally unplugging and creating space for yourself, you will rediscover the power of genuine connection. By stepping away from the constant digital stimulation, we open ourselves to deeper reflection, introspection, and meaningful interactions. Take time to wander where the wifi is weak, to breathe deeply, listen to the sounds of the Leadwood forest, the distant calls of lions, the sound of the crackling fire, and let your mind drift. You might be surprised at the clarity and inspiration that comes from simply disconnecting.
6. Appreciate the Power of Community
The animals of the wilderness live in tight-knit communities, relying on each other for support, protection, and companionship. We too can benefit from the power of community, whether it’s in our personal or professional lives. Take time to appreciate the people around you and the value they bring to your life. This has been one of my biggest lessons thus far at Londolozi. The power of community cannot be underestimated. We live by the guiding principle of Ubuntu – I am because you are. Ubuntu teaches us that we are all interconnected and that our collective strength lies in honouring and uplifting one another. The Londolozi Village is, undoubtedly, a special family to be a part of, and it is this family that I am reminded to be grateful for each and every day.
7. Celebrate Diversity
The wilderness is home to a vast array of creatures, each with their own unique traits and personalities. Celebrate the diversity of life around you and appreciate the different ways in which each species has adapted to its environment. We can learn a lot from the natural world about the value of diversity and the importance of respecting differences. The Londolozi village is brimming with cultural diversity. Daily, we celebrate and embrace each others existence by sharing stories and learning from the wisdom of all of those who have come before us.
8. Practice Gratitude
In the wilderness, and in life, every day is a gift, and every moment is an opportunity to be grateful for the beauty around us. Practice gratitude for the small things in life, like a cool breeze on a hot day, the gentle rustle of leaves, or a clear night sky full of stars. Gratitude reminds us to pause and acknowledge the blessings that surround us. By intentionally shifting our focus from what is lacking to what is abundant, gratitude unveils a world of possibility. It teaches us to recognize the gifts hidden amidst the challenges, to find strength in adversity, and to savour the precious moments that often go unnoticed. It allows us to cherish the relationships, experiences, and opportunities that enrich our lives, reminding us that even amidst the chaos, there is always something to be grateful for.
9. Be Present
It’s easy to get caught up in worries about the future or regrets about the past, but being in nature at Londolozi reminds me to be present in the moment. Whether you’re on a game drive or simply sitting outside, be fully present and engaged with the world around you. You’ll be amazed at how much more you notice and appreciate when you’re fully present. But the lesson of slowing down and savouring the moment extends far beyond being at Londolozi. Whether it’s relishing a home-cooked meal, sharing laughter with loved ones, or finding solace in life’s simple pleasures, this lesson reminds us to embrace the now and cherish the fleeting wonders that surround us.
10. Live with Wonder
Finally, the wilderness teaches us to live with a sense of wonder and curiosity about the world. There is so much to discover and explore, and every day brings new surprises and delights. Embrace your inner child and approach life with a sense of wonder, and you’ll find that the world is a magical, beautiful place. It ignites a sense of adventure, pushing us to explore new horizons, seek knowledge, and question the status quo. It opens our hearts to the unexpected, encouraging us to embrace uncertainty and find joy in the process of discovery. By living with wonder, we awaken a deep appreciation for the extraordinary tapestry of life, finding inspiration, awe, and boundless opportunities for growth in every fleeting moment.
While these are a list of only 10 lessons, Londolozi has had an incredible effect on my life and continues to teach me new things each and every day. I’d love to hear more about the lessons Londolozi has taught you, in the comments section below.