Londolozi Game Reserve
Londolozi Safari with John Varty as guide:
Cost for Londolozi safari: From R12 950 - R24 750 pp sharing per night.
Exclusive safari with John Varty: Normal rates PLUS R15 000 per group per day
Big Cat Safaris with John Varty at Tiger Canyons and Londolozi Game Reserve
Three days at Londolozi Game Reserve and three days at Tiger Canyons. You may be able to see leopard, tiger, lion and cheetah. Londolozi is world renowned as one of Africa’s finest game lodges. Breeding herds of elephant and buffalo roam throughout the Londolozi area, while white rhino and lion concentrations are amongst the highest recorded on the African continent. Includes accommodation, private car with John Varty, air travel between Johannesburg and Londolozi and between Johannesburg and Bloemfontein
As apartheid began to disintegrate, I asked Dr. Enos Mabuza how we should handle the integration of the different cultures at Londolozi. (Enos was head of the Kanwane Homeland Government. In actual fact, unbeknown to the Apartheid Government, Enos was high up in the ANC organization. The ANC was still banned at that time.) Eno’s reply was “We should pour the cultures together! “
Twenty two years later, I would suggest that Londolozi has been the most successful organization in South Africa to achieve racial harmony.
In short Londolozi provides an environment where symbiotic relationships can thrive and survive. Staff to staff, guest to staff, black to white.
The first and most obvious relationship is the ranger/guide and his or her guests. Many lifetime friendships have been made. Many rangers have traveled on safari and with guests to other parts of Africa.
The second and less obvious is tracker to guests. Certain guests will only book a safari if they can have their favorite tracker.
Many trackers have been able to expand their horizons by visiting, by invitation, the guests in their home country.
Camp managers and butlers too have been able to establish meaningful relationships with certain guests. If guests have their favorite camp, they also have their favorite camp manager.
One of the most important relationships, is the ranger to tracker. Londolozi’s final product, the game drive, is in their hands. They have the ability to make or break the safari. It is crucial that ranger and tracker enjoy each other’s company and work together as a team.
In my case, I formed a friendship with Elmon Mhlongo which had a profound effect upon my life. Elmon remains today my greatest teacher including school and university.
Many, many staff have arrived at Londolozi single and have left with their life partner. Londolozi is a place where love flows naturally and easily.
However there is an even more important relationship which exists. This is Londolozi partnership with the land and its wild animals.
When the drought grips, collectively we brace ourselves and dig deep to survive the drought. We feel for the buffalo as their herd structure disintegrates into small groups.
Our guests are elated when the lions kill 5 buffalo in one day and high action pictures are captured. We are appalled that 4 of the carcasses rot in the sun, even the hyenas and vultures can’t cope.
Weakened buffalo go into the mud to reach the water and are unable to get out. The predators are so satiated that the buffalo dies alone in the mud.
Rangers, trackers and even camp staff are urging the buffalo to regroup to get their herd structure back, but they need grass and grass needs water.
Then the rain comes and every person at Londolozi rejoices at the rain. Gaia has delivered just in time for many hundreds of animals.
Londolozi’s relationship with leopard has evolved over many years. It is one of love! There are rangers and trackers who are more passionate about leopards than
even myself, that is saying something!
A litter of leopards cubs is born, collective elation, the cubs are killed, collective despair, another litter is born to be viewed, photographed and treasured!
As ”Climate Change”, changes the world we live in, we are powerless. To adapt to our new situation, is all we can hope for. To prepare our children for the future is important.
What we can do is change things of which we have control, our families, our extended families, our communities and our country.
The most important ingredient for this change is “Love” and Londolozi is the greatest living example that I know of.
Love and light