Londolozi is the place where I fell in love with safari. It is the place where I saw my first leopard. It is the place where I met a ranger named Callum who fetched me from the airstrip and transferred me to Founders Camp. That seven minute moment led to a date in Johannesburg a year later. It is fair to say that I have raved about Londolozi to all who will listen. Perhaps it should come as no surprise that my Dad suggested we ring in new years overlooking the bush on the Varty deck after reading the Londolozi blog about their annual New Year Eve’s party. We booked our rooms nearly a year in advance and in the meantime, my parents read the blog daily in anticipation of the trip and I fell in love with that ranger who met me at the airstrip.
South Luangwa is famed for walking safaris with two notable companies (Norman Carr and Robin Pope) offering multi-day walks or shorter walks between permanent camps. I wasn’t spending enough time in the park to take advantage of either of these options, but Tena Tena, the camp I was staying at, offered walks in place of the standard game drive. Unlike walks I have done in other countries, a walking safari in South Luangwa National Park feels more wild and remote.
Londolozi is famed for its leopards, but Londolozi is also a top photographic destination. The Sabi Sands is one of the best places in South Africa for wildlife sightings because of the concentration of game and because the animals are extremley relaxed around vehicles. Photography at Londolozi is unparalleled, not only because of the wildlife viewing but because of the other photographic services offered at the camp.
Rain was predicted during my entire trip to Leadwood Lodge in the Sabi Sands (a private concession adjacent to the Kruger National Park). Normally this would elicit a bit of dread, but given that South Africa is gripped by the worst drought in over 100 years, rain was a welcome prediction. A few drops of rain in no way impacted our leopard sightings and leopards were the reason why I was here.
I tried to whittle this down to fifteen favorite wildlife images or special moments, but sixteen was the best that I could muster.
A friend recently proposed the question, “Does going on safari aid conservation?” Protecting the land and all the species that inhabit the land is critically important to ensure this incredible resource is available for the generations of local community members and tourists. I believe sustainable wildlife tourism is a critical component to ensuring this happens.