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
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
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
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
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
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.
I am following 3 wild dogs moving at a
good speed. They are hunting through combretum woodland and
I battle to stay with the dogs. Often the white tip on their
tails gives me the brief glimpse to stay in touch.
A herd of impala is ahead, the dogs
accelerate, the needle on my speedometer reads 42 km per
hour and the dogs are gaining on me.
The impala break north and south. It’s a
classic wild dog maneuver, separate the herd, create chaos
I follow the impala that broke north,
nothing! I search for 30 minutes nothing! I notice to the
south vultures dropping. I move to the drop point and find
the dogs leaving the scene, blood on their faces. They have
already fed and are moving on.
After another 30 minutes, all that is
left of the adult female impala and her unborn fetus is a
solitary thigh bone.
Three wild dogs and thirty vultures have
fed and left nothing.
I wonder to myself if Donald Trump can be
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Tina Turner Tribute
Thank you to all who supported the Tina
Turner Tribute. Tina received the tribute on her birthday
the 26th November. (Thank you to Ossie Robertson for
delivering it to her.)
Tina and her husband Erwin will visit
Londolozi in the near future. It is 30 years since Tina was
A tribute to Bob Dylan will follow
shortly and then a tribute to Phumlany Mchunu (Phumlany was
the man who saved my life in the tiger attack.) All proceeds
from the Phumlany Muchunu tribute will go into a fund for
Phumlany’s young son, Musa’s, education. (Phumlany was
tragically gunned down in Johannesburg two weeks ago.)
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