Londolozi Facts & Information
Leopards of Londolozi
Londolozi is synonymous with leopards. Over the past thirty years the leopards of Londolozi have developed legendary status, owing to the truly remarkable partnership between the leopards and rangers and trackers. Usually regarded as elusive, shy and solitary, these elegant, patient cats are more easily observed at Londolozi than anywhere else in Africa.
Londolozi identified 54 different leopards in 2005.
The progenitor of this extensive tree will be forever known as Mother Leopard. This leopard has almost mythological status at Londolozi, being the first leopard to be clearly sighted after five long years of restorative land management and conservation in the 1970s. The appearance of this young female – who was to become known as Mother Leopard and produce nine litters of cubs – was the beginning of a relationship between man and wild leopard the likes of which the world had never seen.
Today guests might be lucky enough to see one of her progeny step suddenly and silently into view, experiencing the same heart stopping intensity as that first sighting.
This partnership of man and animal, which has endured over the decades, has become symbolic of a search for a new way forward. While the lessons learnt have ostensibly been about leopards they are simultaneously about humility and respecting sanctity – recognising a world where it is possible to share each other’s space in harmony and for mutual benefit. Through the revelations of Mother Leopard the Londolozi family have moved towards a deeper understanding of sustainable future for all.
Conservation at Londolozi
Man and the land are inseparable – this has been the long lesson that conservation has taught us, and consequently man is obliged not just to protect but also to restore the land. At Londolozi the care of the land has been an enduring theme on our agenda and one where human intervention has proven sound and beneficial.
At the outset, a primary objective was to demonstrate that man and wildlife can interact on a sustainable basis. The Londolozi land was nurtured back into abundance through an ambitious programme to recreate the river systems, restore natural drainage lines, restock and rebuild the productivity of the land. The results are truly remarkable: Londolozi is a uniquely diverse reserve supporting a dazzling array of animals.
Londolozi have spent an average of R1million every year for the past 12-years on habitat restoration projects. The land care programme is overseen by some of the world leaders in rangeland ecology.
Micro Catchment Management:
An active micro-catchments management programme, aiding the land to retain its water, has helped make Londolozi largely drought resistant and provides employment for surrounding communities. They are already seeing the benefits of this project as scores of animals are gathering in rehabilitated areas.
Alien Plant Control:
Londolozi are proud to be able to claim the cleanest stretch of Sand River bank in the Sabi Sands Wildtuin thanks to our aggressive long-term strategy to control alien plants. Lantana, a particularly invasive alien, is down from 14% in 2001 to 3% today.
Bush Clearing Programme:
A bush-clearing programme has been underway for several years. Bush clearing creates (or restores) a mosaic of habitats suitable for a diversity of herbivores with the spin-off of improved visibility for game viewing. Local communities benefit through employment opportunities in the clearing operations, and in the subsequent availability of wood for fuel or charcoal manufacture.
Cuisine at Londolozi
At Londolozi, superb cuisine is considered an essential part of the experience and a vital component of our philosophy. Much of the day revolves around specifically crafted culinary delights – freshly baked muffins at sunrise, morning morsels on the game drive, a fortifying breakfast, lunch and indulgent high tea before the next game drive and its sundowner treats and, the grand finale, a traditional fireside banquet or a private dinner.
The choice of ingredients reflects our efforts to establish right relations with the planet. Every ingredient is chosen with care, favouring home grown organic produce, free range game and herbs from our kitchen garden to create dishes that are irresistibly delicious and healthy. The selection seafood is guided by the Southern African Sustainable Seafood Initiative and the number of imported ingredients is kept to a minimum.
The recipes are a source of great pride as many have been handed down through the Varty family or were created in the Londolozi kitchen by Executive Chef Jaco Myberg. Jaco’s signature style, arises from exploring the continental fusion of Indian, Malay, Dutch, African, Portuguese and British influences in local South African dishes to create exquisite culinary experiences.
Activities at Londolozi
At Londolozi Private Game Reserve the Varty family has refined the menu of activities to include a unique blend of senses and soul, creating an offering of sophisticated style and adventure that has recaptured the subtle essence of the Swahili word for journey – safari.
Londolozi offers spectacular Big 5 game drives in the extensive wildlife area with unsurpassed leopard viewing but this is just the beginning of what really constitutes “the Londolozi experience”. Londolozi is the ideal space to escape from the rigours of everyday existence, to shift into a full appreciation of the moment and awaken the senses. With this in mind we have created tailor-made activities to help recuperate mind, body and spirit.
Take your pick, the list is virtually endless; silent wilderness emersions, interpretation and learning, spiritual journeying, adventure, massage, yoga, clay pigeon shooting, all day wilderness trekking, moonlight walks, poetry and exploring wide open spaces.
- Trail running
- Day walking expeditions
- Animal tracking adventures
- Clay pigeon shooting
- Shangaan cultural village
- The Good Work Foundation (a digital learning centre)
- John Varty Cinematography Centre
- The Londolozi creative hub
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