Londolozi Game Reserve, South Africa
Londolozi is one of South Africa’s original private game reserves. A pillar of global ecotourism and a proudly family-run business. The word Londolozi comes from the Zulu word and means ‘protector of all living things’. The reserve has been lauded internationally for its far-sighted and progressive land and wildlife management, as well as its productive community involvement. The Londolozi emphasis on conservation and a village ethos stands alongside a commitment to luxurious accommodation, fine cuisine and exceptional service. In 1993, Londolozi became the first game reserve in the world to be accorded Relais & Châteaux status. Londolozi is situated on the Sand River at the heart of the Sabi Sand Game Reserve within the Greater Kruger National Park.
Sabi Sands, South Africa
WHO IS THIS FOR
All inclusive packages in a variety of accommodation options
WHY WE LOVE THIS
Londolozi offers a safari experience like no other. They recognise a safari as a journey that delights the senses and enlivens the spirit. To have an encounter with wild animals in the African bush is to discover an essential truth about ourselves and our world. At Londolozi, their deepest wish is to give you the chance to experience this singular and magical encounter.
As the original South African Safari destination, Londolozi has, over its 90-year history, built up a formidable group of experienced rangers, trackers and naturalists. This diverse team of experts has more than 350 combined years of guiding experience.
Londolozi have drawn on the considerable wisdom, talent and experience of their guiding teams, and returned to the original spirit of fun and wild adventure of an African safari. An emphasis on redefining the essence of the ‘Photographic Safari Experience’ by creating still greater opportunities for engagement.
With over 16,000 hectares of traversing wilderness, no two game drives are ever the same. Trackers sit up at the front of the Land Rover looking for fresh animal tracks, while rangers drive with astonishing skill through ravines and thickets in pursuit of animals, all the while wowing guests with their outstanding knowledge and unforgettable stories.
Many of the rangers and trackers at Londolozi grew up living off the land and therefore have an incredible knowledge of the area and deep cultural connections to the fauna and flora. In addition, Londolozi’s rangers specialise in photographic safaris and, where possible, will position the vehicle for the guest to get the best angle for photography.
Londolozi aims to deliver an exceptional engagement with the wild Africa for their guests.
Londolozi’s history is entwined with the history of the Varty and Taylor families, the conservation dynasties that have dedicated their lives to saving a small part of Africa’s Eden. The foundations of the Londolozi dream were built nine decades ago when two friends stood on the banks of the Sand River for the first time in June 1926.
These great-grandfathers of the Varty and Taylor clans established camps on the banks of the river where the water runs clear and the bushveld stretches out to the horizon. The first campfire, set amidst the roar of lions, signaled the beginning of a dream that would grow into one of the most sought-after safari destinations in the world.
For two generations, the family hosted presidents and princesses and sacrificed its wild beasts to the hunter’s gun. This era ended in 1969 when John, Dave and Shan Varty assumed the stewardship of the property. Sharing the dream of a different kind of relationship with the land, they created a blueprint for a new vision of conservation and restoration in Southern Africa.
The property was renamed Londolozi in recognition of the Vartys’ ethic of sanctuary; the name is derived from Zulu and means ‘protector of all living things’. Through the 1970s and ’80s, Londolozi’s guiding principle was to demonstrate that wildlife tourism was economically viable in a land torn apart by racism, division and fences.
The 1990s brought new hope to South Africa and with it an emergent belief in the possibility of unity. Londolozi was able to extend her message of partnership between humans and wildlife across the African continent and to expand the vision of promoting conservation through safari.
Today, Londolozi continues to seek out fresh challenges and opportunities, such as the ambitious 2020 Project. The people of Londolozi are as tireless and dedicated as ever in the quest to contribute to a new order of living that is in harmony with the natural world. The intention in this fresh chapter is to be of service and to create a unique space in the world; it is their wish that visitors, guests and friends of Londolozi are deeply moved by their experience and grow inspired to inhabit the best, truest – and even wildest –versions of themselves.
Each of the five exquisite Londolozi lodges offers luxury accommodations, stunning views, and exceptional cuisine. All lodges offer the same access to 34,000 acres of the best Big Five game viewing in Africa, led by some of the continent’s finest rangers and trackers.
The lodges vary in price according to the quality of the accommodation, though all belong to the elite Relais & Châteaux hotel group. The Private Granite Suites are the crème de la crème of the Londolozi portfolio, followed closely by Pioneer Camp and Tree Camp.
Children under the age of 16 are not allowed at Tree Camp and the Private Granite Suites unless these camps have been reserved for exclusive use. Pioneer Camp can be booked by families and couples alike.
Varty Camp and Founders Camp are slightly larger and perfect for families and small groups. These lodges accept children of six years and older. Families can request interlinked ‘skywalk’ rooms so parents and children can visit each other without venturing out into the bush.