Londolozi will make the biggest impression on people like me. I have travelled extensively, but don't make a habit of staying at Relais &Chateaux quality accommodation. For many, an African Safari is a once in a lifetime trip. If the cost of Londolozi makes you wince, please know it is worth every single penny. Londolozi is family owned and operated and this is reflected in the attention to detail that elevates your experience from great to superb. From the minute you are greeted on arrival to the moment you are ( sadly) shown off, guests are made to feel valued, respected and very special. Special mention to our camp manager Tammy and our butler Mendrew.
My teenage daughter and I stayed in the Founders Camp, one of the larger of the five camps at Londolozi. Our room was spacious, private and beautifully decorated. There is a well stocked bar in each room that is replenished daily. Complimentary daily laundry service is a great touch. I also loved the daily yoga class held at noon at Varty Camp.
You are fed very well on Safari. Breakfast starts with a full continental buffet, always beautifully displayed and featured the best cold Norwegian salmon I have ever eaten. Following this, eggs to order and a daily breakfast special are available. Lunch is buffet style featuring a chilled soup, a variety of salads and a roast of some type. The location of dinner changes. Without giving away the secret, one evening's setting rivalled anything you would see on The Bachelor fantasy date. It literally took my breath away. Dinner starts with soup or the Londolozi salad followed by a choice of three entrees , vegetables, sides and dessert. There is no a la carte dining here but the informal "dining in the bush" format is well executed and almost all dishes were excellent.
Lovely accommodations and great food are merely an adjunct to the highlight of your stay which is the game drives. Londolozi is on 57,000 hectares in the Sabi Sands reserve and has reciprocal access to a neighbouring reserve. This is not blindly driving down a road and hoping you stumble on some animals and when you do, having twenty jeeps converging. The land rovers are completely open with "theatre seating" so everyone has a great view. Unless you are a large family, no more than six guests will be in a vehicle. Our tracker ( Life) and ranger ( Mike) made a great pair. From Life's stories, which my daughter loved, to Mike's commentary , each drive was a real treat. So much planning goes on behind the scenes and the result is brilliant and varied game viewing. We had been told many times that late summer was not a great time for viewing, but this was not our experience. Our drives included a mother cheetah and the first cubs seen in Londolozi in five years, a pride of lions, leopards and leopard cubs, rhino and baby, a buffalo herd, giraffe, zebra, hippo, crocodile and the adrenaline highlight: a pack of wild dogs attempting a cheetah kill. Each afternoon game drive featured the very civilized sundowner cocktail. No red solo cups here;it was a sophisticated safari tailgate party enjoyed as the sun went down.
This experience is all the more special when you learn the staunchly conservationist roots of the Varty family and how they have managed to build a world class lodge that works with the local people to provide economic benefit to the area. Dave Varty' s "The Full Circle" is a fantastic read which outlines the history of Londolozi and the creation of CCAfrica.
In closing, if an African Safari is on your bucket list and South Africa is one of your destinations, you will not regret a stay at Londolozi.
I walked to all five camps. They are all beautifully appointed. If you are with your family or prefer the energy from other guests, Founders and Varty would be good choices. If travelling as a couple, Tree Camp was the most beautiful and would provide a private ,very exclusive experience. Our regret was not taking the flight into Londolozi's private airstrip but rather doing the two hour drive over mostly rough,unpaved roads to the Kruger airport. Make sure you arrange travel so arrive at the lodge early enough to hit the 4 pm game drive and arrange to leave in early afternoon so as not to miss the morning game drive on the day of departure. They are too fantastic to miss!
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- Also Known As:
- Londolozi Private Game Reserve Hotel Sabi Sand Game Reserve
- Londolozi Private Game Reserve South Africa/Sabi Sand Game Reserve