We, a family of four, stayed at the Londolozi Founders Camp during December 2012, for 4 nights. The trip was arranged through one of the travel agents that is used by Londolozi. I caught on this camp after happening on their website when frantically looking for suitable safari camps in South Africa while searching (far too late) in the year. Lucky enough for me, there were a few nights still available, and I was incredibly lucky to be able to obtain them.
There are several camps at Londolozi, and we happenned to be put up at the Founders Camp. I do not have any exposure to the others, but I would say that they are just as good from my experience at Foundres.
We flew in from Johannesburg to the small private airstrip nearby, and we had our game vehicle with ranger and tracker waiting for us to take us to the lodge. This was our first meeting with Sandros (ranger) and Lucky (guide), who were friendly, and relatively quiet. We got to know them better in the coming days and nights and more on them later.
We were driven to the camp, setlled in to our lodges, and then had a bite of lunch at the main reception/lodge area where we would then have our future breakfast, lunches and dinners. It is an incredible spot from which to relax, watch the desolate African landscape, occassionally see the buffalo or mischeivous monkeys. Mendrew, who took care of us with absolutely impeccable, friendly service through the rest of our stay, and 'topped up' our coffees, drinks, and whatever else we desired, was great, and we missed him dearly during the rest of our vacations elsewhere, always comparing everyone else to him! The food was perfect, fresh, and very well prepared by great chefs, with something there for every taste.
The lodges were well decorated, with a spa/pool, verada area, gorgeous bathroom, and fireplace. The fridges/pantry were stocked well, and I enjoyed the warm sherry on the fire place mantel every night before I went to sleep! There were always Impala lurking around and it was nice to stand outside the front door quietly and watch them stare back at you.
The game drives - back to Sandros and Lucky - were great. Sandros, with 24 years, and Lucky, with 14 years experience - knew exactly where to go, and had a knack was finding wildlife with impeccable. We would be driving through paths relatively fast and Lucky would raise up his hand, point to the left, and say, "Cheetah" and Sandros would stop. We would look around, wondering what the heck Lucky was point to, and then, hidden beneath layers of grass, impossible to spot to the naked eye (Except for Lucky/Sandros) would be a Cheetah. They were both friend, hospitable, and took care of us very well with their stories from the past, and their good humor. Sandros is a 'name' with previous guests, as we met one in Johannesburg while flying out, and she remebered him from a trip from a decade ago, and talked highly about her experience at the lodge and Sandros. We saw 4 lions, a leopard, tons of wild Buffalo (more than 500) on our first two drives, and by the end of the 4 days, had seen more lions & lioness, cheetahs, zebras, giraffes, rhinos - you name it. Every drive was different, exciting and an incredible experience.
We did the village walk, which frankly, was a tad dissapointing, in its lack of being a 'true, original; African vilalge. It would have been nice to go to a nearby village outside camp, that was authentic and would expose our far flung travellers to a true African experience and living. I recommend the walk, but suggest that Londolozi add to the experience with a visit to a nearby village as well.
What else can I say? Just go. Dont worry about it. The camp and the people have an amazing knack of making you feel welcomed and at home without being too intrusive or being too aloof. Somehow they seemed to have found the perfect balance. They left us alone when we needed to be left alone, and they showered us with care when we needed to feel cared for.
Outstanding. Outstanding. Outstanding.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Enchanting, intimate and child friendly, Founder’s Camp is ideally situated to provide an insider’s view of the secrets of river life. Seven idyllic chalets, repose in the shade of ancient ebony and matumi trees along the banks of the Sand River.This is an African safari in the classic style, replete with black and cream ticking fabric and original mahogany beds. Deep leather couches, military chests, compass safari lamps and a riverside lounge sala, create a mood of easy luxury and laid back welcome for discerning families and travelers. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Londolozi Founders Camp South Africa/Londolozi Private Game Reserve