At Mike Ross Africa Travel we like to keep you updated on our latest news and movements around Africa and the Indian Ocean. Our Blogs below show we've personally covered it all. Check out our videos in the blogs too.
|Thursday, 19th April 2012|
Londolozi | Sabi Sands Game Reserve, Kruger National Park, the Sand River
Londolozi, in the private Sabi Sands Game Reserve adjacent to Kruger National Park, South Africa, has a deserved reputation for excellence. There is so much to commend it, it is difficult to know where to start.
Owner-managed and run is one of the key ingredients and it comes through at all levels. The animals are prolific throughout the year and sightings are often outstanding, even special. Because it is private and controlled, sightings of remarkable happenings are not overrun by undisciplined guides bashing in to get the best view. The ability to go off-road when something is up ensures that you get up really close which can change a good sighting into a stunning one. The guiding and tracking is outstanding, with some of the best professionals in the business making the whole place come alive: it’s not all about the big stuff.
When not in the bush seeking that special sighting, there are five separate “camps” along the Sand River to chose from, each providing a different style of accommodation but all at a very high level. Some are bigger than others and two very private indeed. It is often difficult to decide which to chose but none will disappoint. We use the lot.
I went there recently to meet up with clients (and friends). They had already been at Londolozi for two days and judging by the text messages I figured I had missed the lot: a pride of lions had killed a large giraffe and, apparently, activity around that was extraordinary with male lions competing for prime position and all that flows from that. I need not have worried about missing out: Londolozi always delivers. By the time I got there the lions were sated and the vultures were in, hundreds of them and what a sight...and sound. It was fascinating to sit there and observe the scene, waiting for the lions to attack to reclaim their prize or the hyenas to take their turn. A big animal like a giraffe provides a sequence of events over a number of days and we returned often over the next few days to check out the next development. But there was more action elsewhere too.
Londolozi has managed to create over the last 30 years or so a remarkable relationship with the wild leopards whose territories include the Londolozi tract. As a result, leopard sightings here are beyond compare. On any one day it is possible (but not guaranteed!) to get multiple leopard sightings, during the day (not some fleeting tail scooting into the undergrowth in the gathering gloom) and it seems these magnificent animals are quite content to continue with their important activities unaffected by the accompanying game vehicles: so you see ridiculous happenings. We were lucky and did get multiple sightings and lots happening.
First, a leopard up a tree with an impala kill and hyena below waiting for the benefits of any mistakes. The next day a different one down a burrow killing a warthog and dragging it away as we watched and, later, a big male from an adjoining territory chasing a competing male off but full of tension as both were now in someone else’s territory. You just don’t get that in any other part of Africa and these were not the only leopard we saw.
Away from the giraffe kill and all the leopard we saw: elephant, buffalo, rhino, zebra, stunning birds and insects, trees, grasses, giraffe, impala, kudu, hippo and more. The rooms were magnificent and food outstanding: it is possible to eat on seven different occasions each day, only a smidgen more that the number of different leopard sightings. The complete experience. Well done Londolozi! How do you beat that? Well we are going to try. Now off to Botswana and the Okavango, direct from Londolozi in a private plane. That’s the way to travel.