By Jeffrey James Keyes; Originally published in GPS.OutTraveler.com
Let go of everything that keeps you from the wilderness as you fly over the Kruger National Park and into the heart of the Sabi Sands Game Reserve.
Located on over 36,000 acres of Sabi land, Londolozi is everything you want South Africa to be. This privately owned game reserve was built on a solid foundation of partnership between the Varty and Taylor families, who arrived in 1926. Today the adorable and stylish Brownyn and Boyd Varty, with their team of rangers and friends welcome lucky guests to the unbelievable safari paradise.
Kudu and impala peek through the bushes as green Land Rovers full of gorgeous rangers arrive to escort you to camp. Freshen up in your chalet (we recommend the popular Varty Camp) and prepare for your first safari drive. Bring an extra jacket, binoculars, sunglasses, and your camera and get ready to see the “Big Five” and so much more. Catch up with the local pride and watch as hyenas and wild dogs stalk Zebra in the wild. Londolozi is famous for it’s leopard visibility, so plan on getting up, close, and personal with a few big cats.
Safaris take place at sunrise and sunset, be sure to swirl a little Amarula in your coffee in the morning and your ranger will be more than happy to fix a Gin and Tonic for you as the sun sets in the bush (if you’re not hunting with one of the lions or following a leopard to the watering hole). As Graeme Marais, one of the charming rangers can tell you “Most visitors to Londolozi never miss a game drive”.
Back at camp the Varty family knows how to throw a feast and pamper their guests. Feel like a member of the Swiss Family Robinson as you explore the expansiveness of the main property or treat yourself to a poolside massage in the middle of the afternoon. If you’re desperate to wander the wilderness, join one of the expert trackers and a giraffe or two on an unforgettable walking safari. At night, your glass of Pinotage will always be half full and the company extraordinary.
Londolozi has become a gathering place of perhaps the most special, free spirited people in the world. There’s an uncanny energy in the air, you might never want to leave. If you must go, pick up a copy of Dave Varty’s The Full Circle in the gift shop to read on your comfy South African Airways flight back home.
On assignment for GPS, intrepid travel writer and photographer Jeffrey James Keyes made his way through South Africa recently. He visited many hotel properties and presents his “Big Five” picks for lodging most suitable for gay and lesbian visitors.