Today is the first day of our South African photo safari as we arrive at Londolozi Game Reserve (suggested route for international travelers is from OR Tambo International in Johannesburg to Londolozi using a Federal Air charter – all flights are exclusive of tour cost).
Londolozi Private Game Reserve is one of the pioneers of the ecotourism industry in South Africa, and is an unashamedly family run, stand-alone operation. World-renowned as one of Africa’s finest game lodges, it was also first game reserve in the world to be accorded Relais & Châteaux status, reinforcing its commitment to luxurious accommodation, fine cuisine and exceptional service. Your accommodations for the next five nights on this Londolozi safari will be in Londolozi’s lovely Varty Camp.
Overnight Londolozi Varty Camp
The root of the word Londolozi is the Zulu word for protect and means “protector of all living things” – an ambitious conservation ethic that Londolozi Game Reserve embraces in its sensitivity to the wildlife in South Africa. Londolozi Private Game Reserve is situated on the Sand River in the very heart of the Sabi Sands Game Reserve, and in turn forms part of the Greater Limpopo Transfrontier Park, a vast and growing area, currently covering 6 million acres and incorporating the famous Kruger National Park.
Habitats vary from Acacia thornveld dotted with Marula trees, to open savanna grasslands, and dense riverine woodland lined with majestic Jackalberry and Fig trees.
Breeding herds of Elephant and Cape Buffalo roam throughout the area, while White Rhino and Lion concentrations are amongst the highest recorded on the African continent. An open area of grassland often attracts Cheetah, while Londolozi is also famous for its Leopards. Over three decades, a remarkable relationship between wild free ranging Leopards and trackers has developed, which makes Londolozi Game Reserve world famous for an idyllic African photo safari. There is no disputing that viewing the Leopards of Londolozi is one of life’s truly treasured experiences!
With over 14,000 hectares of wilderness, no two game drives on Londolozi safari 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 into ravines and through thickets in pursuit of elusive animals. Together with the trackers, your photo tour leader will take you to the best areas to ensure that you make the best of every situation, taking your photography to the next level, and providing you with a stunning portfolio of images!
Nights Londolozi Varty Camp
After breakfast and your final morning game drive, this incredible South African photo safari sadly comes to an end.
Greg du Toit ‘Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2013’ is a professional fine art wildlife photographer whose work is easily recognized by the tangible mood, primitive energy and vibrant colours that it conveys. This signature style has brought him international acclaim and he has recently exhibited with the National Geographic Society in London. His work has been displayed in the London and Sydney Natural History Museums and he has hosted private exhibitions around the world.
Much of his dynamic body of work has been meticulously collected whilst living and guiding in the wilds of Africa for 16 years, and due to this extensive experience, he leads the bulk of our custom safaris in South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Ethiopia and Congo Brazzaville.
Greg’s photographic strength lies in his ability to capture scenes and moods in the camera, as opposed to digitally manipulated his images on a computer afterwards. He is a skilled and patient teacher, and he uses his intimate knowledge of camera function and superb bushcraft to bring out the best in his guests photographs.
King’s Camp (Timbavati) rank among the best wildlife watching and photography places I have experienced, not only in Africa but in the World. The abundance of Leopard and the quality of the sightings is just amazing. Drivers and trackers do a fantastic job, and the avoidance of “game jams” thanks to the policy of only two vehicles allowed at a sighting is a great advantage. Leopard is clearly the main attraction at Timbavati, but there were great sightings of Buffalo, Elephant and White Rhino. Accommodation and the entire infrastructure around King’s Camp is just wonderful. The rooms are a delight, food excellent, very nice birds around the gardens, great bar and library, and some of the very best service I’ve experienced anywhere. We were pampered in every way imaginable. As a wildlife enthusiast and photographer who has been around, I certainly recommend King’s Camp and Timbavati as a superb, rewarding and very productive destination. I hope I find the time to go back some time soon.South Africa
I’m not sure if I can adequately express my enthusiasm for our tour through South Africa. Sharing time with some of the most exotic animals on the planet will continue to be one of my most treasured memories. What I loved most, was the proximity and intensity of the experience with leopards. Although I am not a wild life photographer, I am an adrenaline junkie, and hearing the hiss of an adult leopard is one of the most exciting times I can remember. In my most spectacular day dreams, I could not have thought up lodges like Kings Camp or Leopard Hills. ORYX group put together a trip that was virtually bespoken to both my husband and my tastes. We were able to share an adventure together, and this was possibly the best trip we have taken together. This was achieved by a seamless set of logistical operations, not a hint of a problem with travel, accommodation, food, or even photography opportunities. Mother Nature may be unpredictable, but ORYX seems to have managed a way to make her a little happier.South Africa
Organization by ORYX was faultless. It really felt like we were getting the best of everything, even when compared to other visitors, and Marius’ excellent relationship with apparently every ranger and tracker in the reserve was a big bonus, making communication with other vehicles especially productive. His extensive bush experience and photographic sense added a lot of value to the trip.South Africa
“ORYX did us proud, from Kirsty’s exceptional logistics management, your own support & Help, and mostly Greg’s complete professionalism, looking forward I must admit to June & Tanzania”South Africa
“Thank you for arranging such a wonderful safari for us. The lodges were great. The logistics were superb from the moment we got out of our intercontinental aircraft! Driver/guides were very good, and we enjoyed Greg’s pleasant company and photographic advice. Thank you also for the gifts Greg brought to us. They were very much appreciated. We look forward to traveling with ORYX again some time in future.”South Africa
“I actually do not have the words to describe how incredible this journey was. I can only thank you for bringing back this little piece of heaven called the Sabi Sands back into my life again. Your ORYX friend for life.”South Africa
“We arrived home two days ago after a most incredible and wonderful trip. The highlight of our trip was the Kings Camp safari but everything was fabulous!! We really appreciate Dale for so many reasons. He was excellent in teaching us, being personable, sharing his knowledge, expertise and passion for wildlife photography. We learnt so much. It has been busy trying to catch up after our vacation but this weekend we hope to start applying some of the ‘editing’ that Dale taught us. We would highly recommend this experience and DALE!! An absolutely wonderful experience!! We really hope that we can do something similar in the future and would definitely be calling ORYX (and Dale).”South Africa
“Marius, Greg and Kirsty,
Thanks so much for all you did to make our Safari experience epic! We really appreciated all the extra efforts to each detail. Especially, our bags and transport service….what a way to get through the airports with you guys – we were whisked away from the gate and escorted through customs. And, we love our Oryx bags – especially Russell.
It was such a privilege to spend a week with Greg. On all levels he is a joy to spend time in the bush with. It’s really apparent through his passion, knowledge and talent why he is The Wildlife Photographer of the Year.
We had some amazing sightings. From following mating leopards for 5 hours on my birthday to packs of wild dogs, cheetahs, and 19 different leopards. Oh, and two snakes! And of course, spending some time with Claire was very special to us.
All the best,
“A fantastic safari experience from pre-travel through the safari to post travel – all the little details necessary for our comfort and enjoyment were taken care of with the minimum of fuss. We had a great time helped by the professionalism and friendliness of the ORYX team. All our needs were anticipated and attended to but most importantly every day was fun and an adventure.”South Africa
I would like to express to the best of my ability how wonderful, beyond expectations, this trip was. I don’t know how I was so fortunate to end up with Nelis. He was absolutly fabulous. Patient, courteous, a wonderful photographer and person. More knowledge regarding the animals and birds than I could ever have hoped for. We got along very well and I was smiling non-stop and as emotionally happy as I have been in a long time. A wonderful mix of lodges. 8 different leopards at Sabi Sands. Wonderful guide and tracker (Matt & Nelson) at Inyati. And I have to let Adam know that one of the biggest highlights of the trip was the Aardvark in the driveway to Zebra Hills. I would go any where with Nelis. Thanks again, Scott BurnhamSouth Africa
“I had a great trip with Marius. MalaMala and the overall trip certainly lived up to expectations so thanks to the whole Oryx team for making these happen so smoothly.
I’m sure you will hear from me again”
“ORYX took excellent care of me and Marius was proactive in sharing his knowledge gleaned from years of photographing wildlife. I definitely returned home a better wildlife photographer and with some lovely images for the portfolio. Testament to Marius and the ORYX team is that I have already signed up for another photographic expedition next year – bring on more magic moments!”South Africa
Oryx Photography is a world class company. The members bend over backwards to get you the results you desire, and make sure your experience goes off without a hitch. Their customer service is so extraordinary it’s hard to put into words; the closest I can come is they treat you like family. The photographic results and experiences you take away from the field will leave you breathless. If you are on the fence as to whether or not you should book through Oryx – hop off – I promise, you will not regret it.South Africa
Greg DuToit is incredible! He took the time to make sure everyone understood the technical aspects involved in getting the shot, even if it meant he had to sacrifice not getting the shot for himself. His focus is getting the client the results they desire. Not only is he knowledgable about photography, but he teaches you about the animals and environment. As 2013 wildlife photographer of the year he is an excellent source for providing you with a critique should you ask for an analysis of your work. Also, he is one of the most humble human beings on this planet.South Africa
Penny Robartes is a young, fun, and excellent guide. She is very organized and dedicated to getting the client the results they want. She lead us all around the beautiful city of Cape Town and we hit magnificent spots for sunrise, and sunset. Not that I would have minded at all, but she never once carried a camera while she was with us. Instead her entire focus was interacting with the group. If you had questions, she had answers, if you just wanted to chat, she would chat. Hands down she is one of the best guides at Oryx.South Africa
“I had a great experience with your teaching methods on how to better use my camera and really appreciated your beginning tutorial sessions in Lightroom. I think all you shared with me will help me advance in my photographic goals. I think the one thing you did that helped us best was to look on our computers at the images we took after our first outing. This allows us to see first hand where we needed to make corrections.”South Africa
Though only a few weeks, it seems like ages since we were travelling the beautiful and fascinating lands of southern Africa. I can assure you that our entire trip, from arrival in Joburg to our last day in Zambia was an incredible and memorable experience for all four members of our family. You and your team did a fabulous job in coming up with the perfect itinerary for us and also in executing on all of the planning and logistical details. As we’ve reflected on our time abroad, we particularly enjoyed our time at Leopard Hills (which I know is a special place for you as well). We can’t say enough about how extraordinary it was to drive the Sabi Sands with the company of such an engaging and expert ranger/tracker pair – and to know that upon return we would be as comfortably and hospitably looked after by the entire team at the lodge.
We’ve also returned home with an incredible portfolio of digital images from safari, Cape Town, winelands, etc. – thanks for your guidance on that front. Now we face the challenging task of making them into a lasting record of our African adventure – a fun project for the rest of the summer. . . .
We hope all is well with you and also sincerely hope that we’ll be able to work with you on other adventures in the future!South Africa
“Kirsten was great! For someone so young to be so skilled at leading a tour it is highly impressive. He is fun, friendly, warm, inquisitive, encouraging and enthusiastic in teaching new techniques and skills. I hope to travel with him again one day, he is going to go far!”South Africa - PVT
We have returned safely after a fantastic trip with incredible sightings, nice accommodation, great food and lovely people around.
We have really enjoyed Greg’s company. He is a great guy with great stories, very likeable and humorous and with a lot of photographic knowledge from which I have benefitted.South Africa, Kenya & Rwanda
We share such deep gratitude to you, Marius and everyone at ORYX for arranging such a memorable, remarkable trip recently to S. Africa, Kenya and Rwanda…absolutely first class! You all made our trip so painless with all the personal touches!
Also, big thanks for the shirts and caps! We’ll wear them with pride! Justin, John and Soddy were just delightful guides who made us feel like “royalty”, and were so informative!
Perhaps someday we’ll be able to arrange another trip through ORYX. Meanwhile, be well, and know you are all doing phenomenal work!
With extreme gratitude!
Just a brief message to express our gratitude for all you (Kirsty) did in setting up this unforgettable trip. Dale was awesome, and went out of his way to ensure Judy and I were comfortable and constantly amazed at the natural wonders we encountered. Judy was sharing her I Phone pix on Face Book in real time, which have been shared and re-shared by hundreds of her friends. We were so close to the animals, that she had to keep telling everyone they were her phone pix, and not Canon Full Frame telephoto images! You were correct in suggesting this tour as a first time African adventure. Londolozi Founders Camp was spectacular, and the personnel there were outstanding. I can’t wait to start post-processing my photos, and will be happy to share them with you.
All the best,