There is safari, and then there's Londolozi.
Situated on the famed Sand River, nestled in the heart of the spectacular Sabi Sand Game Reserve, Londolozi is the picture of luxury: the perfect marriage of elegance and the marvels of the natural world. Yet, Londolozi is far more than an unmatched safari escape; it is a renewal of the very philosophy of safari, a reimagining of it as a powerful journey that immerses the senses and awakens the spirit.
The story of Londolozi is interwoven into the fabric of the very history of South Africa. Founded by the Varty family, who have built conservation dynasties in the country, Londolozi has been known over the years as an exclusive retreat for presidents and royalty, an escape beloved by Nelson Mandela himself, who visited during his long walk to freedom and praised it as a place of harmony and a "model of the dream I cherish for the future of nature preservation in our country."
Londolozi – whose name comes from the Zulu word meaning "Protector Of All Living Things" – has always prided itself on its conservation ethic, but fifty years ago, the Varty family fundamentally reworked their approach to the natural world and local community. The family has pioneered the notion of a for-profit conservation development model that demonstrates economically the value of wildlife, encouraging others to keep land aside for the preservation of the many endangered species found on the continent. The Londolozi team have also led the way on the most innovative approaches to conservation, including harnessing a method of "accelerating abundance" that uses technologies and AI to lower the camp's footprint. Today, the reserve has been lauded internationally for its foresight and progressive land and wildlife management practices, as well as its productive community involvement, practices that have been replicated across the world.
More recently, however, the reserve has shifted its approach to be even more forward-looking, focusing just as much on "healing oneself" as on "healing the world." As Co-Founder and Co-Owner Dave Varty has said, "Before we can heal the planet, we need to heal ourselves and only once we as individuals make the choice to alter our relationship with Planet Earth, can we begin to reverse much of the environmental destruction we see before us." By changing our individual behaviors and approach to the natural world, we can help rebalance the impact that humans have had and restore the planet. Varty considers the reserve's role to "facilitate a bridge for the self-awakening of visiting guests."
That focus on "self-awakening" is where Londolozi's extraordinary emphasis on experiential luxury was born. Today the property even offers immersive retreats unlike anything else in the world including a retreat founded by Dave's son Boyd Varty called Track Your Life that combines wilderness adventure and personal development where participants learn to track animals in the wild. The experience offers the opportunity for profound personal transformation and is designed to meet needs that are going unmet in the modern world: the need for visioning, charting a course, and immersion in wild places.
Londolozi's leaders also created a one-of-a-kind spa concept called Healing House that truly highlights the Londolozi vision. The spa draws on sacred traditions and offers a five-day wellness retreat providing a curated process that encompasses time in the wilderness, with vision-questing on game drive, guided meditation, intensive bodywork, customized meal planning, yoga and time spent immersed in the silence of nature.
As Dave Varty has said, "We often say emotion is the new currency and the more that people feel emotional and the more that their visit to Londolozi unblocks their emotions, the better. We're seeing this change people more and more."
The true power of Londolozi is not just transformative beauty – although its unspoiled beauty and extraordinary wildlife does provide has that. Londolozi also equips guests with the tools to awaken, unlock emotions, connect with the world in a profound and new way – and, finally, to change it for the better.