The history of the Varty and Taylor families – the conservation dynasties who have dedicated their lives to saving a small part of Africa’s Eden – is the history of Londolozi.
The foundations of the Londolozi dream were shaped over eighty years ago when two friends – the great grandfathers of the Varty and Taylor clans stood before the mighty Sand River for the first time. The vision and potential that these two men saw in the virgin bush has endured over the years along with those same granite rocks of the river.
Camp was set up on the banks of the river where the water runs clear and the bushveld stretches up to the horizon. The first campfire was built amidst the roar of lions, and it was from here that Londolozi evolved into one of the most sought after ecotourism destinations in the world.
For two generations the family hosted presidents and princesses and sacrificed its wild beasts at the mercy of the hunter’s gun. This came to an end thirty-five years ago in John, Dave and Shan Varty’s care. Together the family shared a dream to build a world class destination and create the blueprint for modern day conservation in Southern Africa.
The farm was renamed Londolozi, derived from the Zulu word ‘To Protect’. The new name symbolised the family’s aim to provide a sanctuary for all living things. In the 70’s and 80’s the guiding principle at Londolozi was to demonstrate the economic viability of wildlife in a land torn apart by racism, fences and division. The 90’s brought new hope and belief in unity, trust and harmony. It was also a time in which Londolozi was able to send her message of partnership between wildlife and people across the African continent and to expand the dream of wildlife paying for conservation.
The new millennium poses fresh challenges and opportunities and Londolozi will, as in the past, strive to make its small contribution to establishing a new order, one that is rooted in and dictated by the laws of nature. This fresh chapter is defined by the intention to be of service and to create a place and a space quite unique in the world – so that visitors, guests and friends of Londolozi are profoundly moved by their experiences and are encouraged to become the best versions of themselves.
“During my long walk to freedom, I had the rare privilege to visit Londolozi. There I saw people of all races living in harmony amidst the beauty that Mother Nature offers. Londolozi represents a model of the dream I cherish for the future of nature preservation in our country” – Nelson Mandela