Lots to see at Londolozi!
We hear Christmas was celebrated in style at Londolozi. With inspiration from the surrounding flora and fauna, Londolozi’s Christmas eve celebrations incorporated a stunning colour scheme of verdant greens and rich golds reflecting the stunning hues of this time year.
The kitchen was brimming with joy with carols being sungs whilst the brilliant staff worked their socks off to create something delicious. Smells of beer mustard cream, Naartji and Brandy seeping through the layers of a gorgeous Christmas pudding wound its way around the camp, attracting guests out of the comfort of their rooms down to the main area. The smells continued with snoek being apricot roasted, nectarines infused in sweet rooibos, east coast lobsters being butter poached – did I mention the brandy and nartjie infused Christmas pudding…?!
The white linen cloth was laid on a long table beneath the branches of the surrounding Leadwood Trees. Decorated with small tea lights emanating a warm cosy, very festive glow and the light bouncing of the glasses adorning the table, there was nothing you couldn’t feel but incredibly festive.
To add insult to injury, delicious warm, spicy ginger bread stars were on the table to nibble at and `the camps welcome drink of a spiced honey and saffron gin and tonic, garnished with cinnamon sticks, star anise and flowers – personally, I think I would like to spend Christmas 2020 at Londolozi myself!
Now how about the people behind the scenes – the silent hero’s that keep Londolozi ticking over. If you have stayed at Londolozi, you will know that the food is incredible, the head chef is brilliant but the team he has should also be shouted about once in a while. The Executive Sous Chef, Eric Ubisi, is a truly remarkable man. You would think he is busy enough working at Londolozi, but no, along with his wife Merciful, they run two orphanages – one called Shalamakane and the other called Hlayisekani – both of which support children who have unfortunately lost their parents and who are handicapped and who need that extra bit of special care. The hard work and dedication Eric and his wife, Merciful – who is the principle of both schools – put more than their heart and soul into this venture. Eric’s monthly salary at Londolozi supports these two schools. Eric has an extremely personal story attached to these schools; he was made an orphan himself at the age of 7 and this personal story has pushed him to create these two inspiring schools.
Hlayisekani now cares for 24 young people who all need help with special needs. The Shalamukani pre-school now looks after 65 small children, both schools providing the needs, support and help to these young children.
Long may Londolozi support this and long may the guests know about Eric, Merciful and all of the other wonderful and truly inspirational people who not only help keep this stunning camp working, but who also lead these incredibly inspirational double lives. Londolozi, we admire you and your people.