Friday, May 7, 2010

WC2010-African Safari- Saturday Dinner

Dinner on Saturday night was not at the boma, as on Friday night, but in the lodge. We were entertained by the Londolozi Ladies Choir.

They proceeded in bearing a birthday cake for one of the guests.

and then entertained us with wonderful a capella songs and dancing.

The delightful melodies still ring in my head.

We were interested to find out that one of the owners, Jonathan Varty, was there that night with some folks from National Geographic. They were beginning to film a documentary on African leopards. Pauline introduced herself and asked him to come meet "the Crystal guests" and he did. He sat with us talking for some 30 minutes or so. It was quite interesting.

Earlier in the day, Pauline had discovered an old lodge book that went back to the 1920's when the camp was first built. The book is a journal/diary/photobook of what was seen and killed each season, who visited, what the weather was, etc. In the book, in the early 1960's, is a photo of an 8-year old boy, Jonathan Varty, having shot his first impala. The grown man sitting with us at the table was delighted that I had put two and two together and recognized his photo as a child.

On later research, I found he is an avid naturalist and conservationist, as well as a filmmaker. He excitedly told us of his newest project to return tigers to Africa. He hopes one day to change the "Big Five" to the "Big Six". What a legacy! Meeting Jonathan Varty was a highlight of the trip to Africa!

When the dancing started, he excused himself briefly.

and jumped right into the dance.

Obviously, Jonathan Varty is a man who loves the land and is passionate about all those under his care. A good steward of his world. An example to us all.

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