On the 1st June we were greeted at the Londolozi airstrip by a lovely, warm, friendly smile of our guide Don and our tracker Lucky and immediately felt that we had known them for years. We knew that the next seven days was going to be another memorable stay at Londolozi.
We arrived at the Private Granite Suites to another friendly smile from the manager Graeme who made us feel so welcome and at home and set the tone for every other staff. Nothing was too much trouble. In fact this was the greeting we received from everyone at Londolozi.
My lovely husband had bought me a Canon 5Ds with all the lenses, however as soon as I read the guide, I tried with a few different settings and the photos came out either blurred, dark or bright, I thought “Too hard”, and immediately went back to ‘Auto’.
“What would you like to see the most”, Don asked? Leopards, lions and cheetah I replied, certainly not expecting to see all three. I explained that I also wanted to learn how to use my camera which is why we hired a private vehicle. Don’s eyes lit up. “Great”, he said, “I will teach you”, and my journey started immediately.
I don’t think Don realized quite what he was taking on as he had to start right from the beginning, explaining the exposure triangle and giving me a cheat sheet that I could refer to. There were quite a few occasions on which by the time I had worked out my camera settings even the animals had got fed up waiting and disappeared. Oh how we laughed. I gradually started to work out my settings and with the help of my teacher my photos started to improve and I eagerly uploaded them onto my iPad as soon as I got back to camp.
We had some incredible sightings and thanks to my teacher I was able to move from the Auto setting, getting photos that were either blurred, too dark or too bright, to AV/M modes, getting clear focused photos.
My journey has been such fun and I am looking forward to returning to Londolozi for the next level in my photography journey, so my heartfelt thanks go out to Don.
Written and Photographed by Vivien Jones, Londolozi Guest