Part 2: Leopard Hills, Sabi Sand Reserve

By Bert Duplessis, Fish Eagle Safaris

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From MalaMala, it was not a long drive to my second Sabi Sand property – Leopard Hills.  I was immediately struck with the beauty of the surroundings.  The lodge is built on a hill overlooking a natural waterhole, and it is easy to see why the original owners selected this site.  The lodge was initially built with five suites, and over time, have added private heated plunge pools, a library, three more suites, a traditional Shangaan boma, gym and sala, creating a five star lodge with the finest amenities.

The rooms at Leopard Hills are certainly amongst the most impressive ones I have seen anywhere.  The luxurious glass-fronted suites, complete with their own sundeck and rock plunge pool offer superb views of the African bushveld beyond. For a romantic retreat in the bush, you really can’t do much better than this.  I only wish I had more time to spend in the superb main lodge – over brunch there I enjoyed the fantastic view over the country-side from the elevated position on top of the hill.   The food was excellent and my vegan diet was catered for with seemingly the greatest of ease.

But of of course any Sabi Sand lodge lives or dies by its game-viewing and Leopard Hills produced big time.  On our afternoon game drive we found a large pride of lions with one particularly impressive maned male.  My long telephoto lens was of no use as the lions were practically right next to the vehicle!  The following morning we struck the jackpot with wild dogs – literally coming upon them just seconds after they had taken down an impala.  This was just the second time I had witnessed the spectacle of wild dogs feeding at close quarters and it was no less impressive than the first time.  Primeval in every sense of the word.  In a matter of minutes, the impala had been reduced to little more than some scattered bones.

Photographs taken at Leopard Hills:

The suites at Leopard Hills are fabulous

With lots of space inside and out

The same can be said of the common areas such as the lounge and dining room

However it was the game-viewing that took pride of place, with several fantastic looks at lions:

Not to mention a sleepy-looking vervet monkey

Impala all over the place

Several white rhino

And the highlight on the last morning, a pack of wild dogs on an impala kill

Continue to Part 3