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“Incredible memories of an Incredible lodge...” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Leopard Hills Private Game Reserve

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Leopard Hills Private Game Reserve
5.0 of 5 Lodge   |   Kruger National Park 1242, South Africa   |  
Hotel amenities
London
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
“Incredible memories of an Incredible lodge...”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 9, 2013

My wife and I stayed at Leopard Hills on the first part of our honeymoon in June 2008 (apologies its taken so long to write this review)....

From the moment we arrived we knew we were in for an incredible treat. As it was our first safari and visit to South Africa - we were a little unsure of how it would all operate - but safe to say - we loved every minute of it.

I had booked the reservation almost 1.5 years in advance (it was our honeymoon after all) and I had specifically requested Suite # 8 as I was told this was a superb suite... how right that turned out to be.

All of the staff from the rangers & spotters to the waiting staff and management where all simply superb.

One of the many highlights was early one morning when we went on game drive, our ranger happened upon a leopard who had just made a kill and was commencing its morning breakfast. There was only my wife and I on the large jeep with the spotter and the ranger. We watched this incredible sight for around 30mins before our ranger alerted others via radio of the location. About 10mins later, a jeep carrying at least 14 tourists from the Ulusaba Lodge (Richard Bransons one nearby) turned up. I'm not sure what they were more interested in, the fact there was a wild leopard eating an Impala in front of them, or staring at my wife and I wondering how on earth we were having a private safari with our own ranger + spotter! It was hilarious!

When we reserved we understood that each night, all of the guests (from the eight suites) dine together, at first I was very unsure about this, as we wanted to have some quiet meals alone together, but this turned out to be one of the real highlights of our stay and we met some fantastic people, that we are still in touch with to this day. Speaking of the food.... EVERY single piece of food served was spectacular, some of the finest i've experienced globally!

We are looking forward to returning to Leopard Hills in the future and wish the team there all the success in the world. PS - i'm pencilling in a date for our 7 year anniversary (so only 2 years to go) - so keep Suite 8 free.

Room Tip: Suite 8 - Simply stunning.
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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142 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (37)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Orlando, Florida
1 review
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed March 27, 2013

I stayed at Leopard Hills for the final night of my honeymoon as a special treat for my wife. I am 100% confident that $100 (US) was taken from my wallet which was inside my laptop bag during the time that the laptop bag was taken from my car to my room (without my consent). My car was parked right in front of the lobby, and the staff insisted that we come to the lobby and sign our waivers and relax while they finished getting our room ready. As I am very cognizant of the high crime rates in South Africa, I was infuriated when I realized my luggage was transferred to my room without my consent, as I always choose to move my bags myself. My first instinct was to count the money in my wallet, and I noticed that $100 (a US one hundred dollar bill) was missing. I had just counted my money after removing my wallet from the safe at the previous lodge I had stayed at (Inyati Game Reserve) and the laptop bag had been by my side the entire time since leaving Inyati and arriving at Leopard Hills, so there is no other time that the money could have possibly been taken from my wallet. I immediately called the manager, Duncan Rodgers, and instead of offering me any kind of apology or compensation for this issue, he challenged me, talked down to me, addressed me by my first name, and basically blew me off. He stated he will "investigate" the issue with polygraph tests and get back to us in a month or so. I was both shocked and appalled by the poor costumer service, especially since all of the staff were fully aware this was our honeymoon. To top it all off, multiple staff members requested that my wife and I check out as early as possible so they could have our room turned over by 11 AM (the check out time) so that it would be ready for the incoming guests who were arriving at 11 AM, despite the fact that our room was not ready until approximately 2:45 PM on our day of arrival. If our room had been ready when we arrived, we would have never had this issue.

Leopard Hills is outrageously overpriced and the customer service was truly disappointing. We brought our friends and family to Leopard Hills as well, and despite bringing the lodge over $15,000 (US) in business they made us feel like second class citizens. We will not return to Leopard Hills. We also stayed at Inyati Game Reserve which is about 1km away and had an absolutely amazing experience at that lodge, which was reasonably priced (less than half the price of Leopard Hills) and provided the same game viewing, had superior game drive vehicles, and had genuinely friendly and courteous staff members.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Duncan R, General Manager at Leopard Hills Private Game Reserve, responded to this review, March 29, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to write your feelings down on this issue, and far be it for me to attempt to change your feelings or challenge you on your factual content, I do feel that such a harsh review put out in the public domain, needs a response from us, as there are always two sides to situation.

Let me begin with the arrival. When your Party arrived at the Lodge, we were there to greet you personally, and you were with us when we unloaded your luggage from your vehicle and had Staff on hand to carry the luggage down to your Suite. As is our Policy, the luggage is carried by two Housekeeping Staff to the Suites, and in this specific case, as your Suite was not quite ready, our Executive Housekeeper was in the Suite getting it ready for you when the luggage was brought in, and she was in the Suite with her Staff until they had finish, whereupon she personally locked the door and returned to Reception to tell them the Suite was ready.

With regards to being made to wait until 2:45 PM on you day of arrival, I have to correct you in this regard. You arrived at 12:35 PM and the other Suites for your Group were ready, we did explain that your Suite was not quite ready, but would be very shortly. Instead of having you wait in the Reception Area, we offered you a drink up on the deck overlooking the waterhole. The Suite was ready for occupation just after 13:00 PM, but when we came to collect you, you were already sitting with the other members of your Group having some lunch. I personally came out onto the deck and chatted to you and your friends, and informed you your Suite was ready for occupation whenever you were ready.

To be fair, when you did eventually go down to your Suite, you did not call me at all, you phoned Reception, and I have to say, used some very inappropriate language and derogatory terminology to my Receptionist, and stated your entire Laptop bag had been stolen. My Receptionist came to me, very upset with the Language you used and the accusations you were making. As I personally had unloaded your luggage from your vehicle in your presence, I was fully aware that your laptop bag had gone down to your Suite, and this was confirmed when you phoned a few minutes later to say you had found your bag, but money had been removed from your wallet. It was at this stage you became very abusive to my Receptionist, and I phoned you in your Suite. My initial intention on phoning you, was to request we get together face to face to discuss your accusations, but as soon as you answered the phone, I can quite honestly say, I have never, in the 25 years I have been involved in the Lodge Industry, heard such profanity. The language you used to me over the phone was one thing, but when you began referring to my Staff in terminology that was not only offensive, but degrading, I must admit I did become a “little cross”. I am not proud of it, but our Staff have been with us for many years, and they have my utmost respect, there is no reason whatsoever to refer to them in such derogatory terms. It was at this stage that I stated to you that I would like to discuss this issue face to face in a calm manner, but I was not going to accept the language you were using or the abusive terminology that you were calling my Staff and insinuating derogatory comments about the Country as a whole, it was at this stage that the phone was put down.

When I met you at Tea, just before the afternoon Safari, you walked up to me and shook my hand and apologized for your behavior and language. We discussed the issue and I promised to carry out a full investigation due the severity of the accusations, I was not aware that addressing you by your first name was deemed by you as insulting, as you introduced yourself to me using your first name, if that is the case you have my apology. It has always been our policy on addressing our Guests on a first name basis, as we like to create a homely informal environment at Leopard Hills, and one of the reasons we have many return Guests who have become like members of our Family.

Subsequently we have carried out a full investigation as I stated to you we would, however I did not say that I would get back to you “in a month or so”, I said I would inform you as soon as we had some information. We have taken these allegations very seriously, and it has been a difficult process as these Staff Members have been with us a very long time, and we have never had any issues before in this regard. I can tell you that the investigation has categorically yielded no evidence whatsoever with regards to deception or dishonesty on behalf of my Staff. I did not want to communicate this in a public forum, but seeing as the accusations were made in this forum, I feel it only fair the Lodge has an opportunity to respond and make the results known.

We were very aware it was your Honeymoon, and had arranged all the special turn down gifts, including the Champagne Bubble Bath for your return from Safari, but you made it quite clear that you wanted no Staff near your Suite; as a result we respected this request.
With regards to the check-out time the following morning, it is standard policy that the Suites are vacated by 11:00 AM on the morning of departure to give us a chance to get them ready for Guests coming in, but wherever possible we try and accommodate. I am sure you will remember the only 2 members of your Group that were not departing early, we accommodated them gladly, and they remained in their Suite until 15:00 PM. We did not ask you or any of your Group to be out of your Suites before 11:00 AM as it was not an issue seeing as your departure time was scheduled to 09:00 Am.

You were here with your Group on a heavily discounted rate due to past association with one of our Staff here at the Lodge who kindly offered you this concession as one of his “perks” as an employee, sadly this has caused him great embarrassment.

On a parting note, I would like to share with you some feedback from other Members of your Group that they wrote on their feedback form on departure, and I write this as it was written on the form:
“Amazing Trip” Shout out: Steve and Richman were over and beyond, outgoing and helpful, never missed a beat, great job by all”

I do believe that the other articles written on this page speak for themselves and we have always been extremely proud of our TripAdvisor ratings in the past.

I am genuinely sorry you did not enjoy your brief stay with us, especially on such a special occasion.

Duncan Rodgers
Operations Director
Leopard Hills Private Game Reserve
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
85 reviews 85 reviews
56 hotel reviews
Reviews in 62 cities Reviews in 62 cities
91 helpful votes 91 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 21, 2013

This is the most amazing resort. The rooms are large, clean and luxurious. Great shower and bath. Staff were amazing, couldn't have been more helpful. If you are in any doubt over which resort to pick, then please pick this one, you won't regret it. I would definitely go back in a heart beat.

I have never eaten so much food as when I was there. Snacks before the safari drive, muffins on the drive, breakfast when you get back, lunch, afternoon tea, snacks on the drive and then dinner. Muffins were amazing!!!

The drives were amazing. We went on 10 drives in total and saw 5 different leopards. So cute. I literally could have reached out and touched the leopard's tail as it walked right alongside the vehicle. We went during the wet season, so saw loads of baby animals. The car does have a roof that they can put on but no sides, so when it rains you still get wet. They provide ponchos but they aren't 100% waterproof. I would advise taking a rain mac that is lightweight and 100% waterproof.

We didn't believe the staff when they told us to make sure our room was completely locked as the baboons would raid the room, we thought it was just for security. Then the baboons got up on to our balcony and tried to let themselves in. Pretty amazing.

The only thing letting the resort down is the internet, which only works in the library. It is via satellite, so very slow and non existent when it is raining.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Duncan R, General Manager at Leopard Hills Private Game Reserve, responded to this review, March 25, 2013
Thank you so much for taking the time to write a review on your stay with us, it is very much appreciated.

We are working hard on improving the internet connection, and all going well, we will have the ability to set wireless connection to all the Suites in the very near future. In the meantime the wireless connection in the Library is up and running with reasonable speed for our remote location.

We hope to see you back with us in the bush in the not too distant future.

Regards from all the Leopard Hills Team
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 6, 2013

This was my third visit to Leopard Hills and it was as wonderful as the others. The lodge itself is very special - every need is catered for and the rooms (especially the recently refurbished ones) are a joy to spend time in (all the suites will have been refurbished later this year), but what really sets this place apart from all the other luxury lodges in Sabi Sands is the excellent team of staff who in an unobtrusive way take care of your every need. Everyone on the team knows your name and work tirelessly to ensure you have a fabulous time. The food was excellent with good choices and Jacques the chef ensured he and his team knew our likes and dislikes. Many of the team are keen photographers and so when one of our co-guests had a problem with their camera, the staff were able to resolve ift- just one example of how the team goes the extra mile

January is probably not the ideal time to visit - the bush is lush with growth making game viewing more challenging, but our ranger Raymond and tracker Ronald (who makes a mean Gin and tonic) found us plenty to see including several sightings of rare wild dogs, lions (with cubs), leopard (with cub), elephants, rhinos etc etc etc. If you can plan your visit for the SA winter then the game viewing is much more reliable in June/July. Even so, a visit to Leopard Hills at any time of the year is a great way to spend time

Room Tip: Try room 8 for a wonderful view of the watering hole or room 6 if you want to have a chance to watch...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SandRivers, General Manager at Leopard Hills Private Game Reserve, responded to this review, February 8, 2013
We very much appreciate you taking the time to post this article, and it was wonderful seeing you back with us at Leopard Hills.

Take Care and we looking forward to hosting you again soon.

The Leopard Hills Team
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2013

My partner and i visited leopard hills for 4 nights in September of this year. Our guide was Dave and our tracker Abraham. We had the honeymoon suite and it was a dream room. This camp is well run, upscale and attention to detail is excellent. We saw 4 leopards, a leopard kill and every other animal and bird on our list. Herds of elephants, rugs of lions. Dave and Abraham really worked hard to give us the best possible trip and they succeeded. Heinrich, Bridgette and the entire staff made sure our stay was fabulous. Food outstanding. This camp is a class act.

Room Tip: honey moon suite is fabulous. All rooms air conditioned and floors heated for colder times.
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Redbourn, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
58 reviews 58 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 11, 2013

From the moment we arrived at the local airport having travelled 14 hours we were met by our Ranger Dave who instantly put us at our ease, . We reached the game lodge and to say it blew us away is an understatment. Our lodge was to die for..... own deck pool and out side shower, fully stocked mini bar, and tastefully decorated, beautiful. We had 6 game drives, mornings and evenings, within this we had to fit in morning coffee, a stop to have bush mix on the drive, back for breakfast , relax, then lunch, tea, then off for another drive, with astop for a sundowner before heading back for dinner to share the day. The staff and food were so very friendly and exceeded all expectations. However the most mind blowing experience was sharing the game drive with our companions led by Dave our guide and our tracker Abraham. We saw everything you can imagine thanks to the knowlege and passion of Dave, but it was more than just seeing the beautiful animals, some with their babies it was the circumstances in which we saw them that is truely memorable.Sudenly spotting a Hippo charging through the bush to the waterhole, or the lionesses hiding her cubs, i could go on. Magical and my heart in now in Leopard Hills.

Room Tip: 8 lodges we had Lodge 2. superb, not overlooked beautifully decorated
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
65 reviews 65 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
52 helpful votes 52 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 9, 2012

Had the most fantastic, relaxing & exciting time at leopard hills. Staff are genuinely friendly & extremely professional. Lodgings were beautiful with that quintessential safari/bush feel. We witnessed an elephant drinking from our pool on the 2nd day.

Rangers & trackers excellent & knowledgeable. When I initially saw the price I felt it was expensive however having experienced it in person I realise it was well worth it & a once in a lifetime experience.

Contrary to earlier report I felt the food was to a high standard. Also good selection on wines & spirits. Mini bar also well stocked. Pinotage was v nice. Hubbie loved the dried beef! I was more taken with the jelly beans ;)

Lots of toiletries in lodge. Replaced as needed.

It was chilly on the morning/evening drives so bring a fleece. Ranger Also provide a warm poncho if needed.

Thank you to all the staff at leopard hills for making it an unforgettable experience.



  • Stayed October 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Leopard Hills Private Game Reserve

Address: Kruger National Park 1242, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Kruger National Park > Sabi Sand Game Reserve > Leopard Hills Private Game Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Specialty Lodging in Leopard Hills Private Game Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Leopard Hills Private Game Reserve 5*
Number of rooms: 8
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Also Known As:
Leopard Hills Hotel Leopard Hills Private Game Reserve

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