Though there are no fences between Kruger and Sabi Sand Game Reserve, Sabi Sand is a world away. While Kruger is vast and widely visited, Sabi Sand is small and entirely intimate. Taking a short chartered plane from Pafuri Camp south, you’ll be taken to Leopard Hills
, located on top of a rocky outcrop with spectacular views over a natural waterhole. You’ll stay in a stilted, glass-fronted suite with its own sundeck and rock plunge pool, where you can wallow like the hippos in front of you or watch the passing game from your sunbed.
During the heat of the day, cool down on the breezy, open-air veranda or take a good book and fold into the soothing hammocks. When it’s cooler, head out on an afternoon game drive to catch superb sightings of the lodge’s namesake, the sleek leopard, as well as the machine-like rhino, the dusty elephant, the grumpy bull buffalo and the king of the park - the lion.
As you will have certainly already seen all or most of the Big Five, we recommend a guided walk to get closer to the less-known but fascinating habitats and inhabitants of the reserve. For the ‘Little Five’, try to spot a leopard tortoise making its walk along the sandy road, watch a rhino beetle work hard to lift something up to 850 times its own weight, discover the intricate nests of the buffalo weaver and the deadly (to ants) pits dug by the predatory ant lion, or marvel at the jumping elephant shrew, named for their long, trunk-like noses.