Bush Bulletin | June 2024

Posted on July 9, 2024

Winter solstice has just passed, but the bush is still looking great for this time of the year. Sightings have been beyond wild and we have some exciting news to tell you all.

Into the Leopard’s Den by Justin

New life is always something that is associated with spring time. However, Tisela has chosen the opportune time of winter to bring two gorgeous new little leopard lives into the Western Sector.

With the bush being the perfect shade of yellow and brown to hide and hunt in, she has already had some good success with a few good meals, which will help greatly while rearing these now 10-week-old cubs.

Perched beautifully up on a rocky outcrop, a den that has previously been used by both Xikavi and Hlaba-nkunzi, we are all very excited to see how the story of this litter pans out.

If she is anything like her tenacious mother, Boulders, then this promises to only add to the incredible leopard population of The Sabi-Sands.

Welcoming New Life by Michael

After 22 months of awaiting their arrival, they are finally born, elephants! Welcoming new life to the bush is always a pleasure to experience, especially elephants!

When elephants are born, they have very little control over their trunks as it consists of thousands of muscles and needs to be strengthened over time. This makes for some great entertainment! Much like humans a lot of the youngster’s behaviour is taught by their parents and observations of other elephants!

Recently we’ve been privileged enough to witness a lot of elephant activity around the lodge with many new-borns in the herds. Seeing as they are naturally curious, they love to investigate. In the picture (left) you can see exactly that, a young elephant smelling new smells all around him!

This sighting in particular was just too special for words. The sun rising in the back provided us with beautiful golden light shining over the dried leaves. The rumble of elephants all around us, and of course the youngsters playing around gave myself and all of the guests the biggest smile! What a wonderful way to start the day.

It’s a miracle by Stu

After our resident pack of Wild Dogs got killed out about 5 years ago, the thought of a Wild Dog den was the last thing on my mind.

But guess what…
Yes, you guessed it, The Othawa Pack of Wild Dogs have decided to den in the Western Sector. With about 500 Wild Dogs left in the Greater Kruger National Park to be lucky enough to have a den around the lodge is something guides can only dream of.

With the Alpha having already given birth and the Beta only days away, we all cannot hold in the excitement of our first view of the tiny pups. Timing needs to be perfect though. Trying to catch the pack on their way back from a hunt, they approach the den and you stare into a dark hole on the side of a termite mound, waiting and hoping to see multiple tiny heads pop out. Once the pack is back there is a daily greeting between members and if luck is on your side the pups can come out for a feed.

Stay tuned to our social media to keep up to date with the progress of the den and puppies.

Stuck in a Rut by Morné

Whether you’ve never been on safari or if you’re a safari Veteran I’m sure you would have heard off the Impala! Impala are hands down the most common of the antelope species in South Africa but have you ever stopped and wondered why?

Impala are the most successful of all the antelope species! The main reason for this is their general mating behaviour, specifically the rutting season where the rams go into a period of heightened testosterone levels due to the female’s oestrogen levels increasing. This happens via a nerve impulse from the ganglion gland in the eye sending an impulse through the hormone centre of the brain, the Hypothalamus, that sparks the increase in hormones triggering the females to go into eustress.

Rams in charge of their harem, social hierarchy of impala where there is one ram overseeing multiple ewes, will be so fixated on mating and fending off other challengers they neglect their own personal welfare and become weak at which point another stronger healthy ram will take over and the cycle will continue itself for up to a month! At the end of this exciting season in the impalas lives the ewes are almost all impregnated by different rams meaning there is quite a large genetic pool of diversity!

Next time you see an Impala on safari maybe take an extra few minute just to appreciate why they are so successful!

Team Frank Africa came to visit

Started by the wonderful Kimmy Chedel, Team Frank is a nonprofit organization that started in 2002 and Team Frank Africa have a mission to build schools in the remote areas of Africa.

This time it was in our local village of Lilydale where 11 guests at Leopard Hills went out every day between game drives to go and complete the build, which entailed painting, gardening and keeping some of the children entertained.
Each school gets 2 classrooms, a kitchen, toilets, a borehole and a playground. This build was completed just in time for the new school term and the guests were all around to do a handover for the students and teachers.

If you would like to know or see more go to TeamFrankAfrica

Winter Sunsets:

Ever been lucky enough to see a winter sunset? The sky fills up with an array of colours, that no phone or camera can capture, but it will take your breath away. Stop for an afternoon drink and enjoy the sounds of the bush while the sky changes into various colours.

If you’re interested in experiencing an awe-inspiring South African safari, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our reservations desk at

Alternatively, click here and make use of the quick and seamless online booking process and start planning your ideal vacation today.

We look forward to welcoming you to Leopard Hills Private Game Reserve.

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