Happy Hour At Leopard Hills

Posted on February 26, 2024
“Happy hour isn't meant for being serious. After all, it's not called 'frown and discuss heavy topics' hour.”

There are few things more serene than watching the sunset over the bushveld with a glass of something in hand. Here at Leopard Hills, ‘Happy Hour’ commences shortly after sunset and is kicked off with a timeless safari tradition – the sundowner.

Sundowners can be traced back to Africa’s colonial era, when British troops would drink quinine (a malaria treatment) in the evening to pre-empt the mosquitoes they knew would come out after dark…

To make the quinine more palatable, they mixed it with gin – a standard-issue Gordons that came in their ration packs – which was paired with lime juice. Over time, the lime juice evolved into tonic water and thus, the gin and tonic was born.

Luckily, Malaria isn’t really an issue in South Africa, and though tonic contains the smallest trace of quinine, the medicinal function of G&Ts has waned, but the drink has remained a traditional safari staple. At Leopard Hills, our barmen mix the most fantastic G&T, should you wish to go the traditional route, using gins from all over the world, depending on your preference.

South Africa itself has seen a boom in the gin industry over the past decade, with many micro-breweries springing up with original takes on this spirit. Perhaps we can surprise you with a new favourite to stock up on before you head home?

Happy Hour, Leopard Hills Style

It’s astonishing how many safari activities pair perfectly with a beverage of some description.

On fresh mornings, a tot of Amarula in your coffee is the ideal warmer after spending a morning out on the back of the vehicle. As the day draws to a close, sundowners can be enjoyed out in the bush after your afternoon game drive and continued back at the lodge.

Image Credit: Instagram | ansinparis

Our bar and lounge have a fully-stocked bar and talented bartenders who make a mean cocktail – ideal for pre- or post-dinner drinks.

Take your cocktail out onto the viewing deck and find a quiet spot from which to enjoy your surroundings.

As the evening deepens, rich glasses of red wine are best enjoyed beside the fire – either in our boma or in the communal lounge. This is the time to unwind, chat with your friendly ranger or compare notes with your fellow guests.

Later still calls for a nightcap of the finest whiskey, port or South African liqueur. Once again, you can’t go wrong with a tot of Amarula. (Traveller’s-tip for our international guests: Ask for a bit of Amarula to be poured over your ice cream if you order dessert – it’s delicious!)

A Final Toast

Enjoyed responsibly, a few drinks on safari are a wonderful way to unwind and embrace the natural beauty that surrounds you. To us, toasting the end of the day is a way of celebrating being in the moment with the ones you love and we look forward to facilitating a safari holiday that will, we trust, stay with you for many years to come.

Stay With Us

Book your stay at Leopard Hills for an incredible luxury safari experience jam-packed with breathtaking wildlife sightings, including that of the elusive leopard.

If you’re interested in booking your getaway to our wild corner of South Africa, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our reservations desk at

Alternatively, click here and make use of our quick and seamless online booking process and start imagining your ideal vacation today. We look forward to welcoming you to Leopard Hills Private Game Reserve.


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