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Our Team

Making You Feel Part of the Family

DUNCAN & LOUISE RODGERS - Operations Director & General Manager

Duncan and Louise have been in the Game Lodge industry for the last 32 years, and have worked at 5-star lodges throughout their careers. They joined Leopard Hills during the building and development stage in 1998 and together with many of the Leopard Hills team members have been here ever since. Duncan and Louise have a passion for Leopard Hills and strive to create a family atmosphere for the staff as well as the guests. This is evident in the relaxed yet professional service at the Lodge.

Raising their two daughters, Megan and Kiara in the bush has been a blessing, and has allowed them to learn a holistic approach to life. Duncan, Louise and the Leopard Hills team look forward to welcoming you to this little bit of “paradise” they are lucky to call home.

HUGO BREED - Assistant General Manager

Born and raised in Pretoria, Hugo has a passion and love for the bush, especially the Lowveld, which started at a young age while visiting the Kruger National Park during every winter holiday. Hugo studied law after school. After completing his articles and being admitted as a lawyer, his passion for the bush ignited and he exchanged life in the city for one in the bush.

Hugo completed his FGASA level 1 and Trails Guide training at Entabeni Nature Guide Training. He then joined the team at Leopard Hills in 2013 and fell in love with the Lodge and its surroundings! After five years as an integral part of the guiding team Hugo was promoted to Assistant General Manager. He is honoured and privileged to be part of such an amazing team and looks forward to his future at Leopard Hills.

BRIDGET BLEM - Assistant to Management | Spa Therapist

Having worked as a Spa Therapist in Johannesburg for a number of years, Bridget decided it was time to give up the city life and head for a new environment. Bridget joined Leopard Hills in 2006 and it is here where her love affair developed for the African bushveld. Bridget developed her skills not only as a talented Spa Therapist but also in the Front of House Department. She is passionate about Leopard Hills and her dedication and drive make her an ever present force. Bridget loves art and finds the raw beauty of nature in her surroundings truly inspiring for her charcoal drawings and paintings.

MEGAN RODGERS - Front of House Manager

Megs has been blessed to call Leopard Hills her home since the Lodge first opened in 1998. Being born and raised in such a unique environment, has allowed her to follow her dreams of a career in the bush, affording her the opportunity to meet people from all around the world, and introduce them to this very special place.

Upon completing her schooling at Leopard Hills, Megs started job shadowing in the various departments within the Lodge so she could learn the ropes. She particularly enjoyed reception and guest relations so when a full-time position came available, she jumped at the opportunity of joining the team and thrived. The position of Front of House Management recently came available and Megan has stepped into the position with such passion. In between working full time and studying Hotel Management Megs still finds the time to pursue her passions of writing and music.

TRUST CHAWANE - Restaurant Manager

Born in Welverdiend village to a single mother, Trust is the definition of humble beginnings. Unable to attend full time tertiary education, Trust began his career as a casual maintenance worker at the renowned Singita Lodges. He then moved on and worked himself through the housekeeping department, scullery division and volunteered in the kitchen and food and beverage departments in his spare time. Trust soon found himself in a permanent barmen position and several years later was promoted to the position of Banakeli (butler). His will to succeed was evident when he became the first person to complete the inhouse Service Level 1 and Bar Level 1 training programme as well as obtaining his Administration Manager Certificate through correspondence studies. After 11 years at Singita an opportunity arose for Trust to join the Leopard Hills family as Restaurant Manager. He is constantly looking for new challenge and has recently moved into Reception, to broaden his experience even further. He looks forward to growing within the Leopard Hills family.

MELISSA DE WET – Receptionist | Spa Therapist

Melissa joined the Leopard Hills family as a Spa therapist in November 2018. Although she has never envisioned herself in the setting of the bush, she quickly adapted to the slower, less stressful lifestyle this unique position offers. She is empathetic and has an immense love for people and the Health and Beauty Industry. She never knew how stimulating and exciting the hospitality industry would be and is excited to explore a whole new world and lifestyle.

THANDI MABUNDA - Executive Housekeeper

Thandi was born in Swaziland, but left at the tender age of 3 to move with her family to a small village in Mpumalanga called Utah. Thandi’s zest for life and love for people are what lead her to study Hospitality and Tourism when she left school. Thandi worked in the lodge industry for 7 years before joining Leopard Hills in January 2016 where she worked in Food & Beverage service. Her sparkling personality and her drive saw her take on a promotion in the Front of House department which she excelled at and has recently moved to Executive Housekeeper. Thandi has a passion for singing and her bubbly nature is enough to brighten up anyone’s day.

CELESTE KOTZE - Head Chef

Born and raised in the Lowveld, Celeste has always had a passion for food and loves being in the kitchen. Celeste studied at Culinary School in the Western Cape, training under some of South Africa’s best Chefs. She has worked in prestigious restaurants across the country where she gained invaluable experience and knowledge. In 2018 the opportunity arose for Celeste to return to the Lowveld and join the Leopard Hills team. Her personal imprint is evident throughout the kitchen and she has proven herself as a creative force and essential part of the culinary team, so when the opportunity arose she moved up to Head Chef in the Leopard Hills kitchen.

MAVIS GUMEDE - Senior Sous Chef

Mavis was born and raised in Acornhoek in Limpopo and grew up loving to cook for her family. After hearing about the prestigious Singita School of Cooking, Mavis beat out the competition and was one of the 6 chosen applicants for this highly sought after opportunity. Mavis was employed full time in the Singita kitchens following her studies until the opportunity arose for her to join the Leopard Hills Team. Mavis quickly showed herself to be a force to be reckoned with and has steadily worked her way up the ladder into the Senior Sous Chef position. She is a strong influence in the kitchen and leader to her team.

STEVEN SHABANGU - F&B Manager

Steve was born and raised in the Kruger National Park. His passion for people, fine wine and food have taken him across Southern Africa. He has worked for some of Africa’s finest lodges and has 15 years of 5-star hospitality experience. Steve’s bubbly personality, warm character and friendliness have won the hearts of the Leopard Hills faithful and he loves the daily interaction with all of his guests.

EVERT HANEKOM - Maintenance Manager

Evert was born and grew up in Newcastle in the east of KwaZulu-Natal. He worked in various places across South Africa before ending up at Leopard Hills where he has been part of the family since 2009. Evert loves the hands on approach when it comes to working at the Lodge, and has earned the name “Mr Fix It”. He also has a passion for the bush and all the animals, especially the small and creepy ones, and can often be seen around the Lodge at night with his torch and camera, photographing frogs and insects.

KIARA RODGERS - Relief HOD Manager

Being immersed in this unique environment her entire life, Kiara has been privileged to have called Leopard Hills her home since day one. After working a six month temporary position, the dream of officially joining the Leopard Hills Team, as a relief manager, became a reality which she grasped with both hands.

Kiara’s affinity and love for animals has lead her to pursue her ultimate dream of becoming a ranger so she is currently studying FGASA part-time. Since she is at her happiest living among nature, she is able to cultivate another of her greatest loves, Photography.

REVIEW

Trip of a Lifetime

Everything about Leopard Hills is exceptional. The location, the unparalleled service from all the staff that goes out of its way to attend to every need, the food, and the game drives that bring you so close to the animals. The rangers and trackers are absolute experts and so knowledgeable. They are incredible ambassadors for the wildlife and for Leopard Hills. This is an amazing place and we had the best time from beginning to end

DAI777, United States (September 2018)

View on TripAdvisor

Our Rangers & Trackers

Your Guides to Our African Wilderness
  • JOHAN DE LA REY - Head Ranger

    Growing up on a farm with animals around him, Johan learned to respect and love nature from a young age. After school he worked with an overland company (Tours Across Africa) as a tour guide. Travelling across the African continent his true passion developed for the bush and its wildlife. In 2004, after three years of touring, his passion for the bush steered him to the western sector of the Sabi Sand Game Reserve and in 2013 he joined Leopard Hills guiding team.

    Johan’s hobbies include fishing, birding, photography and sports, so when the opportunity arises he enjoys playing a round of golf or a cricket match. As a guide Johan loves to immerse his guests in the true experience of the bush. He believes the bush is too special to rush around, we do that enough in everyday working life, so he enjoys taking the time to explain what guests are seeing; and not just ticking off the “boxes”.

  • WALTER - Tracker

    Walter joined the Leopard Hills family 2 years ago after completing a rigorous 1 year tracking course with the Tracker Academy. His love for nature stemmed from a young age and in his spare time he encourages youngsters in the neighbouring villages to care for and protect animals. Walter enjoys meeting new people and entertaining them out on drive.

  • STUART BUY - Assistant Head Ranger

    Stuart has been visiting Leopard Hills since he was 7 years old, and it was here that he fell in love with the bush. Spending time in this beautiful piece of Africa, with the rangers and trackers, his knowledge and interest in all things flora and fauna grew into a passion.

    After completing his training and qualifying as a guide in 2015, Stuart’s guiding career started off in the Madikwe Game Reserve. When a ranger position opened up at Leopard Hills Stuart was elated to have the opportunity of realising his childhood dream of guiding in a reserve he had grown to love at a young age.

    Every day in this job is a blessing, and living a dream just makes it even better.

  • CONGIVE - Tracker

    Since a young age Congive loved animals and nature. After being exposed to the bush while herding cattle around the local villages, his interest in tracking started. Congive joined the Leopard Hills team 6 years ago as night scullery and worked his way up to becoming a tracker. Interacting with guests on drive is what Congive enjoys most.

  • CAL BUTLER - Ranger

    Since a young age Cal has had a keen interest in wildlife and nature, spending time up in the mountains and around the wetland areas and oceans of Cape Town. After completing his studies at Stellenbosch University and the Stellenbosch Business School, Cal worked in the finance sector for a few years.

    Soon a love for wildlife photography started to take shape. Longing to be out in nature Cal decided to change careers and underwent his ranger studies through Bushwise Field Guides and completed his practical at Karongwe Private Game Reserve. An incredible opportunity presented itself at Leopard Hills and Cal joined the team.

  • MOWELL - Tracker

    Mowell’s love for animals developed while growing up in the local village outside the Sabi Sand. He gained a great deal of knowledge from his uncles who have also worked as trackers for many years. After school, Mowell received a sponsorship to complete an intensive year at the Tracker Academy. Working at one of the prestigious lodges in the Sabi Sand always appealed to Mowell and he soon joined the Leopard Hills team.

  • DYLAN SMITH - Ranger

    Throughout Dylan’s childhood, and well into his adult life, Dylan took every opportunity he could to spend as much time as possible in reserves across the continent, developing a passion for wildlife and a lifelong goal to work in the African bushveld and be surrounded by the animals he loves. With an uncle in the guiding industry and constant studying, Dylan has built up a knowledge base on the amazing fauna and flora of South Africa, which he now strives to share with his guests.

    Dylan is a FGASA qualified guide, with advanced rifle handling and is also a qualified tracker, he has also guided in other reserves across the country, from the renosterbos of the Eastern Cape, to the thornveld of the Northwest, but still studies every single day to give his guests the best possible safari experience.

  • RONALD - Tracker

    Ronald was presented with an opportunity to join the Leopard Hills family 10 years ago. Starting off as the dedicated groundskeeper, his hard work and passion for the bush quickly led him to join the tracking department. Ronald is most comfortable walking, tracking and finding animals and sharing his joy with guests.