We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Saved the Best for Last”

We can't find prices for this accommodation
Our online travel partners don't provide prices for this accommodation, but we can search other options in Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Check In dd/mm/yyyy Check Out dd/mm/yyyy
Dulini Leadwood Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Santa Monica, CA
Level 4 Contributor
28 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 116 helpful votes
“Saved the Best for Last”
Reviewed 17 January 2011

Leadwood was the conclusion of our journey through three different South African game reserves. We chose to end with it because it was the most exclusive, expensive, and intimate (4 guest villas insted of 6) of the &Beyond properties we visited.

It certainly lived up to the expectation in most of the regards. If we were blown away the beauty of the rooms and main lodge at Phinda Vlei and Ngala Tented, I guess you could say we were awestruck by Leadwood. The architecture was astounding, the rooms ENORMOUS, the private plunge pools and decks gorgeous and amazing. Let me mention again, for perspective, that this isn't my wife and my first rodeo. We've been around the world and we yawn when we walk into most 5-star resorts. We didn't yawn here, though our mouth was gaping open.

The service and food was, as we'd become accustomed to, bafflingly wonderful. Thich sliced Ostrich carpaccio drizzled with lime and olive oil, rare seared Kudu filet, whole Dover sole, etc. My wife is an Operations consultant for the only consulting firm that actually matters - you know the one, and at the end of our stay in Leadwood she was so impressed that she's setting up time with &Beyond leadership to help mine best practices and put together an inspirational module on "how to do the impossible."

At any rate, Leadwood dazzles. The game viewing was, again, spectacular as it was with Phinda Vlei and Ngala tented. The only minor note I'd make here is that Sabi Sand is a shared reserve. So we shared with Ulusaba - Richard' Branson's spot. Next to us, Singita and Londolozi shared. This arrangement is repeated throughout the area. It is a very minor point, but after being spoiled with exclusive unlimited viewing and tremendous off-road experiences in Ngala and Phinda, it was a trifle annoying to have to clear a viewing after 1t5 or 20 minutes because Ulusaba guests were on the way, etc. That being said, we the experience was phenomenal. We saw adult male lions chowing on a freshly killed Waterbuck, a leopard mother with two cubs feeding on an impala, etc. We also had Elephant some up to our room'splunge pool and take a drink, hippo wandering down the bank 15 feet away from our deck, etc.

What can you say to that? Amazing.

If I had to compare Phinda Vlei, Ngala Tented, and Leadwood, here you go...

Leadwood has the nicest rooms and lodge area. Though that's like saying a Bentley is better than a Rolls Royce. It can come down to individual preference.

I give the game viewing nod to Ngala and Phinda because &Beyond has exclusive traversing rights and there is never any "sharing." But that's like saying that a buffet is better than a la carte because it is unlimited. Not really, it kind of depends.

Note that the weather is also a factor. Someone who stayed and Ngala just prior to me posted a review where they said the viewing suffered because of rain. They still gave five stars, but the point is that you aren;t going to go wrong at any of them. Weather will be the biggest difference.

Food and Service are just impeccable at all of them. No differentiator. A final note is that &Beyond prides itself on community support. They believe in developing their local staff, and as a result they provide scholarships, build schools, support health clinics, etc. Our ranger at Phinda had been with them for 18 years, starting as a mechanic, becoming a tracker, and then a full ranger. Another Zulu ranger had a lifelong fream of being a high school teacher. At 36, &Beyond was picking up the tab for his schooling so that he could do so. We were teary-eyed listening to him tell his stories at a grounp dinner one evening. One more reason to feel good about spending $thousands per night.

  • Stayed January 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank pharmanuke
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review

117 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    113
    2
    2
    0
    0
See reviews for
20
70
1
1
Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (46)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Los Angeles, California
1 review
Reviewed 8 June 2010

I stayed at leadwood lodge for 3 night for our honeymoon. We had a great experience! Kelly and Kelli were very nice and helpful. They even set up a romantic honeymoon candle light dinner in our room. The rooms are beautiful, spacious, and very clean. They reserve is very private with only 4 villas. The game drives were great! We def saw the big 5!

  • Stayed June 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Steph3285
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 May 2010

My wife and I topped off our 14 day trip to SA with three nights at Exeter Leadwood and two nights at Ngala tented. While they were both fabulous places I have to give the nod to Leadwood due to the very small size (4 rooms vs. 6 at Ngala) and the better game viewing.

We went out for five drives and saw leopard on each and every drive. On three of these drives we spent some time with a mother leopard and her two 4 month old cubs watching them playing - fantastic! We also saw a pride of lions with three young cubs plus three male lions that had just gorged themselves on a buffalo. We saw almost all of the game that we wanted to at this lodge and Mac and Colbert were fantastic and very, very knowledgable. The Land Cruiser never felt crowded as we only had the full complement of eight on one of our drives. Other times it was generally 4-5 people which was wonderful.

The rooms were fabulous - huge and beautifully laid out. I have stayed in many five star hotels and few had better rooms than Leadwood. The privacy of the lodges is great - sunbathe wearing as much or little as you want by your pool while you watch elephant, etc roam by and then have an outdoor shower.

The food was also superb - you have breakfast after your game drive (about 9:30-10:30 am) and then have lunch/tea at 3 before you head out for the afternoon drive followed by dinner after you return from the drive. IMHO this works better than having lunch at 1-2 as was the case at other lodges.

The staff were all fantastic and Keri-Ann and Mac are fantastic hosts. You feel as if you were privileged to be invited to their personal safari retreat and the rest of the staff are there to cater to your every whim.

One of the nights of our stay was my wife's wedding and the staff prepared a private meal on the deck of our room along with a bubble bath - wonderful!

I would highly recommend Exeter Leadwood for anyone looking for a safari experience, particularly if you like an intimate setting, great privacy and watching leopards.

The only complaint was the cold swimming pool but this seems to be standard at safari lodges. Maybe this is a Canadian perspective that seems weird to South Africans, but why put in an unheated pool when it is too cold to swim?

  • Stayed May 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank wayner92
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
south africa
Level 3 Contributor
21 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 March 2010

Leadwood checks the boxes for everything you could possibly want in a bush experience - great ranger (Mac), great rooms, great service, great game viewing, great food and total privacy and luxury. &Beyond does a great job and know their game!

  • Stayed September 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank richskye
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
104 reviews
64 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 132 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 December 2009

We were delighted to stay at Leadwood for 3 nights in early December. Keri, Jen, Mac, Colbin and the team were amazing. Special mention to Annah our butler - what a lovely, attentive lady.

The 4 suites (actually houses) each have a private rimflow pool (there is 5th pool which we could all share). The suites were stunning, the food was never ending and fantastic.

Game drives with Mac & Colbin were so interesting, varied and fun. We saw all of the big 5 plus lots, lots more and learned so much about the Sabi Sands and the South African bush.

If you are considering this area, then don't go any further than Leadwood.

  • Stayed December 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Littlejohn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Leeds
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 October 2009

Having decided upon Sabi Sands as my choice of places to go on safari, I then spent days researching different lodges- and finally picked Exeter Leadwood (part of 'and beyond' group) as the choice to take 3 of my friends to for their first safari experience. We had high expectations and were not disappointed.
On driving into Sabi Sands we were greeted by 6 giraffe towering over our car, and that was where the experience began. On arrival at Exeter Leadwood, we were immediately warmly greeted by Keli and the team, and served cold drinks. We walked into the main part of the lodge and were stunned by the view out over the dry river and into the distance- it was so beautiful. The decor of the lodge seemed to me to be a mix of African and contemporary with great use of wood, stone and neutral colours. Keli gave us time to take in the view and surroundings, and then we sat down to have the next few days explained to us. They acknowledged straight away that 1 of us was vegetarian (amazing how often this gets missed at other highly-rated establishments)- we had of course informed them in advance. Keli was an incredibly good and graceful manager/ hostess who knew what was going on at all times and went out of her way to ensure our stay was enjoyable throughout.
The service from Keli and all the staff was incredibly personal, and suited and adapted to our tastes and timings. For example, on both days we were able to choose to have lunch at the time we wanted it, just the 4 of us, on the top of the viewing platform- we had complimentary champagne on the first day, hand-written notes from the staff for us, and a beautifully laid table with a view to die for high up overlooking the African bush- amazing. One night we had dinner again just the 4 of us, in front of a fire on the main deck, and another night we had a boma with traditional dancing laid on for us. The staff were so keen to make you feel special and help out in any way. The service really was faultless.
The rooms- I loved them, as did my friends. They took our breath away when we went in- floor to ceiling windows, a huge viewing deck and plunge pool, outdoor and indoor showers, freestanding bath, lounge area with a fire, and every extra amenity you could think of (birding and animal books and literature, umbrellas, snacks and so on). As other people have said, the suites are more like apartments. They were very clean, and certainly the best rooms I have ever stayed in. One day the 4 of us sat outside suite 1 enjoying watching the baboons when a couple of nyala came up to us- and then we saw 10 elephants pass right by in front of us, who then frolicked in the mud for half an hour before moving on! The elephants then returned half an hour later, and then once again while we had our lunch on the viewing deck. I cannot describe the wonderful feeling of sitting having lunch in such a beautiful place with such a wonderful view, in the sunshine, with great friends laughing and chatting, sipping good South African wine and then being treated to seeing a parade of elephants arrive and stop to play right in front of us.
Mac was our guide for the drives and he was truly excellent- so knowledgeable about everything, and I cannot emphasize this enough- he could answer every question posed, and explained things in such an interesting way. As we sat watching the animals he would impart bits of information that I wish I could remember all of now! He was also extremely sensitive to all the group as in who had seen what, and what we would like to see. He was great fun, easy going and very friendly. He also showed us the small things- he loves birds, and this was a real bonus. A walking tour with him was excellent. Colbert was our tracker, and what can I say but he is such a gentle person who knows the animals so well- he too was a fount of knowledge, and his solid partnership with Mac on the drives was clearly a big advantage that helped us track down many sightings very easily. I won't list all the animals we saw, but just to say it was incredible- on each drive we were amazed by what we saw and how close we could get to these creatures that hardly seemed to be aware that we were viewing them.
The food was excellent, and we enjoyed meeting the chefs- and Aarone our butler looked after us extremely well.
One of my slight pre-trip concerns about this lodge was that it took so few guests (ie what if the other 4 guests were irritating??), but in fact this turned out to be the major draw for us- it was so serenely quiet, with very few other guests around- and we thoroughly enjoyed the company of the other 4 guests when we did see them on the drives or for dinner. Also, as described above, we had our lunches and 1 dinner in private so we had space to ourselves to do what we wanted.
I made the booking for this lodge through Tracey Campbell at Travel Butlers, and the whole experience and practicalities of booking etc were seamless. I am very grateful to her and all the contributors to the Sabi Sands and Kruger National Park forums here on Trip Advisor for their invaluable and knowledgeable advice when I was deciding which lodge would best suit my friends and I- it really helped, and set us up for a perfect trip.
So overall, this lodge was a fantastic choice that exceeded our hopes and expectations- it made for a truly superb and special African safari experience and it is something that my friends and I will never forget- we cried numerous times with emotion at the beauty of the wildlife we saw, at the luxury of the lodge at which we were so privileged to stay at, and the care and attention of all the staff.

  • Stayed September 2009, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank doclecocq
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Castleford, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
95 reviews
48 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 111 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 January 2009

This is more like you have been invited to stay at your friends house....it is so friendly, and you would quite happily live there!!

We were looked after by Keri-Ann as manager of the Lodge and Brendan as our ranger first off, and then Mac who is Keri's husband as Brendan had leave. As there are only 8 of you at the lodge, and Keri and Mac look after you, it literally is like they have invited you and you're round your mates house, talking, drinking, but being waited on hand and foot with 1st class service by Aaron and the fantastic team there!!!

We were there for New years Eve, which was surrounded by the team there singing at the beginning of the meal, and Aaron even donning a tie!! We had our party dresses in the African bush! A fantastic night (thanks to Keri & Mac, our fantastic hosts!!! A new Year to remeber for a long time.)

Now to address some of the complaints that have arisen.

The jeep is fine - it has 9 seats and 8 people can sit in it - so what there are 3 rows of 3....means you have to sit next to someone once during you stay! or maybe even TALK to other people!! All 8 people in 1 jeep means that there are less vehicles around the animals...in my book that means a lot! less vehicles, means less big pieces of metal following animals. So, there are only 2 vehicles around any of the animals spotted at any one time and people wait as back up for when one vehicle goes. That sounds quite sensible in my book.

The rooms are opulant, beds are quite firm (good!!) All alcohol is included, but to be honest you never really find time to drink it, apart from a G&T in the afternoon. The food is just out of this world, and we loved it, and we are now on diets due to 3 large meals a day here!!!

If you want to get away from it all.... Relax.... Chill..... See fantastic game..... Eat plenty and feel like its a home away from home but in the middle of the African bush, you would be hard pushed to find anywhere better!!! Try it you will NOT Be dissapointed!

  • Liked — Keri & Mac & the team - thankyou!! They make you feel so welcome
  • Disliked — Nothing!
  • Stayed December 2008
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank Coffee&applepie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Sabi Sand Game Reserve
1.3 mi away
Dulini Lodge
Dulini Lodge
#1 of 42 in Sabi Sand Game Reserve
388 reviews
13.8 mi away
Sabi Sabi Earth Lodge
Sabi Sabi Earth Lodge
#8 of 42 in Sabi Sand Game Reserve
300 reviews
6.7 mi away
Londolozi Private Game Reserve
Londolozi Private Game Reserve
#3 of 42 in Sabi Sand Game Reserve
444 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
2.3 mi away
Idube Game Reserve Lodge
Idube Game Reserve Lodge
#18 of 42 in Sabi Sand Game Reserve
339 reviews
13.0 mi away
Nkorho Bush Lodge
Nkorho Bush Lodge
#13 of 42 in Sabi Sand Game Reserve
396 reviews
0.0 mi away
Makumu Private Game Lodge
Makumu Private Game Lodge
#10 of 15 in Klaserie Private Game Reserve
28 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Dulini Leadwood Lodge? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Dulini Leadwood Lodge

Property: Dulini Leadwood Lodge
Address: | Mpumalanga, Kruger National Park 1242, South Africa
Region: South Africa > Kruger National Park > Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #32 of 42 Speciality Lodging in Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:5 star — Dulini Leadwood Lodge 5*
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Nestled in the fork of the Sand and Mabrak Rivers, andBeyond Leadwood Lodge offers a cosy and serene getaway completely at peace with the bush that surrounds it. With suites carefully distanced from each other, andBeyond Leadwood is ideal for families or parties of friends who want to share their safari experience without intruding on each other's privacy. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
And Beyond Leadwood Lodge
&Beyond Leadwood Hotel Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Dulini Leadwood Lodge South Africa/Sabi Sand Game Reserve

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing