Activities at the Lodge

At Leopard’s View Game Lodge itself, life is more about being than doing - sit, relax and enjoy the animals, birds and trees, the sights and sounds.  Animals and birds can be viewed from the three Lodge decks and from the viewing tower, and often approach very close.

 

Since Leopard’s View Game Lodge is within the Greater Kruger Park, the full range of game animals can be seen at the Lodge or in Balule Nature Reserve. This includes the so-called “big five” but also the majority of the other species that occur in the Kruger National Park. Some habitat specialists are confined to other regions and to other vegetation types but most things are here.  The bird life is tremendous (some 250 species) and one of the great pleasures of sitting on the viewing decks is watching the numerous different species coming to the nearby drinking pool or foraging in the adjacent trees and bushes.

 

If there is an exciting sighting close to the Lodge, we will take you there in our game viewing vehicle.  We can take you out for a planned short morning or sunset drive on our own property and in the local area where we have traversing rights.  We are not just “big five” seekers on such drives – we spend much of the time looking at anything from birds to insects to trees, and any mammal, large or small, is of interest.

 

We have a 200 mm reflecting telescope and, given a clear night, this provides fantastic views of the southern stars and any visible planets, the moon or whatever else is visible at the time.


 


Activities in Balule

 

If you would like to go on a morning or evening game drive covering a wide area of Balule Nature Reserve, this can be arranged in collaboration with neighbouring lodges. Game drives last approximately three hours and generally start between 5.30 and 6.30 a.m. in the morning and between 3.30 and 4.30 p.m. in the afternoon, depending on the time of year. We recommend that you pre-book any drives you would like to go on to be sure of availability. Game drive vehicles are open, which gives a very different bush experience to that of self-driving in Kruger Park, for example.

 

If you would like a game walk, this too can be arranged in collaboration with neighbouring lodges. Walks are often done as part of a three-hour drive.  Once again, we recommend that you enquire in advance as walks are not always available for operational reasons.

 

Game drives and walks are charged for separately and the latest price is given on our ‘Rates’ page.

 

Activities in the region

 

For guests who would like to undertake some activities during their stay, and especially if staying for several nights, Leopard’s View Game Lodge is within easy travelling time and distance of many sights and attractions in the region. These range from game viewing to animal rehabilitation, walking and other more challenging activities. Visits to Kruger National Park itself and Blyde River Canyon are the two excursions we recommend on a regular basis but there are many other options.

 

Kruger National Park:

 

Even though we are situated within the Greater Kruger Park, a day trip into the core Kruger National Park itself can be very rewarding and gives an impression of just how large the overall conservation area is. A Kruger National Park trip is easy to do on a self-drive basis.  Orpen Gate is 89 km from Leopard’s View Game Lodge with a journey time of some 70 minutes along excellent roads.  Orpen provides access to the very rewarding Satara, Nwanedzi and Timbavati areas and so is the access point we normally recommend. Phalaborwa Gate is 65 km from the Lodge and can be reached in about one hour but the road is not in good condition. This gate provides access to the Letaba, Olifants and Mopani areas of the Park. 

 

We normally provide a self-cook breakfast plus all the necessary equipment and utensils (although we can provide a packed breakfast if preferred) and a picnic lunch.  Alternatively, food can be obtained at the rest camps that you pass during the trip.  A sundowner, a welcoming fire and a three-course dinner will be ready for you when you get back.


As an alternative to self-drive, you can take a guided day trip to Kruger, organised with one of the local providers. In this case, you can simply sit and enjoy the experience. Pre-booking is essential.

 

Blyde River Canyon and Dam

 

The Blyde River Canyon offers spectacular views from the look out point some 30 km south of the Abel Erasmus Pass, and a total of about 90 km from Leopard’s View Game Lodge. This can be visited either as an end in itself or as part of a longer, whole day trip along the Panorama Route, which takes in various viewpoints, waterfalls and other sights along the escarpment.

Much closer (about 60 km away) is Blyde Dam: there are beautiful walks in the canyon (ranging from gentle 2-3 km strolls to 10 km arduous hikes, such as the Hippo Trail) and we recommend the daily boat trips on the lake - the scenery if fantastic and there is good wildlife to be seen. If you decide to do any walking in the Canyon, we will provide you with a picnic lunch.

There are white water rafting and tubing opportunities in the vicinity for the more adventurous.

 

Other Local attractions include:

  • Moholoholo Animal Rehabilitation Centre
  • Khamai Reptile Park
  • Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre at Kapama – cheetahs, vultures and many other predators
  • Balloon flights
  • The Amarula Lapa (site of manufacture of the South African liqueur)
  •  

    All of these attractions, as well as Blyde River Canyon and Dam, can be accessed by self-drive. However, day tours can be arranged if required.

     

    Self-drive itineraries

     

    Although many guests simply choose to stay at the Lodge and enjoy the bush and whatever animals and birds come along, there is much to do and see in the region, as the information above shows. There are endless combinations but for those looking for a more structured time here we would suggest the following:

    Three nights at Leopards’ View 

     

    Day 1:
    drive from Johannesburg, taking in places on the Panorama Route such as the Three Rondavels Viewpoint over the Blyde River Canyon on the way OR fly to Hoedspruit or to Phalaborwa and collect a hire car there. Depending on arrival time - afternoon tea, sunset game drive and evening dinner.
    Day 2:
    three-hour early morning game drive in Balule Nature Reserve; late morning boat trip to take in the magnificent scenery of the Blyde Canyon Dam; three-hour afternoon/evening game drive in Balule Nature Reserve.
    Day 3:
    day trip to Kruger National Park. We provide maps, suggested routes, picnic breakfast and lunch; return to the Lodge for dinner.
    Day 4:
    three-hour early morning game drive in Balule Nature Reserve; breakfast and depart.

     

    Four nights at Leopards’ View

    Taking advantage of our four-night special offer:
    includes the most significant local activities and allows enough time for relaxing at the Lodge.
    Day 1:
    drive from Johannesburg, taking in places on the Panorama Route such as the Three Rondavels Viewpoint over the Blyde River Canyon on the way OR fly to Hoedspruit or to Phalaborwa and collect a hire car there. Depending on arrival time, afternoon tea, sunset game drive and evening dinner.
    Day 2:
    three-hour early morning game drive in Balule Nature Reserve; afternoon boat trip to take in the magnificent scenery of the Blyde Canyon Dam.
    Day 3:
    day trip to Kruger National Park. We provide maps, suggested routes, picnic breakfast and lunch; return to the Lodge for dinner.
    Day 4:
    three-hour early morning game drive in Balule Nature Reserve; three-hour afternoon/evening game drive in Balule Nature Reserve.
    Day 5:
    three-hour early morning game drive in Balule Nature Reserve; breakfast and depart

     

    Five nights at Leopard’s View

    Taking advantage of our five-night special offer:
    includes most of the local activities and allows plenty of time for relaxing at the Lodge.
    Day 1:
    Drive from Johannesburg, taking in places on the Panorama Route such as the Three Rondavels Viewpoint over the Blyde River Canyon on the way OR fly to Hoedspruit or to Phalaborwa and collect a hire car there. Depending on arrival time, afternoon tea, sunset game drive and evening dinner.
    Day 2:
    three-hour early morning game drive in Balule Nature Reserve; afternoon boat trip to take in the magnificent scenery of the Blyde Canyon Dam.
    Day 3:
    day trip to Kruger National Park. We provide maps, suggested routes, picnic breakfast and lunch; return to the Lodge for dinner.
    Day 4:
    three-hour early morning game drive in Balule Nature Reserve; afternoon trip either to Moholoholo Animal Rehabilitation Centre or the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre.
    Day 5:
    A morning of relaxation; three-hour afternoon/evening game drive in Balule Nature Reserve.
    Day 6:
    three-hour early morning game drive in Balule Nature Reserve; breakfast and depart


    Warthog at bird pool


    Buffalo Herd


    Lion at waterhole


    White-crowned Shrike


    Blue Waxbill


    Grey Go-away bird

    Birdwatxhing at Leopards View Game lodge  - Hoedspruit Accommodation - Limpopo Game lodges

    African barred owlet


    Black-headed Oriole

    Bird watching at Leopards View Game lodge  - Hoedspruit Accommodation - Limpopo Game lodges

    Black Backed Jackal

    Wildlife at Leopards View Game lodge  - Hoedspruit Accommodation - Limpopo Game lodges

    Costs and bookings:

    Our prices include accommodation and all meals: the other activities suggested are optional extras, as follows: Three-hour game drives in Balule: R375 per person per activity, payable on departure from Leopard’s View (cash or card); we book. Blyde Dam Boat Trip: R130 per person, payable in cash at the boat; we book.

     

    Moholoholo Rehabilitation Centre: R140 per person, payable in cash at Moholoholo; no booking required. Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre: R140 per person, payable by cash or card at HESC; we book. Kruger Park Day trip: entry/conservation fee – SA residents R70, international visitors R280 per person, payable by cash or card at KNP entrance gate ; no booking required.