Our Rating
9.5
Overall

Dulini Leadwood Lodge

South Africa, Greater Kruger, Sabi Sands

from R 12000 pp/night sharing

*Rates shown apply to South African residents only - discounted rates for overseas residents available on request.

Save
14%
Our Rating
9.5
Overall

Dulini Leadwood Lodge

South Africa, Greater Kruger, Sabi Sands

from R 12000 pp/night sharing

*Rates shown apply to South African residents only - discounted rates for overseas residents available on request.

Save
14%
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Our Verdict

A superb riverside location + hugely luxurious and spacious suites + fantastic game viewing + unmatched intimacy (just 3 suites!) = SENSATIONAL!

Our Ratings

9.5
Overall
9.5
Luxury & style
9.5
Setting
9.0
Game Viewing
9.5
Romance

Our Ratings

9.5
Overall
9.5
Luxury & style
9.5
Setting
9.0
Game Viewing
9.5
Romance

What's Hot

  • With just 3 suites usually occupied (4 if you book out the lodge exclusively) Leadwood is one of the most exclusive and intimate, romance-friendly lodges we’ve ever come across in our travels!
  • The massively spacious and luxurious suites are wonderful places to spend a romantic holiday: outdoor showers, fireplaces, private pools, heated bathrooms with massive tubs…you may find yourself tempted to remain ensconced there for the duration of your stay, only emerging reluctantly for the odd meal!
  • We love the statement-making stone-clad walls used extensively both in the lodge’s suites and public areas – they make for a perfect balance between clean contemporary style and natural organic elements
  • Of course you’re in the middle of some of the very best game viewing country in Africa, with leopard a particular speciality – and with just 6 guests allowed on the game drive vehicle you’ll get to enjoy the great viewing in space and comfort too.
  • If you can afford it (and find the availability too of course) this is just about the perfect lodge to book exclusively for a very special private holiday with family or special friends (in which case you’re allowed to occupy all 4 suites)


What's Not

  • If you’re a social animal that enjoys meeting a lot of people around the bar, then the fact that Leadwood has only 6 guests at any time may well make it too small and quiet for you
  • Obviously this type exclusivity and luxury comes at a price – and it can be difficult to find availability too

Dulini Leadwood Lodge

Dulini Leadwood Lodgewide glass doors and windows stretch from toe to ceiling, fully opening onto the private open-air decks with fantastic views of the river greeting you at all angles

Lodge Profile

A superb riverside location + hugely luxurious and spacious suites + fantastic game viewing + unmatched intimacy (just 3 suites!) = SENSATIONAL!

Quick Overview

Location
Sabi Sands
Drive Time
6 hours drive from Johannesburg
Malaria
Yes - low risk area
Setting
Overlooking a riverbed
Rooms
3 suites
Aircon
yes
Pool
Yes
Spa
In-room massages
Camp Fenced
Yes
Tracker
Yes - Tracker & Ranger
Off Road
Yes
Child Policy
No children under 8

EXETER BECOMES DULINI

The name “Dulini Leadwood” might lead to a little confusion. Why? Well for many years the lodge was called Exeter Leadwood and fell under the well-known andBeyond stable. However, mid-2016 saw the lodge’s management and marketing switch to the boutique but top-notch Dulini brand where it promises to reach even greater heights.

STUNNING RIVERSIDE LOCATION

And Leadwood certainly has plenty going for it! For a start there’s the lodge’s superb location in the famous Sabi Sand reserve where it lies tucked into a loop of the Sand River just as it is joined by the smaller Mabrak river. Here the 4 luxurious suites and impressive main lodge buildings lie under a stand of impressive Leadwood trees from which this luxury lodge takes its name. The rocky banks of the river lie right at the foot of the lodge’s main deck (itself huddled beneath the shady of a vast Jackalberry tree), from which you can catch sight of passing game, including herds of ellies as they filter down to the river to enjoy a refreshing drink (whilst you do likewise back on the comfort of the deck courtesy of one of the ever-helpful bar staff!)

IS THAT 3 ROOMS OR 4?

We mentioned previously that Leadwood boasts 4 gorgeous suites, but in reality only 3 of them are usually occupied at any one time. The reason for this is simple – restricting bookings to only 3 rooms means a maximum of 6 guests at any time on your game drive vehicle, thereby guaranteeing that everyone has a “window” seat with more comfort and less crowding (the unused middle seats are handy places to stash cameras and jackets) It is only when a party books the entire lodge on an exclusive basis that the fourth room would be used.

SECLUDED AND PRIVATE

Whilst the gorgeous riverine forest shields your suite from prying eyes and maximises your privacy and seclusion, the design ethos behind the beautifully appointed rooms is a breath of fresh air. And we mean this quite literally too: wide glass doors and windows stretch from toe to ceiling, fully opening onto the private open-air decks, which gives you a feeling of immersion in the bush. Fantastic views of the river greet you at all angles, whether it’s from the comfortable chasms of soft cotton on your massive bed or from the cool waters of your suite’s private plunge pool.

Soft beige and khaki tones are incorporated seamlessly into the décor of the massive rooms, working effortlessly with the muted greys and browns of the stunning stone-clad walls, traditional thatch roofing and wooden pillars to instil an undeniable sense of wilderness inside the house itself. A grand fireplace sits in the far wall, just begging for a chilly night so that it can give you and your partner an excuse to snuggle closer together. And with the heated floors of the bathroom (not to mention one of the largest stand-alone tubs we’ve seen in our many years of visiting lodges!), we’re willing to bet you’ll relax your definition of “cold” just to try out these small delights. Of course, during the sweltering heat of summer then the outdoor shower is just as enticing…

FANTASTIC GAME VIEWING

It’s not just the suites that are exciting; Leadwood’s game viewing also ranks amongst the best in the country! Passionate, friendly, and quick to explain the curious details of bush life to those of us less learned, the professional team of rangers and trackers at Leadwood ensure that drives out into the reserve are a delight and an education wrapped into one. The Sabi Sand is of course rightly renowned for its superb game viewing, with leopards being perhaps its signature speciality. Of course, if you find the hum of a diesel engine sometimes too distracting then why not head off on a guided bush walk - there is no better way to go face-to-face with the African bushveld than with your own personal guide edging you forward in complete silence, slowing inching step by step towards an unforgettable and up-close encounter with some of Africa’s most beautiful animals.

BACK AT THE LODGE…

Upon returning to the lodge after your morning game drive, we’re pretty sure that most guests will choose to hang out in the privacy of their hugely spacious suite, perhaps enjoying a welcome swim in their private pool. Of course, the main lodge public areas are also extremely attractive spaces. Again, the design of the lodge seems to have been designed with intimacy in mind: almost as if they were scared that six (or eight) guests are too many, even the shared areas focus on providing a choice of various private, quiet spaces. Varying levels, steps and clever architecture come together to create cosy little nooks and crannies that honeymooners can tuck themselves into for an evening drink whilst they whisper sweet nothings.

WHERE WILL WE BE DINING TONIGHT?

As you can imagine with such an upmarket lodge, Leadwood’s cuisine and dining atmosphere is also out of the top drawer. As the sun goes down, you’ll find yourself salivating at the prospect of another delicious meal and wondering where it will be served up this time: perhaps outside in the ‘boma’ around a roaring fire, a private dinner for 2 on the privacy of your suite’s deck, or even in the lodge cellar surrounded by the perfect accompaniments for your meal (maybe a sprightly, unwooded chardonnay to complement pan-grilled line fish on a bed of fragrant rice and roast vegetables, or a well-aged Bordeaux-style red to fuse with the rich flavours of your medium-rare seared steak with new potatoes and rosemary with rich gravy.!)

BUILT FOR ROMANCE

In our extensive travels across southern Africa, it’s arguable if we have ever seen a better place to spend your honeymoon or romantic break. The feeling of intimacy and quiet at Leadwood seems almost custom-tailored for this. But whether you come as a couple or as a larger group, with their attention to detail, excellent service and breath-taking rooms and setting, at Leadwood one thing is certain: when you leave this place, you’ll do so with a heavy heart.

Pricing

pp/night sharing

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