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Leopard Hills, Sabi Sands, South Africa — October, 2015


Tom Kellie

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Tom Kellie

"Dare I note that I brought a bathing suit to wear in the plunge pool but in reality it remained dry throughout my stay." - the water was too cold in the plunge pool ;-)) ??

The above description of the Leopard Hills Lodge is both poetic and full of useful informations.

 

~ @@xelas

 

I swam twice a day, but never wore...anything!

Tom K.

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Lunch on the terrace sounded great to me, Four courses washed down with rosé. Close by the waterhole, what did I see? A giraffe striding – what a day! Place Setting with Rosé

“There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered”. ~ Nelson Mandela A Fresh Perspective ~ After h

We spot two hornbills perched together, Who dance, prance and spread their wings. Waltzing without losing a feather, What portents their action brings! Southern Yellow-billed Ho

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Tom Kellie

We spot two hornbills perched together,


Who dance, prance and spread their wings.


Waltzing without losing a feather,


What portents their action brings!




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Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill



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Tockus leucomelas Perched Together



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Hornbill Wings



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Histrionics





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Tom Kellie

Everyone respects a lion's strength and power,


Yet unknown the wonder of a lion's eyes,


Whose beauty is captured in this small orange flower,


That's able to bewitch despite its small size.




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Lion's Eye



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Tricliceras mossambicense





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Atravelynn

Love the hornbill ballet. Nice shot of your Leopard Hills gear. Cheetah from the terrace is impressive. Wonder what other creatures of the wild besides those noted were observing you in the plunge pool through their telescopic eyes? :o If you're going to use the oft-mocked plunge pool, you plunged the way it was meant to be!

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Livetowander

I love the details included in the moment-by-moment photos. Very nicely composed as well.

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I've been looking forward to this report. Your thoughtful observations add so much to your reports.

I enjoyed the airport and cuisine photos you've included this time around, too.

 

The hornbills in mirrorlike poses are quite nice. I'll certainly enjoy following along here.

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Tom Kellie

Love the hornbill ballet. Nice shot of your Leopard Hills gear. Cheetah from the terrace is impressive. Wonder what other creatures of the wild besides those noted were observing you in the plunge pool through their telescopic eyes? :o If you're going to use the oft-mocked plunge pool, you plunged the way it was meant to be!

 

~ @@Atravelynn

 

The experience was magical from arrival to departure.

Nothing felt staged. It's situated in the midst of a thriving biome.

The cheetah was visible for over ten minutes. I fiddled with eggs benedict and fresh strawberries whilst observing it.

I'm henceforth disqualified from ever again mocking plunge pools. They turn out to be a return to simplicity.

One suspects that the angels above, assorted agamas and skinks and the odd dragonfly were glimpsing my unrestrained plunge.

Nothing that they haven't seen before, although the cherubim, by reflex, surely blush.

Tom K.

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Tom Kellie

I've been looking forward to this report. Your thoughtful observations add so much to your reports.

I enjoyed the airport and cuisine photos you've included this time around, too.

 

The hornbills in mirrorlike poses are quite nice. I'll certainly enjoy following along here.

 

~ @@Marks

 

Thank you so much for taking time to visit this trip report and offer an encouraging comment.

After the previous trip report, it seemed timely to have a little fun with a different approach.

The hornbills put on quite a show, lasting more than five minutes.

Tom K.

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Tom Kellie

I love the details included in the moment-by-moment photos. Very nicely composed as well.

 

~ @@Livetowander

 

Thank you so much for your very kind comment.

Although the trip report is focused on a single venue, the moment-by-moment approach seems to provide the most authentic sense of the experience.

I appreciate your thoughtful words.

Tom K.

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Tom Kellie

Turn your feathered back on me, will you?


Aquila wahlbergi, lord of Sabi Sands,


Atop a snag, your native milieu,


Surveying the Lowveld, your forests, your lands.




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Aquila wahlbergi



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Sabi Sands Wahlberg's Eagle





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Kitsafari

the dancing yellow billed hornbills are a delight. they were so plentiful in Timbavati and Londolozi that the guides were bemused we wanted to take pictures of them. in the end, we had the best pictures at lunch at the dining deck of Makanyi Lodge where a family of hornbills made a home in the marula tree.

 

Leopard hills lodge sounds incredibly comfortable Tom.

 

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P1120573-1.JPG

Edited by Kitsafari
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Tom Kellie

Alopochen aegyptiaca,

Never quacks “Polly wants a crack-a”.
Aloof on its own lonely isle,
It's visage bereft of a smile.

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Alopochen aegyptiaca

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Egyptian Goose Island

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Tom Kellie

the dancing yellow billed hornbills are a delight. they were so plentiful in Timbavati and Londolozi that the guides were bemused we wanted to take pictures of them. in the end, we had the best pictures at lunch at the dining deck of Makanyi Lodge where a family of hornbills made a home in the marula tree.

 

Leopard hills lodge sounds incredibly comfortable Tom.

 

~ @@Kitsafari

 

Oh my!

Yellow-billed Hornbill shots on the dining deck during lunch! That's the way to do it!

As soon as I saw your lovely photos I smiled in recognition. Your images show them exactly as I remember them.

Yes, I must say that Leopard Hills provides amenities and little ‘extras’ at every point during game drives, in the suites and around the lodge, yet it seems as though one were there alone.

Thank you for your very nice comment and two great hornbill shots!

Tom K.

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Tom Kellie

First there was one, then there were two,


Furtively proceeding in grass tall and lush,


Their departure, as if on cue,


Was a dignified trot, clearly in no rush.




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Sabi Sands Warthog



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Under Surveillance



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At Full Trot



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Watching Out for Each Other





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Tom Kellie

Omens and portents I routinely disdain,


Preferring to let nature do as it may.


Yet spotting drongos is a way to explain,


Unexpected contingencies of each day.




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A Happy Omen



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With a Slender Twig



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Tilted to One Side





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Tom Kellie

We're told that stars are a feature of the night,


Twinkling above us in the ink-dark sky.


Yet aren't these flowers in hues of purest white,


As heavenly as the bright stars on high?




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Who Ever Notices These?



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Galactic Arm



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No Charge for Looking





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Tom Kellie

Ectoparasite predation is nature's way,


Of giving a poor impala relief.


Red-billed oxpeckers dine like that every day,


Gourmet fare that's almost beyond belief!




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Red-billed Oxpecker Trio



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Ectoparasite Feeding Station





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Tom Kellie

Go bring on the hippos, stars of the show,


Lazing together, unchallenged by any.


Very high profile wherever they go,


Sand River hippos are not one, but many.




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Hippo Huddle



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The Comfort of Familiarity



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A Pillow Like No Other



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Varied Action



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Battle-scarred



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Sand River Hippopotamus





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Atravelynn

 

Love the hornbill ballet. Nice shot of your Leopard Hills gear. Cheetah from the terrace is impressive. Wonder what other creatures of the wild besides those noted were observing you in the plunge pool through their telescopic eyes? :o If you're going to use the oft-mocked plunge pool, you plunged the way it was meant to be!

 

~ @@Atravelynn

I'm henceforth disqualified from ever again mocking plunge pools. They turn out to be a return to simplicity.

One suspects that the angels above, assorted agamas and skinks and the odd dragonfly were glimpsing my unrestrained plunge.

Nothing that they haven't seen before, although the cherubim, by reflex, surely blush.

Tom K.

 

You have taken plunge pool discussion to a new level!

 

The Goose Island is a nice shot and a hilarious caption.

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Tom Kellie

Oh, Sand River, thou aptly named stream,


Sluggish thou mayest flow.


Yet lovely to ponder, like a dream,


One wants thou to know.




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Sand River with Trees



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Sand River with its Namesake





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Tom Kellie

This first day's sunset is a special gift,


From South Africa to my wondering eyes.


Pink-tinged clouds above slowly, slowly drift,


Across Sabi Sands' heavenly blue skies.




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My First South African Sunset







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FlyTraveler

I am late into to this excellent trip report (as usual), @@Tom Kellie... Great beginning, I like very much the idea about posting photos and writing about the trip before the actual safari - the airports, aircraft and the aerial photos, of course. What a VIP greeting in Joburg - @@Peter Connan himiself! Very interesting Federal Air plane to Sabi Sands, was it a Dornier?

 

Leopard Hills looks like a dream destination, looking forward to seeing the continuation of this report and tons of excellent photos!

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Tom Kellie

First sighted flying low along the shore,


An African Jacana was a familiar sight.


In Kenya I'd often seen them before,


Vivid plumage visible whenever they took flight.




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Jacana Flight



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No Floating Plants Here





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Peter Connan

@@FlyTraveler, I believe that is a high-roof version of Beechcraft's King Air

 

@@Tom Kellie, that's a very threadbare-looking Impala under the three oxpeckers isn't it?

Edited by Peter Connan
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Tom Kellie

I am late into to this excellent trip report (as usual), @@Tom Kellie... Great beginning, I like very much the idea about posting photos and writing about the trip before the actual safari - the airports, aircraft and the aerial photos, of course. What a VIP greeting in Joburg - @@Peter Connan himiself! Very interesting Federal Air plane to Sabi Sands, was it a Dornier?

 

Leopard Hills looks like a dream destination, looking forward to seeing the continuation of this report and tons of excellent photos!

 

~ @@FlyTraveler

 

Thank you very much for your support and very kind comments!

The process of reaching a safari destination is a major component of the overall experience.

Particulars of the airports, aircraft and the flights are significant factors in remembering a safari.

The welcome of @@Peter Connan was my lasting first impression of South Africa — nothing better!

As to the aircraft, when there I struggled to find any information as to its make, but failed.

Next month I'll return to retrace my route, thus will make a better effort to identify it.

Leopard Hills is a first-class safari lodge in all respects. Their respect for wildlife is matched by their consideration for their guests.

I'm so pleased that you're enjoying this trip report. Assuredly, there's much more yet to be posted.

Tom K.

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