There very few places as grounding and as relaxing as being in the bush, it really is my happy place. We’ve been going to Kruger for years (literally since I was a little kid) but have been very slack at exploring the game reserves on our doorstep. Last month Dan and I were hosted for two nights at Leadwood Safari which is situated in the heart of Dinokeng, just 60 minutes out of the city and it was everything we needed and more.
Leadwood Safari was started by husband and wife team, Anna and Jono in early 2020 and has become incredibly popular with both families and couples who want to explore the game reserve and be as close as possible to nature. There are two separate camps at Leadwood; the main camp is made up of 3 bell tents (each of which accommodate 2 adults and 2 children under 12 and have their own bathroom), a communal kitchen and swimming pool. What I love about the main camp is that you won’t have to share it with anyone, so your stay will be completely private making it perfect for a holiday with extended family or a group of friends.
The second camp is called the Camplet which is where Dan and I stayed and is made specifically for couples or a glamping duo. It is completely secluded and separate from the main camp and includes a beautiful bathroom, a kitchen, fire pit, braai area as well as a plunge pool/hot tub. Basically everything that you need to have the most wonderfully and relaxing stay.
Sleeping in the bell tent really amplifies being close to nature – you can hear the animal calls but without the frustration of mozzies and being rained on – ah the beauty of glamping! The tents are really comfortable and spacious (they are 5m x 5m) and you can choose between king or twin beds and you are supplied with all of your linen. Just a few steps from your tent is the bathroom which I’m obsessed with; both the shower and bath have beautiful views of the bushveld and feel super luxe. The tented kitchen has everything that you need for your stay including crockery and cutlery and you can choose to cook on the two plate stove or on the braai (you are supplied with firewood). There is also a fire pit and of course the hot tub/splash pool which was very welcome in the hot afternoons and then in the more chilly evenings.
Leadwood Safari takes conservation in all forms really seriously and so the whole camp is solar powered. For hot water there are wood fired water heaters which our wonderful host Josiah lit for us every morning and evening, and for when the sun sets there are both battery powered and paraffin lamps in and around your camp. There are also lots of smaller eco-concious decisions around the camp such as the firewood only coming from alien trees and discouraging the use of drones when taking photographs.
At Dinokeng you can choose to do self drives through the reserve or book a guided tour which we went for. In all honesty, I always think that booking a game drive is a good idea, you get so much out of it and the drives that we did in Dinokeng didn’t disappoint. Although we weren’t lucky enough to see as much game as we would have liked, our ranger, Mike made both of the drives so interesting with all of his knowledge and experience. When you book your stay at Leadwood, definitely make sure that you book a drive too.
Our stay at Leadwood was so wonderful and we definitely want to go back with the kids and some friends. Everything was perfect, from the tents to the hosting, the game drives to the amenities, we couldn’t have asked for a better place to take a deep breath and unwind from a very hectic month. If you’ve been thinking about booking, go for it, I’m confident that you’ll love it as much as we did!
*Just a note that Leadwood Safari is self-catering