More about Leadwood Lodge
A favoured delicacy for the Sabi Sand elephants is the marula tree, renowned for its distinctive mottled grey bark and its abundant summer crop of juicy fruit. When ripe, this fruit is greatly sought after - not only by elephant but also troops of baboon. Not content with the succulent morsels of fruit, the elephant may seek out the tree's moist root system, pushing the plant over in the process. The leaves and bark of the knob thorn tree are another delicacy enjoyed by elephants. Undeterred by the knobbly spines on the trunk and branches, both elephant and giraffe are drawn to the nutritious foliage.
Termite mounds form a fascinating and distinctive feature of the Sabi Sand landscape. These mounds are created by termites and are constantly expanded while inhabited. When the colony is abandoned, the mound is often taken over by a variety of creatures, from smaller inhabitants such as mongoose, rock monitor or snake to larger dwellers such as aardvark, porcupine, warthog or even spotted hyena. A dense thicket may often form on the site of the old termite mound, creating an ideal hiding place for the cubs of many animal species, including leopard and lion.
Bare rocky outcrops have formed on some parts of the Sabi Sand reserve with sparse grasses and trees such as the rock fig, with its white stem and long roots that cling to the rock faces, or the distinctively shaped candelabra tree. The narrow crevices and stony ledges provide a home for a host of reptiles, including the rock monitor, giant plated lizard and rainbow skink. The dainty klipspringer and the stocky rock dassie vie for space with baboons on the precarious rocky precipices. Small caves or rocky overhangs offer the perfect hiding place for lion or leopard cubs.