Available only on an exclusive basis, Leobo Private Reserve is a completely private 20,000-acre estate within the South Africa’s diverse Waterberg region. This malaria-free destination—named Africa’s Best Safari Lodge in 2014 and 2015 by The Safari Awards—offers discerning travelers the choice between the luxury accommodations of Leobo Lodge or the Observatory Villa, both of which provide a truly unique African experience in isolation from the outside world.

Property Details

Guests of Leobo Private Reserve have the option of staying at either Leobo Lodge, which sleeps fourteen adults and four children, or at the Observatory Villa, a state-of-the-art private home accommodating up to six adults and three children. A total of 26 guests can be accommodated in Leobo at a time.

Leobo Lodge

Leobo Lodge is a collection of eight rustic-chic chalets, each overlooking the Palala Valley from their fully furnished open-air verandahs. Classic game-lodge décor and furnishings bring to mind the luxury safari traditions of yesteryear, while the dedicated staff ensures no detail has been overlooked. All boast en-suite bathrooms punctuated with warm copper features, as well as private decks with never-ending views toward the vast horizon. Meals at Leobo Lodge can be enjoyed inside, on the enormous main lodge deck, or in the Boma where everyone eats around a fire under the stars. At night, lanterns illuminate the wooden pathways to create a romantic glow in the isolated bush.

Observatory Villa

Leobo Private Reserve’s main house, the Observatory Villa, is perhaps the most stunning safari house in all of Africa for its architectural perspective and group-minded amenities. Designed by award-winning architects Silvio Rech and Lesley Carstens, this private home is an amalgamation of design surprises, from the hippo skeleton chandelier over the white sandstone dining table to Leadwood doors etched by craftsmen in Zanzibar. After dinner, guests are encouraged to don their silver spacesuits and climb up to the Waterberg Observatory, whose copper dome houses two research-grade telescopes fixed on the night sky. Allow astronomer Philip Calcott to navigate the dense constellations, or follow him up to the Jacuzzi deck for a detailed Starlit Safari.

Beyond its exclusive-use accommodations, Leobo Private Reserve is most enthusiastically applauded for its dedicated staff, from the talented resident chef’s bespoke culinary creations and the team of nannies caring for the youngest of guests, to the passionate game leaders ready to share their bush knowledge and the personal butlers always primed to organize the next adventure or serve up a spritzer by the pool.

Leobo Private Reserve is for those in search of a wholly unique and childlike wilderness experience without the constraints of timetables. Of course, Land Cruiser game drives are offered at any time, but guests can also choose to strike out on their own by horseback or quad bike in search of the giraffes, hippos, zebras, wildebeest, cheetah, kudu, and bushman paintings found within Leobo. There is an endless possibility of fun on this so-called adult playground, whether it means hippo camping, mountain biking, play pigeon shooting, fishing, or zigzagging above the dramatic canyons, streams, and wildlife aboard a private helicopter or paraglider. One can attempt a game of tug-of-war with Stevie, the resident crocodile who lives in one of Leobo’s lakes. Leobo is only a handful of sole-use private reserves in South Africa, meaning guests receive full and exclusive access to the entire reserve and all of its facilities, creating a completely private experience in the African bush.

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