Leobo. Even the name sounds so quintessentially African you can’t escape the idea that it’s wild. South Africa has long been famed as one of the least wild destinations in Africa, a reputation we constantly break and fight against as we send our clients into some of the most pristine, remote and magical areas of bushveld in the world. South Africa still has vast areas which are untouched, but lovingly preserved and Leobo Private Reserve in the malaria free Waterberg is one of them.
Leobo is made up of 20,000 acres of some of the most scenic landscapes in South Africa and when you take Leobo’s private house, The Observatory, you take the whole 20,000 acres with it. In short you have your own private African paradise at your disposal – there is no-where else in Africa where one can do this, fact. The Observatory itself is also a wonder – ranked amongst the top five private houses in all of Africa this design feat looks like a termite mound, an extremely luxurious one. The style is relaxed yet modern and quirky and it is the only place you will find an entire hippo skeleton illuminated above the dining room table. Every inch of this house has been designed with comfort in mind, with endless Indian Ocean blue day beds, a pool hewn out of the rocks and huge comfy sofas for the cooler evenings. The top deck of the house boasts a Jacuzzi and vast sitting area and bar, the ideal place to see the stunning sunsets so associated with the Waterberg.
The Observatory also has a scientific grade telescope located in a dome at the top of the house and we defy anyone not to become completely obsessed with the stars after looking through this monumental piece of kit. If your family or group of friends is too big for the three bedroom (one bedroom is a child’s bedroom) Observatory you can overflow into the lodge which has comfy large rooms with private verandahs, all with the compulsory stunning views. There is a gym, fire pit, comfy sitting area, pool / ping pong table and plenty of space for large groups to relax.
While you have these extremely comfortable bush homes to return to Leobo really comes into it’s own when you head out into the wilderness and explore. There is abundant plains game but no dangerous game so you can head out with your family or friends at total ease, either independently or with any of Leobo’s expert guides. There is every toy known to man from motorbikes, quads, a polaris, horses – even kayaks for the river (when it flows, South Africa is currently having a drought). A highlight here for anyone is heading off in the game drive vehicle, leading your own safari – there’s no better feeling.
The real fun starts when the helicopters arrive – experienced pilots which work with Leobo can offer everything from scenic flights down the river to allowing clients to experience some stunt work. These amazing machines also allow you to land in some of Leobo’s more remote and uncharted spots. One such spot on ‘Table Mountain’ has such spectacular views from the flat rocks on the edge that you’ll never want to leave. The views up here give many other famous sundowner spots in Africa a run for their money.
The highlight of the stay was taking the polaris, quads and helicopter down to the river for the morning – the vast gorges and rocks are unexplored and simply stunning, with an ethereal quality about them and the way the water pools into crystal clear ponds ideal for swimming. Leobo certainly proves that there is real wilderness to be found in South Africa, and here you will be rewarded by breath-taking beauty as you explore it.