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Poised at the top of a hill overlooking the golden, green and often red-hued Waterberg mountains of the Marakele and Marataba National Parks, deep in the bush of the Limpopo, Cypiro Leopard Lodge beckons you in to its contemporary yet earthy environment of laidback lodge living and whisks you out to the wilderness. Its rugged stone walls gently curving beneath the tall thatch ceilings and its lovely open plan living, dining and entertaining spaces all take a reclining back seat to the breathtaking vastness of the landscape that unravels before you.
Set on 25 hectares of uncultivated bushveld where golden wildebeest, nyala, sable and impala – to list but a few – roam amongst the aloes, the cactus, cycads and sickle boss trees – also, to name but a few – bordering the 23 000-hectared neighbouring National Parks, this hideaway has been lovingly built to honour the hours of the day and the ever changing light and life of its surroundings. The clocks stop as you tune into nature’s existence and its spectacular display of the cycle of life. The wildlife and the birdlife lure you out of bed with their early morning calls just as they lull you into a peaceful slumber with their pacifying evening lullabies.
You’ll rise from one of the four dreamy ensuite bedrooms of the Manor House, that overlook different aspects of the garden, and begin your morning with a meditative yoga session on the beautiful deck, followed by a dip in the swimming pool, mimicking the wildlife as they dip into and drink from the dam below. Or you’ll simply sit still in the forest on a wooden bench beneath the thorn tree witnessing dapples of light dancing with the leaves, as you sip on a fresh morning brew. Or perhaps you’d like to saunter around the garden with the owners’ beloved birds of prey and perky pigeons as they introduce you to their own early morning antics at the lodge. Maybe you’ll just like to hang about in bed for a bit longer, before you hit those inviting outdoor showers, standing beneath the open skies, receiving wafts of the bush breakfast that’s almost ready to be served. That’s the beauty of having your very own hideaway in the wilderness all to yourself – it’s up to you and your clan to be wherever and whenever it is you choose to be. Just a five minute walk away from the Manor House, sits The View – completely off-grid and overlooking the dam, with its two ensuite bedrooms and gorgeous, open living and dining space of steel glass and its expansive deck and swimming pool. A statement of contemporary integration into a multifaceted, creative bush hideaway.
Afternoons will be spent around the swimming pool or venturing out onto the many hiking and biking trails. Either through the forests or up into the mountains. There are, of course, options to enter the National Parks and enjoy either guided or self drives, and walks with the Big. The lovely owners of Cypiro will gladly map out as many adventurous routes as you fancy, to explore the stunning scenery that surrounds, and the lovely look-out points for picnics and sundowners.
Evenings always begin with a salute to the sun, from the long stoep, the magnificent tall lookout tower or around the boma, as you watch the animals bathing and drinking from their watering hole once again. As the night skies light up with the expansive blanket of stars, so do the nightjars start to signify nature’s clock with their song. The fires are lit and the feast is being prepared in the great open kitchen with its curvaceous bar. A perfect spot for all to gather and natter about the adventures of the day before sitting down at the table on the stoep or beside the fire indoors.
After an invigorating day of all that life in the bush brings, and one last jingle at the piano, you’ll climb into bed once again and surrender to the stillness and the subtle sounds of the lion roaring in the distance, as you depict a picture of the new day that’s yet to unfold.
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Reviewed by Colleen Ogilvie
Sleeps 10 in 5 bedrooms. Children on request.
Pets allowed by prior approval only
Off-peak - R8 500 per night
Peak Season - R12 500 per night