Overlooking the Palala Valley in the diverse Waterberg region is the magical Leobo Private Reserve, an 8 000-hectare (20 000-acre) wilderness that encompasses rugged rocks, bushveld savannah, natural streams and an abundance of wildlife. Teeming with plains game and birdlife – plus a crocodile named Stevie – this is a place with no time constraints, no rules (except safety) and no limits. It also houses The Observatory, an almost sinfully luxurious private-use safari villa that offers complete privacy and exclusivity and is a true escape.
The award-winning house is a masterpiece, ideal for couples, a group of friends or families. Live on the wild side with this unparalleled bush experience – explore the landscape by dune buggy or mountain bikes or, if you’d rather take a back seat, join the experienced driver for a tour of the private reserve. The Observatory has breath-taking panoramic views. Spend days on the rooftop sun deck with its Jacuzzi, on a game drive or in the heated infinity pool and nights around the fire or stargazing from the observatory. The home takes its name from The Dome, which houses two fully automated telescopes: a 20-inch telescope for viewing planets, stars and nebulae, and an 8-inch telescope for looking directly at the sun. Due to the reserve’s remote location, the sky is extraordinarily clear. Local astronomer Dr Phil Calcot can be booked for starlight safaris, while experienced stargazers will love the selection of state-of-the-art astrophotography equipment for deep-sky imaging.
The house is serviced by a butler, housekeeper and a chef during your stay so that you don’t have to lift a finger! The gourmet, chef-prepared meals using fresh local produce can – and should be – enjoyed outside or at one of several beautiful locations out in the bush.
Night-time game viewing is enhanced by thermal imaging equipment, while quad bikes and a camouflaged electric golf buggy are all available for your use in the reserve. Target shooting with sniper rifles is an exhilarating activity overseen by an expert ranger, while quieter pursuits include the excellent bass fishing in the nearby dams accompanied by the sounds of the laughing hippos dotting the water’s surface. The estate’s private helicopter can be booked for airport collections or for a heady chopper ride to spy a variety of game. Guests can be dropped off at assorted locations for a gourmet picnic. There is luxury, and then there is Leobo!
What we love!
• The sheer freedom of going off on your own expedition to explore your surroundings and doing what you feel like on the spur of the moment is just so exhilarating.
• The unusual range of exciting escapades on offer, from helicopter game-viewing to quad biking to stargazing to night-time game viewing using thermal imaging equipment.
• The fact that you have full access to the entire estate and all its facilities – this as much as anything else makes it feel like your very own home in the bush.
What you need to know…
• Leobo Private Reserve is malaria free.
• The estate’s private helicopter can be booked for airport collections.
• New rates have just been introduced, from four guests upwards, making The Observatory more accessible than ever before
• Big Five game viewing is available on neighbouring reserves, but without predators here adventurous guests can do so much more!