The Ultimate Playground
Situated on 8,000 hectares of the Waterberg region in Limpopo, Leobo Private Reserve, the brain child of British tech mogul, polar explorer, and astronomy enthusiast, Rory Sweet, is a safari lodge with a big difference. Here, traditional game drive vehicles are rarely used and instead, one can traverse the bush at leisure on horseback, quad bikes, or helicopter.
The most legendary activity at Leobo is paintballing from helicopters – one team in the air firing brightly coloured shots at the team below on quad bikes. Other adrenaline-filled activities include driving Polaris buggies and quad bikes over rugged terrain, tactical military simulations with assault rifles, 50 Calibre BMG target shooting, and skydiving from a helicopter. More subdued options include horse riding, kayaking, fishing, rock climbing, hiking, and camping.
Sweet’s love of the stars led him to build a state-of-the-art automated observatory for stargazing through a computerised, 20-inch telescope. Crystal clear views of the moon, planets, and other celestial objects can be enjoyed from this worldclass dome observatory. Guests can also be treated to a full tour of the night skies led by a local astronomer who can give a more detailed starlit safari. Guests can lie back on the deck, donned in a space suit, G&T in hand with a front row seat to the awe-inspiring universe above.
Sweet pulled out all the stops when building his family home at Leobo. Twice winner of the Best Safari House in Africa, the Observatory Bush Villa (which is available for families and smaller groups) was designed by award-winning architects, Silvio Rech and Lesley Carstens. This architectural masterpiece takes inspiration from African structural design with its hut-like structures around a “kraal”. The staggering dome which houses the astronomical observatory stands as the centrepiece of the space. Tucked underneath it is a double-storey library that reflects Sweet’s love for adventure – books on exploration, Africa, as well as some of Sweet’s personal anecdotes really give a taste of his passion for adventure.
The Observatory Bush Villa sleeps six adults and three children in three spacious double rooms and a triple bunk room for the children. Breathtaking views
of the bush can be enjoyed from almost anywhere in the house, and the design of both the indoor and outdoor spaces is a beautiful blend of local furnishings and nature. The house has a heated infinity pool surrounded by lush vegetation and rockery, a rooftop Jacuzzi, spacious outdoor deck, a comfortable TV room, kitchen, and dining room complete with an immense hipposkeleton chandelier which hangs over the sandstone dining table. A butler, maid, and personal chef are there to assist guests, and the service is second to none.
The Lodge, situated a short walk from the Observatory Bush Villa, is another accommodation option comprising eight private chalets and a two-bedroom family chalet which sleep a total of 22 people comfortably. A sunken fire pit on the expansive deck is a great place to gather and share stories, and there are multiple lounge areas, a bar, snooker table, and heated swimming pool built into the side of the mountain. The Lodge is rented exclusively so is ideal for families and bigger groups. It can also be rented along with the Observatory Bush Villa for additional guests or staff. This exclusivity is fantastic and means that everyone who stays at Leobo is there together with complete exclusive access to the entire reserve and all of its facilities.
Encompassed by rugged rocky outcrops, vast mountainous areas, flowing rivers, and savannah, the diverse Waterberg region is one of the most beautiful regions in the country. The best way to truly soak it all in is from helicopter – get flown to any number of incredible sites on the reserve to enjoy sundowners, mimosas at breakfast, or just to explore. The team of passionate and extremely competent pilots know how to get your blood pumping by flying through gorges, up steep mountainous cliffs, and weaving the river ways. Sweet is passionate about conservation, so it is ensured that none of the activities disrupt the natural environment.
Everything is considered at Leobo and absolutely no stone left unturned when it comes to the flora, fauna, and, of course, fun.
For more information, please visit www.leoboprivatereserve.com.