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Private islands are so yesterday, it’s all about private reserves, in particular ones in South Africa called Leobo. This place is totally cool, not to mention chic and exclusive for guests wanting a little more privacy when visiting this magnificent malaria-free destination.
Leobo private reserve is a 23,000 acre estate located in the Waterberg region, overlooking the Palala Valley. Guests are surrounded by natural streams, rugged rocks, savannah plains and wildlife galore.
Accommodation is in a private house called the Observatory. The property has a unique African style with thatched roofs and sleek interiors, which makes the place have a really cosy private home feel. The 'observatory' dome, admittedly looks a bit like R2D2, and gives a quirky dimension to the design of the property. There are four bedrooms in the house, two main en suite rooms and a separate room for the little ones with a triple bunk bed, and then an additional bedroom for the nanny or extra guest. All the rooms are kitted out with custom-made furniture created from authentic materials sourced from local African communities. If the four rooms aren't quite enough for you and your guests, there is additional space available in The Lodge, which can house up to 18 guests and, again, is completely exclusive for the guests staying at the Observatory.
Guests will not be short of things to do with their very own playground to explore. Game viewing is available both day and night, should you request it. Or perhaps a quad bike or off road buggy might suit for exploring? Daredevils may want to take a helicopter trip, spotting game along the way, or do some target shooting with sniper rifles, overseen by an expert ranger of course. Or maybe even a skydive? Too much? Okay, well for a quieter pursuit there is bass-fishing, fresh water swimming or a starlight safari with local astronomer, Dr Phil Calcot, who picks out various planets and stars with a laser pointer - fancy!
If kicking back and relaxing is the pursuit of choice, then sunbathing by the heated infinity swimming pool, or soaking in the Jacuzzi will do the trick. We also recommend a massage or two, in the privacy of your own room or on one of the many decks. Alternatively the living area has such great views over the plains that why not cosy up by an open fire and grab a book from the on-site library?
A further example of how this place is a cut or ten above luxury is that guests have their own private chef who will create dishes based what their preference and dietary requirements are. Leobo's renowned gourmet chef uses fresh local ingredients and meals can be enjoyed inside, outside or even out in the bush. There is also a butler on hand should guests need anything during their stay. For a pre-dinner cocktail the sunset deck is the place to go, with simply stunning views of the Palala valley, and once the sun has set the Jacuzzi is great for star-gazing from.