South Africa’s Leobo Private Reserve – Luxury on a different level
At LuxuryBARED we believe we owe it to our kids to guide them down the path to making the world a better place, and it’s even better if they can have an adventure while doing it. Of course there are infinite choices but here is our suggestion for a unique and unforgettable holiday.
Available only on an exclusive basis and hence perfect for extended families or groups – is Leobo. Make this incredible facility in South Africa’s Waterberg region overlooking the Palala Valley your home for a week or so on an adventure you will never forget. Fabulous for families – especially those with teens – who enjoy everything from extreme sports to yoga or just lying by the pool of an afternoon, there are some incredible adventures offered here and masses of outdoor fun, a myriad of dining options, and ultra-luxurious accommodation.
If you’re looking for complete privacy and exclusivity you’ll find that aplenty on this 8,000-hectare (20,000-acre) reserve within a 50-minute helicopter flight, or a three-hour drive, from Johannesburg airport.
There are no traditional safaris hosted at Leobo itself but they are easily arranged at a nearby facility. There’s an advantage to this since while there is game viewing in Leobo itself, it’s a tamer experience than elsewhere as there are few real ‘dangerous’ animals on the property. This way, guests can get a lot closer to nature, in safety. There’s a lot to see too, including wild dogs, hippos, crocodiles, zebras, giraffe, monkeys, buffalo, baboons, wildebeest, kudu, bush babies and warthogs, to name a few, plus hundreds of reptiles and birds.
So other than exploring from a viewing vehicle, there are other things that make this place so unique. Take night viewing of the hippos from a luxury treehouse equipped with everything you could need, including a pizza oven. Every evening the hippos heave themselves out of the water and come up to the grass to eat. The kids will probably opt to sleep in the treehouse amid all the action, and a guide will stay with them so the grown-ups can have some time alone back at the lodge.
There’s a lot for teens as well, who often need a little more autonomy. Helicopter paintballing, fishing, quad-bike safaris (with mini quads for kids), horse riding, mountain climbing… the list goes on. Tailor-made experiences by the dozen are available. There’s even an observatory on the premises, where you can learn all about the basics of astronomy, specifically from the different viewpoint of the Southern Hemisphere.
Leobo, in keeping with its mantra of providing a family holiday to beat all holidays, has a solution for those with school-age kids who have exams looming back home. While most kids may not agree, I know parents will love the idea that for stays of seven nights or more, Leobo will provide up to two tutors from London’s prestigious Clarendon Tutors for the entire duration of a client’s stay. Skype interviews between all involved can be conducted beforehand to ensure everyone is in sync from day one.
Leobo is open all year but between May and October is probably the best time to visit, when it’s warm and dry, though it can be chilly in the evenings. October to April is hotter, and December through to March can be wet, with short rain showers and thunderstorms. Plenty of opportunities, therefore, to visit and encourage the kids to embrace the notion that ours is really a beautiful world – and one worth preserving.
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