Set within the Waterberg region, overlooking the lush Palala Valley, the 12,000-acre Leobo Private Reserve debuted on May 1 as one of Africa’s most exclusive safari destinations. The architects Lesley Carstens and Silvio Rech, who created North Island resort in the Seychelles, designed the estate’s new adobe-walled Observatory residence to blend seamlessly into the wilderness. Decorative accents include woodwork from Zanzibari craftsmen, sandstone slabs from local quarries, and recycled elements such as a hippopotamus skeleton turned chandelier and wildebeest skins refashioned as a ceiling covering.
The reserve rents to one party at a time and comprises two fully staffed villas: the four-bedroom Observatory, which sleeps nine, and Leobo Lodge, a grouping of eight freestanding chalets that accommodates 18. A tented tree house located above a hippopotamus dam provides a prime spot for an impromptu sleepover. Two swimming pools, a hot tub, a rooftop deck, a library, and an observatory with a 20-inch telescope are also on-site. In addition to game viewing (via Land Cruiser, quad bike, horseback, or elephant), guests can try their hands at clay shooting, fly-fishing, and skydiving.