The Observatory at Leobo

The Observatory at Leobo is a billion star lodge. Have you ever sat under the Southern Cross on your very own game reserve just wishing your sumptuous safari villa was also an observatory? We found just the place.

The Observatory at Leobo is perched high up on a hill in the Waterberg mountains, a three hours’ drive from Johannesburg. You’ll be staying on the Leobo Private Game Reserve and all of it is for your exclusive use – all 20 000 acres (8 000 hectares) of it. Your villa has two plush master suites, a guest bedroom and a triple-bunk room, all with spectacular views over Bushveld and countryside.

Your biggest problem will be deciding when to sleep. A pre-dawn game drive is a safari essential – your driver is ready as early, or as late, as you are. Do try to make it to the river lookout for sunrise and freshly-baked pastries. Follow that with a guided nature hike, a quad-bike safari or a gourmet brunch.

Whether you spend the day exploring the nearby caves or just floating in the heated infinity pool like an elegant hippo, you may need a quick afternoon nap to prepare yourself for the nightlife. From the villa’s two west-facing terraces, you can track the sun’s setting rays while facing the extreme exertion of feeding yourself canapés and Krug prepared by your personal butler.

Fine dining every night or wood-fired pizzas and beer? (Ask your chef about his signature African feast under the stars.) Then, as night closes in completely, it’s time to head to the observatory and gaze at galaxies far beyond the Milky Way. It’s hard not to sit there all night. By the time you can smell the new morning’s croissants baking, you may as well slip from the observatory straight into the game vehicle for another sunrise at the river.

Stuff we love

Your own private observatory

  • The lodge’s multi-award-winning design by rock-star architects Silvio Rech and Lesley Carstens.
  • The tower-shaped library has a copper dome that rotates automatically – and one of the telescopes can stare directly at the sun.
  • Leobo’s proximity to Johannesburg makes it the ideal place to acclimatise to Africa and sleep off the jet lag.

The Observatory in pictures

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