LEO Africa is located in the heart of the Waterberg Mountains. As its Tswana name suggests, it has become a 'place of sanctuary' for an impressive variety of wildlife due to its location in the transitional zone between the dry western and moister eastern regions of South Africa.
Contrasting majestic mountain landscapes, grass-clad hills and deep valleys characterize the Park. Rare finds of yellowwood and cedar trees, five metre high cycads and tree ferns, are some of the plant species found here. All the large game species from elephant and rhino to the big cats as well as an amazing variety of birds including what’s probably the largest colony of endangered Cape vultures (more than 800 breeding pairs) in the world, have settled here.
The LEO Africa conservation volunteer program provides valuable monitoring and conservation services to this reserve. One of the aims of LEO Africa is to restore the territory to its natural and pristine state, to benefit the species. The reserve was established in 1994. Before this year, the land was reserved to cattle breeding and agriculture. Removing old fences and home structures is one of the activities conducted in the winter months. Thanks to our volunteer, many of these unnatural structures have already been removed,
LEO Africa collaborates in conjunction with the Park Manager and veterinary. Each month, we set goals that need to be achieved according to the period of the year and priorities. The work that LEO Africa conducts together with our volunteers, allows the reserve maintenance team to focus on different tasks, having more time to dedicate to higher priorities.,
Reserve management in South Africa is a complex and evolving subject. It involves everything from ecology to road maintenance, from species reintroduction to alien plant removal. It also includes more difficult and emotionally-charged issues such as animal relocation. One of LEO's goals is to expose volunteers to the complicated subject of conservation in the 21st century.
Birding in the Park
Bird life in the park is prolific with a species list of just over 400.
You'll be able to see many different bird species while on drive and at base, especially during the summer months, when together with the resident birds, you'll also get to discover some migratory species!
Don't forget your binoculars if you are a keen birder!