Leshiba Wilderness Eco-friendly Private Game and Nature Reserve is not really easy to get too, and it certainly was not easy to leave. Driving north through Limpopo, the mountains of the Soutpansberg stand misty and impressive from the dense mopani and acacia bush below. With over 350 species of flora, the mountains, with their much higher rainfall, provide an abrupt transformation from the plains below, and within the haven of Leshiba Wilderness, leopard and rare brown hyena can be found making the most of this diverse habitat.
Blending in perfectly with this idyllic African scene is the reconstructed Venda Village, a captivating combination of sculpture and practical design. Passages flow between the traditional rondavels, decks and breathtaking views. Each hut has an en-suite bathroom connected to the original footprint and they boast with, according to me, some of the best showers in the world. Most memorable is the cool indoor temperatures in the day and warmer cosy feeling at night. Be ready to encounter a whole new dream space.
Joyce, one of the lodge’s excellent chef-cum-managers, was born and lived her early years in this specific traditional Venda village. Joyce was nothing short of an inspiration to us. She cooked meals that most mothers wish their children would associate with their kitchens; she claimed ownership and passion for her career and had a love for the space that in turn allowed us to also imagine the proud feeling of pointing out the exact rooms where we used to sleep as children and also being able to say “I am home.”
Leshiba Wilderness also boasts seven sites where San rock art, and Khoikhoi hand and foot paintings. There are also three further sites where there is evidence of human habitation dating back hundreds of years.
At the end of what seems to be a perfect day we reflected on our experiences and realised that it is individuals such as Joyce and her team that inspire change. Inspire new ways of thinking, and actively doing.
It’s difficult to understand the sum of a person’s life. Some people will tell you it’s measured by the ones left behind. Some believe it can be measured in faith. Some say by love. Other folks say life has no meaning at all. Me, I believe that you measure yourself by the people who measure themselves by you.
I measured myself by Joyce and left more inspired to let actions speak louder than words.