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Inside Mapungubwe Private Nature Reserve



“You know you are truly alive when you’re living among lions,” Isak Dinesen wrote in her 1937 memoir, “Out of Africa.”

Dinesen’s words ring ever true as you listen to the thump-thump of your heart with your first encounter of a lion at Mapungubwe Private Nature Reserve. It’s not just the lion that makes his home here. Elephants, leopards, giraffes, antelopes and zebras also serve as neighbors. Set in South Africa near the Botswana and Zimbabwe border, Mapungubwe Private Nature Reserve is a place where you can simultaneously enjoy adventure and the simple pleasures of life.  

As the ranch’s owner and founder Leif Rahmqvist describes: “There is a simplicity that I appreciate. People I have met there know infinitely more about the importance of simple life than we westerners do. When I have been out walking in nature with someone who works at the ranch, I always feel like I have learned something new or even realized that I did not know. It can be simple things about a plant, an animal or more complex stories about how species evolved over the ages. The people have an amazing ability to see the great in the small. Equally amazing as the early mornings and dusk in the evening are the fascinating evenings gathered around the campfire.”

These kinds of experiences are as commonplace as the wildlife sightings at Mapungubwe Private Nature Reserve, and one future visionary investor may be able to enjoy them all very soon. Mr. Rahmqvist has quietly placed the property on the market for $58 million USD with Magnus Hellberg of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in the United States. As one of the world’s largest privately owned wildlife reserves, the ranch is exceptionally rare.

“You will experience nature and wildlife at it’s finest,” promises the ranch’s website. “You will be in a zone where all senses will be in harmony and activated. Animals, nature and humans, all interacting in a fantastic environment.”

Private and secure, Mapungubwe Private Nature Reserve allows the future owner to fly in via helicopter, private plane or scheduled flight. Facilities and amenities feel five-star, despite traditional stylistic touches that root each of the residential lodges to their South African surrounds. “Everything is built in true African style with a touch of modern design,” says Hellberg, adding that the property has access to telephone and Internet services. The main building features a master bedroom and staff room, while an additional building has nine bedrooms with a splendid view of the countryside.

The expansive property has 65 buildable lots, spanning about 9,000 square feet each, which are included in this sale, valued at approximately $400,000 each. In addition to the main house, there are staff quarters for 10 people plus a manager’s house. The “Bushcamp” adds four separate buildings with a swimming pool.  “It’s ideal for those who want to escape city life, relax and enjoy pure serenity and natural beauty,” says Hellberg. Or, for those who want to feel alive. 


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Inside Mapungubwe Private Nature Reserve

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