Set in the private Thornybush Game Reserve adjacent to Kruger National Park, Kubili House is an architecturally masterful, five-bedroom, exclusive-use villa created by South African-born New York financier Julian Koski and the brilliant designer Jacques Erasmus. Lovingly built as a family residence—“We wanted to give our kids a different perspective of the world,” Koski says, “something environmental, ecological, human”—Kubili House is a tour de force, not only of design, but of spirit. As one visitor wrote, it’s “like an elephant: strong, overwhelming, sensitive, beautiful, faithful, highly intelligent, unforgettable….”
Kubili House’s five bedrooms and expansive common areas have an airy, open-plan, “New York loft-meets-French maison feel,” the Robb Report reports. Furnished with pieces from the Donna Karen Urban Zen Collection, antique wooden beams from France, original artworks, and every modern convenience and luxury, the House has three swimming pools, a spa and steam room, and an animal-magnet waterhole serenely viewable from the House’s many decks. A chef, sous chef, a large, amiable staff, and, as always, your Micato Safari Director, are in alert attendance.
And a delightful footnote: the House has three specially equipped camping vehicles for overnight safaris into the little-touristed Thornybush Reserve, where animals are the hegemons and, as Elspeth Huxley wrote, the night sky is “a warm conservatory whose great dome is encrusted with all the diamonds in the world, and all the scents of the world are there too, changing like currents in the sea.”
We game watch at Kubili from two vantage points. First, and more or less continually, from the House itself, whose large windows, decks, and relaxful fire pits are designed to commune with its environment and abundant animals. Kubili is situated on the banks of an exceptionally large waterhole, frequented by Thornybush’s full cast of inimitable African creatures, including the Big Five and their only slightly less stellar supporting cast.
And, second, we make forays in well-equipped safari vehicles, guided by our much-credentialed Micato Safari Director, into the Thornybush Reserve’s bushveld, immersing ourselves in a little-changed natural history that makes human history seem like a slim chapter. When we talk about safari as A World Apart, we’re talking about a place like Thronybush, where it sometimes magically seems that the other world is a faint rumour.
We’ll consult with you before and during your stay about a variety of other activities available from the House, including a favourite of ours: a private helicopter zoom over the steeply and greenly dramatic Blyde River Canyon, perhaps with a mountaintop picnic before flying back to your safari home at Kubili.