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Sneak peek: Inside Tembo Great Plains in Zimbabwe

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Sneak peek: Inside Tembo Great Plains in Zimbabwe

Great Plains, the iconic eco-tourism company led by wildlife filmmakers and conservationists Beverly and Dereck Joubert, is expected to open Tembo Plains Camp on August 1, 2021, which will become Relais & Châteaux’s debut property in Zimbabwe. Editor Hamish Kilburn writes…

In the heart of Africa, Great Plains is putting the finishing touches on what will become its latest luxury safari camp, which will also mark Relais & Châteaux’s debut in Zimbabwe.

As we have been following the story of Great Plains and Beverly and Dereck Joubert – and the fascinating lives they carve out for themselves and the community around their meaningful camps – it’s hard not to anticipate what the film makers-turned-hoteliers will do next. We last spoke to the couple a few months back when they teased us and our readers about two camps that were expected to arrive in the summer. Mara Toto Camp and Mara Plains Camp, both of which are now open in Kenya.

For those who know the Jouberts, though, will understand that their brand’s narrative is a never-ending, ever-evolving portfolio of authentically designed camps – after all, there is still so much of Africa to explore. The latest plot twist in what is no-doubt a difficult chapter for hospitality worldwide, is the entrance of Tembo Plains Camp, which will make its entrance in August as a proud member of Relais & Châteaux. Although, at the time of publishing, we are limited to how many images we have, you can see how the camp will, in true Great Plains style and substance, naturally blend into working around nature’s rhythm.

With four spacious guest tents, an exquisite two-bedroom family unit and a private guide tent, the camp, designed to frame African wildlife in all its majesty, will be ideal for couples, families, multi-generational travellers, and those looking for an exclusive personal safari experience.

The beautiful family unit, with interiors designed by Beverly, comprises two tents with a shared lounge and dining area and pool and will accommodate up to four adults, two adults and two children. Each guest tent offers an indoor lounge and outdoor dining area, private plunge pool and exercise bikes, in addition to expansive en-suite bathroom facilities, indoor baths, showers and double vanities. Guests have access to professional Canon cameras and Leica binoculars throughout their stay to capture the many special holiday moments.

“When I designed Tembo Plains Camp, it was with a view to reference the famous Grean Zimbabwe ruins but not lose sight of our love of canvas and exploring,” explained Dereck. “So we ended up with a unique combination of canvas and stone walls. The semi-circular walls inside each tent isolate the bath and shower from the bedroom and indoor lounge areas bringing that architectural reference inside. Outside, this pack-stone wall design continues along the back of the guest bedroom, and that really gives you a greater sense of privacy, often an issue in tents. I didn’t want a completely ‘built room’. Hence, the front has these uninterrupted views of the Zambezi flowing just meters away from the canvas ‘tented’ portion.”

‘Tembo’, meaning elephant, pays tribute to the animals frequently seen around Tembo Plains Camp along with painted dogs, buffalo, lions and leopards. The Sapi Private Reserve borders the Mana Pools National Park and is recognised as one of Africa’s finest wildlife destinations today. Twitchers will be spoiled for choice as Tembo Plains is situated in a prime bird-watching country, ideal for photographers and nature enthusiasts. Activities at Tembo Plains include day and night wildlife-viewing drives, walking safaris, canoeing and boating on the Zambezi River.

Tembo Plains will join the Réserve Collection of camps, the highest-level brand at Great Plains, alongside sister properties Zarafa Camp, Selinda Camp, Duba Plains in Botswana, and Mara Nyika, Mara Plains and ol Donyo Lodge in Kenya.

Both Beverly and Dereck will join as speakers at Hotel Designs LIVE on August 10, where the pair will discuss the role of surface design in the camps they develop and design. If you are a designer, architect, hotelier or developer, click here to secure your complimentary tickets in the audience.

Main image credit: Great Plains

Image of bedroom at Great Plains Mara Plains

Great Plains to open two new design-led camps

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Great Plains to open two new design-led camps

Leading conservation brand Great Plains, led by photographers and filmmakers Dereck and Beverly Joubert, has announce new ‘sensational safari accommodations’ in two different design-led camps, which both open this summer…

Image of bedroom at Great Plains Mara Plains

Great Plains has unveiled that it will open two new design-led safari camps, Mara Toto Camp and Mara Plains Camp, this summer in Kenya.

The brand-new Mara Toto Camp, which is perfectly suited for families and intimate groups traveling together, will open its doors to guests on May 25, 2021. Meaning “baby” in Swahili, Mara Toto Camp will be located just two kilometres away from big sister Mara Plains Camp, which is also scheduled to re-open on June 1, 2021, after a full camp refurbishment, including introducing an exquisite new private honeymoon suite. The eagerly anticipated Mara Jahazi Suite is scheduled to open at Mara Plains Camp at the same time. The exclusive use villa will include a private game drive vehicle, guide, butler and chef. It will be ideal for groups and multi-generational travel looking for an exceptional private safari experience.

Situated along the Ntiakitiak River banks on the border of the Maasai Mara Reserve, the new Mara Toto Camp is hidden in the forest, offering guests privacy and wonderful game-viewing opportunities with access to both the Maasai Mara Reserve and the adjacent Mara North Private Conservancy. Accommodating up to eight guests, the intimate Mara Toto Camp is perfectly suited to be hired out exclusively for intimate groups, couples, and families. Designed by co-founder Beverly Joubert, the new camp will boast tranquil blue coloured interiors with leather and canvas touches harmoniously blending a feeling of comfort and adventure. Mara Toto Camp will consist of four canvas tents with spacious brass baths, along with a communal relaxation area, and indoor and outdoor dining options.

Situated in the Olare Motorogi Conservancy – one of the most iconic wildlife destinations on the planet with unrivalled access to more than 100,000 acres of exclusive land as well as access to the 375,000 Maasai Mara Reserve – Mara Plains Camp, will re-open to guests at the beginning of June after undergoing a full camp refurbishment. Located upriver from little sister Mara Toto Camp, the refreshed camp is completely elevated on high-rise decks and will now offer couples a brand-new honeymoon suite on a peninsula island. The new Honeymoon Suite can only be accessed via suspension bridge offering couples their own oasis of exclusivity and privacy. Designed by Great Plains CEO and co-founder Dereck Joubert, the new honeymoon suite at Mara Plains will have large wooden Swahili doors, paying homage to East Africa’s essence. The spacious open-plan design and décor of the honeymoon suite, also designed by Beverly, will have a colonial influence with wooden floors, big antique brass chandeliers from the original South African Blue Train, red-hued interiors and fine brass furnishings, offering an elegant yet comfortable atmosphere that complements the abundant surrounding wilderness.

Mara Plains will also be introducing the eagerly anticipated Mara Plains Jahazi Suite, an impressive new private two-bedroom villa, which will open at the same time as Mara Plains. Featuring big wooden Zanzibar doors, large teak Mahogany desks and exquisite luxurious red coloured interiors, the spacious open plan exclusive villa residence consists of a two-bedroom suite, shared lounge and dining area including the services of a private game drive vehicle, guide and chef.

“Our new camps will encapsulate that period and yet encourage living in the moment and being present. I know you will fall in love here. I do each time.” – Dereck Joubert, CEO of Great Plains.

“That allure of safari started in East Africa, and our plans this year are to expand our offering in Kenya, but to do it with an eye to that original East African safari with a greatly improved standard,” said Dereck. “I’ve always felt that our guests want to come to Africa to see wildlife, and experience that spirit of the continent- to be seduced by its romance and warmth of our communities. Guests stay with us to have their hearts, and their minds stimulated. At Great Plains, they come to step into a movie script where everything is perfect, stylish and breath-taking. Our new camps will encapsulate that period and yet encourage living in the moment and being present. I know you will fall in love here. I do each time.”

As well as sheltering stylish accommodations and public areas that effortless reflect sense of place, Great Plains inherently in its hospitality nature. For example, all of its properties are solar-powered. In addition, a local sapling is planted for every guest that stays at a Great Plains Kenya camp as part of the Great Plains Foundation’s Replacement of Shade Programme; a sustainable travel initiative that aims to restore indigenous trees to Kenya’s vast landscape.

Main image credit: Great Plains

Profile image of Dereck and Beverly Joubert, founders of Great Plains in Africa

In Conversation With: the filmmakers who designed Great Plains

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
In Conversation With: the filmmakers who designed Great Plains

Having spent more than 40 years exploring Africa as photographers and filmmakers, Dereck and Beverly Joubert, the founders of Great Plains, have new standards in sustainability, hospitality and humanity. Editor Hamish Kilburn catches up with the dynamic duo to understand authentic luxury hotel design through a wider lens, capturing a broader perspective when it comes to hospitality in the wild…

Profile image of Dereck and Beverly Joubert, founders of Great Plains in Africa

There is something about Africa – the woodlands, wetlands, and seemingly never-ending grasslands in-between – that gives life deeper meaning. I’ve noticed that the sun sets differently here, almost feeling like you’re closer to the sun than any other continent on earth is.

My experience in Africa is a millisecond, though, compared to the time that Dereck and Beverly Joubert have invested in order to learn about this great natural world. Having spent more than 40 years’ exploring these plains as filmmakers and photographers – the pair have produced more than 25 films for National Geographic – to call these two wildlife and conservation experts is an unruly understatement.

In 2006, to fund their wildlife conservation work, Beverly and Dereck channeled their wisdom and love of nature and started a new hospitality venture. Their inspirational journey – which went on to challenge the cookie-cutter approach in safari travel, architecture and design – began when they set up Great Plains, an authentic and iconic tourism conservation organisation.

Today, the brand shelters 16 safari properties, in Botswana, Kenya and Zimbabwe, each designed through the director’s lens to tell unique stories that enhance each camp’s very special sense of place and built to celebrate each destination’s individual character.

Despite being award-winning filmmakers, world-renowned hoteliers and selflessly good human beings through their ongoing charity work, there is not a shred of haughtiness about Beverly and Dereck, as I learn when I catch up with the husband-and-wife team to understand how they, through a purposeful and sustainable approach to luxury hospitality, are helping travellers to capture one-off experiences from a slightly different perspective.

Hamish Kilburn: What initially made you audition for the roles of ‘hotelier’?

Beverly Joubert: We’re explorers, conservationists and filmmakers. As we started the Big Cats Initiative at National Geographic, we soon realised that saving lions one at a time was futile and we needed to conserve large landscapes to save everything in them. To afford this, we decided on high-end tourism as opposed to philanthropy.

Dereck Joubert: To be honest hospitality runs deep in Africa; in our DNA where of course we were all born, so we were inspired by that spirit of coming home and being welcomed. As a result, as I design our camps, I do it with two ’stories’ in mind: the three act ‘ welcome home’ one and whatever story I want to tell through the design of that unique place.

Dereck and Beverly Joubert, filmmakers and wildlife photographers, in a 4x4 with an elephant in the background

Image caption: In 2006, to fund their wildlife conservation efforts, filmmakers Dereck and Beverly Joubert launched Great Plains.

HK: What amendments have you made to the existing script of safari in Africa?

DJ: Oh, I don’t think we have amended the African safari – it transcends us! It may have been about the physical journey (safari being quite simply a journey in Swahili) but if anything I hope we expand it to an inner journey as much as a physical one. Our version of safari is one where you can explore your roots, from millions of years ago, and interrogate your relationship with the other creatures here, our history with them, our very profound and interwoven dependancy. For example there was an ancient cat called Dinofelis that stalked the caves we sheltered in 3.5 million years ago, and possibly forced us out into the grasslands more where we discovered fire and bone marrow that gave us strength, intelligence and the ability to no longer fear large spotted cats. Today we seek out leopards to marvel at their beauty rather than shy away in fear, but we’ve walked this journey of the safari together.

BJ: What does the resonance of meditating at a waterhole with elephants nearby as they rumble do to you? How can we each for that creative energy that the early philosophers and poets sought out in the wilderness, uncluttered and pure. In the style of our camps, we try to add detail and story telling like this in design, in service and as an experience.

HK: What is the current narrative in Africa?

BJ: The Covid-19 death rates in the USA is at about 800 per million people. In Botswana it is 2 per million, so the safety and risk are worlds apart. The outdoor experiences reduce the risk dramatically, but no matter what the rates are, the closed borders have obviously collapsed tourism.

What is evident is that we’re in a cycle of demise that can cause spiralling circles of pandemics. As a result of our nefarious relationship with wild animals placed in captivity in cages in wet markets (in this case), we have sparked an economic crisis, global shutdowns that will lead to a recession, closed borders, and tourism, that communities rely so heavily on in Africa and other places.

DJ: The loss of income has led to many turning to nature to feed themselves at a time when game wardens and anti poaching patrols have been cut back. This perfect storm has led to a second pandemic of destruction of wildlife and a renewed trade in illegal wildlife and bush meat, that find their ways into the wet markets again. So we are seeing a second and third wave of new unexpected viral pandemics as a result. We have to shut down wet markets and the trade in wildlife. We have to review and renew the ways we engage with all animals . We started Project Ranger to support rangers who have been furloughed and keep wildlife areas intact and protected. We have to ensure that there is actually something for travellers to want to seek out when this is all over.

HK: What makes your cast of 660 employees special and unique?

BJ: It is an ensemble cast isn’t it?! I think that the way we work at Great Plains is as a small family business, with a family of employees who do more than just show up. Hospitality in general requires skills that are more involved than that any way – much close to the work as performers – each day to smile and engage in a pleasant way no matter what is going on in your life. I recognise that, so we are sensitised to this and have a policy of support. If a guide is having a bad day, another is primed to reach out and ask him or her what is going on and to step in. Managers do the same to their staff and actually this starts at the top and someone who just joined our EXCO meetings pointed out that I start each session asking each Managing Director what we can do as a whole group to help each week. I know the names of all our staff and most of their families and I don’t want to grow it beyond that point where it becomes impersonal and corporate.

 

HK: Can you talk us through the filmmaker process of storyboarding each scene/camp?

DJ: Each hotel or in our case, camp, is a story. I start with an overall direction and message. In the Selinda camp, for example, I wanted us to re-evaluate our relationship with elephants. The camp is in the heart of the highest density of elephants in the world, but in the past, early explorers like Livingstone and Selous travelled through these areas with guns and a desire for ivory. Selinda was a hunting concession for decades and when we took it over we stopped all killing.

Our relationship with elephants is symbolic of our loss of harmony, so therefore harmony was the solution to ’the question’ the area and the elephants themselves impose on us.

Now I obviously didn’t want to simply populate the décor with elephant images – that would be too easy and cheap. Instead, I designed and cast two life-sized bronze skulls of elephants including bronze tusks but in the forehead of one I had the words “homo nosce the Ipsum” cut in, and in the other “homo nosce  pe Ipsum”, which is Latin for “man know thyself” and “man forgive thyself”. The sculptures are placed on either side of the main entrance with the intention to stimulate a real conversation that starts with us understand who we are and what we have done over the centuries to their peaceful animals, but then  to forgive ourselves (and our ancestors) for who we are.

But that is just the first act, and I wanted to design this with a longer and deeper path towards harmony which in Eastern teachings leans towards the laying out of five fundamental elements the first being the metal skulls, but then you enter a chamber with blue touch of furniture, to represent water and often our guests arrive by boat so I imagined them dragging that element with them, like a smoke trail from the river. Next, you enter for a welcome tea; an open space with a flowing white silk roof to represent air. Beyond that you pass through an open dining area with brown tables, where we serve fresh largely plant based food from the earth, and then to the fire and off to the third act and your resting place, in your room, presumable in perfect harmony and balance.

Only once we understand who we are, and forgive ourselves will we be able to cross a threshold, as one does in this camp, into a new unburdened relationship with both ourselves and elephants, like stepping through a vortex.

It’s not just a story though, I believe that most people arrive and feel that tranquility and settle because of the balance we have created, and so many arriving guest actually sign deeply as they enter this story, this camp. If I can I will briefly describe Mara Plains, that I felt should be an architectural and physical meeting place, also in harmony between three often opposing cultures: The Maasai, the Swahili, the colonials.

But as explorers for National Geographic, we wanted to be the glue as one is behind the lens. So I oriented the camp based on a single and lone tree five km away, drew a line through the camp, and angled it all around this tree. Then I drew a Fibonacci proportion in the ground and had the tent makers make the main tent exactly to those proportions, representing  the ideal gold rectangle one uses in a 35 mm picture frame.

Inside the camp, we imported 75-100 year old railway sleepers as recycled wood (teak) and brass from the original Blue Train 120 years ago. Reds from the Maasai culture represent this very visual association and it didn’t have be head handed because we are in Maasai world so it is everywhere anyway, but the coastal Swahili culture has in influence here so the large Swahili doors behind the showers are a not to them, associated with the sea and water. Each tent fits the Fibonacci proportions creating a film set styled ration that takes you back to the romance of the 1920’s adventures but hopefully without the embedded racism and in appropriate colonialism of that time.

“I added my own collection of campaign furniture as templates and samples for cabinet makes to replicate, which happened at the time of the Indonesian Tsunami where thousands of artisans were left without work.” – Beverly Joubert, co-founder, Great Plains.

HK: How and where do you source your props/artefacts?

BJ: In some cases, we design and make them ourselves, like in Zarafa, in Botswana, which is based on the story of the first giraffe to be seen by westerners as it went on a journey to Paris as a gift to KingCharles X.

Here, I added my own collection of campaign furniture as templates and samples for cabinet makes to replicate, which happened at the time of the Indonesian tsunami where thousands of artisans were left without work, and where tons of mahogany used for houses were smashed down from house scale to ideal furniture scale. So we used the reclaimed mahogany and hired the artisans to make this campaign furniture that is now unique to Zarafa camp. In other cases we just come across something in a market or antique store that we love and can’t live without, so we don’t!

HK: How has your approach on sustainability helped the local community?

BJ: Well, we have delivered something like 6,000 solar lanterns to families that have perviously been off grind, and an amazing addition to that was that the principal of the local school wrote to  thank us because school grades were going up because kids could do their homework after dark. I don’t think the kids liked having do that but… We send nine ladies with very little education from Botswana to India to learn solar circuit board manufacturing technology for six months and to return and develop local businesses from this. We’ve planted more than 5,000 trees and started tree growing initiatives. We have a Great Plains Academy to teach people about hospitality and who to bridge the gap from high school to university.

HK:  It’s clear that, as wildlife filmmakers, you allow nature to call the shots – can you explain more about how guests can give back to nature during their stay?

DJ: To nature, our guests and followers get involved in help fund a rhino calf by naming stand securing its protection on the wild, or supporting Project Ranger to keep front line conservationists at work to avoid this second pandemic. We have a need for $20 donations towards solar lanterns for kids learning at night, as well as $45,000 to move a rhino and indeed, we need an army of ambassadors who don’t donate but lobby against the extraction of wildlife (via hunting or poaching and trade) with their local representative. Everyone can do something.

HK: What major lesson has this journey in hospitality taught you so far?  

BJ: We can all learn from hospitality because it is all about kindness and care; paying attention to details and I find myself taking a lot more care just to find out how someone (even in my team) is doing, randomly, as if I am hosting the world.

HK: 2016 was a pivotal year for you both. Beverly you survived a fatel injury after being attacked by a buffalo while filming your latest materpiece. Dereck, did that event and your recovery change your relationship with nature?

DJ: You know the buffalo attack didn’t really change that relationship, as much as it changed our relationship with ourselves, in that I promised myself not to waste another moment, day or month not totally enjoying my life with Beverly (if I got her back, which I did four times).

HK: Has designing hotels changed your perception at all as wildlife filmmakers?

BJ: Interesting, probably in that it has made me (both of us, I think) understand story telling more, because if you base the entire design of a hotel on a story, as I do, and that is going to be its story for decades it had better be well researched and thought out. So our films have probably evolved into more layered and in depth stories and while I had not connected the two careers in many way, I can see yah prior to this, where I am designing spaces based on a deep philosophy like our relationship with elephants, or intersecting cultures there is more depth to our films.

“I think that all journeys are stories and we are all the heroes of our scripts.” – Dereck Joubert, co-founder, Great Plains.

DJ: A good example is the Okavango film/s where the story is about a river from end to end. But that wasn’t enough, so I re-read Dante’s Divine Comedy partly while Beverly was in hospital recovering from the buffalo attack. And in it, I found two parallels, one of our or my journey and Dante’s as he wove his way from purgatory to parade to find and be reconnected with his love (as I did, over nine months as Beverly slowly came back to life.) Regarding the journey of the river, I flipped the story in the theatrical release to start also in Purgatory (in the desert) and wind our story back to Paradise at the source. Those are the kinds of stories one tells around a campfire about the design of a hotel or camp, not always in a natural history documentary for National Geographic!

I think that all journeys are stories and we are all the heroes of our scripts, (why write yourself in as the bad guy) and we are the storytelling ape. But to us, as much as we love lions and elephants, there are opportunities as films to tell parables that hold up  the mirror to our lives, so we can advance in our relationships, and in our new and renewed contract with nature.

HK: In a sentence, can you explain the synopsis’ of your next masterpieces/camp openings?

BJ: As I walked the banks of the Zambezi River, under spreading pod mahogany trees, I saw a movement in the shade; a herd of elephants ambling towards me chasing their thirst, right passed me and out onto the plains, sliding into the water, leaving me with the name for the new camp on this exact site; Tembo Plains: (elephant in Shona.)

Main image credit: Great Plains

Image of luxury tents next to pond

The real definition of ‘glamping’ in hotel design

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
The real definition of ‘glamping’ in hotel design

To complete our editorial series with Exclusive Tents, we ask Paul Zway, the brand’s founder, to push the preconceptions to one side and tell us what glamping really looks like on the international hotel design scene…

Image of luxury tents next to pond

The word glamping is a portmanteau of “glamorous” and “camping”. It was first used in the United Kingdom around 2005 and but only added to the Oxford dictionary more than a decade later.

Although the word is new, glamping in the true sense of the word has been documented for centuries and in most cases referred to a great variety of tents and canvas covered wagons. Historically it would have been more accurate to refer to the style of camping as luxurious or even opulent camping rather than glamorous camping.

Black and white image of tents

Image credit: Exclusive Tents

Most of these tent constructs were constantly moved in the progression of wars or colonisation, and some designs are still used today by nomadic societies in regions such as the Middle East, Asia and Africa using a wide variety of materials including goat hair, wool felt and animal hides.

Tent frames and coverings varied greatly over the centuries from tusk, bone and stick frames with animal hide and/or vegetation coverings with cotton canvas emerging as the predominant and most practical covering whilst tent frames have also evolved to steel, turned wooden poles, bamboo and other newer more sophisticated materials.

Early tent dwelling with luxuries was evident from before the Roman era and featured prominently in Hannibal’s historic crossing of the Alps into Italy with his herd of legendary African elephants in the second of the three Punic Wars.

The Romans used tents extensively in their numerous military campaigns and occupation of other lands. During this era, tents for officers, people of status and dignitaries were mostly opulent, comfortable and luxuriously comfortable.

Perhaps the most impressive was the ottomans extensive use of tents to the extent that their encampments were so extensive that they could legitimately have been termed “tent cities”.

Through Medieval times (the Middle Ages) between the 5th and late 15th century tents in a variety of designs played a very similar roll during these turbulent times.

Native American tribes used their well-known and distinct conical tipis dating back to at least the 15th Century.

The Mongolians were famous for their yurts and it is said that Genghis Khan’s tent was so big and elaborate that is was setup upon a wheeled platform 9 meters (30 feet) in diameter and mounted on a huge wheeled cart pulled by 22 oxen.

Napoleon Bonaparte’s tents were masterpieces with 18th century tapestry and gilt embroidery and he himself through his various campaigns, spent a large portion of his active adult life living in tents.

Eskimos with their Igloo designs pre-dated the evolution of dome and bubble tents.

When participating in Hunting Safaris into India and Africa, royalty and their wealthy guests required luxuries including baths, comfortable furniture, fresh clothes and excellent food and alcohol. The British and French with their numerous wars and hunting parties gave rise to Campaign Furniture (also known as Bivouac furniture). Campaign furniture is both beautiful and compact in design, has a minimalistic footprint, is foldable, stackable and includes chest type items. Most of this furniture is made from wood, leather, and cane with brass trims. Campaign furniture with the additional refinement thereof over the years, often features in modern day glamping interiors.

In many historical traditions the tent interiors consisted of ornate carpets/rugs and pillows with colourful gilt drapery on the inside with no hard furniture except perhaps for low tables.

Modern day glamping as we now know it started in Africa around the mid 1950’s but tents were relatively small and modest with a cot, “pee pottie” (under the bed), clothes locker, metal washstand, simple folding table and chairs, and kerosene lamps. Toilets, showers and the kitchen/dining areas were mostly shared common facility areas within the camp.

Image of safari luggage and tools

Image credit: Exclusive Tents

In the 70’s and 80’s glamping took on a more serious role when tent designs became somewhat more creative and quality improved with new canvas fabrics that were more durable and 100 per cent waterproof. Even though still rustic, interiors became more comfortable creating a “cosier” atmosphere for the guests. Many of these were hunting camps and safari lodges where the tents included ensuite bathrooms that catered directly to the wealthier guests. Today glamping destinations whether large or boutique, can be found in virtually every country in the world and is affordable for many according to the degree of luxury, cuisine, experience and service.

To be true to the name, modern glamping is primarily in tents though domes, canvas covered wagons also fit the bill. However, there are also many other structures such as wooden pods/cabins, metal cubes, shipping containers, cabins, tree houses and pods – to name but a few – which are emerging at a rapid pace and being integrated into the glamping market.

Image of interiors of a luxury tent on safari site

Image credit: Exclusive Tents

Exclusive Tents has consciously chosen to stay true to its passion for tents and tent dwelling with our focus purely on luxury tented structures. We strive to remain masters of our domain rather than become a jack of all trades, with the clear objective of constantly improving and innovating on design, quality, elegance, craftsmanship, style and functionality.

Glamping has and will continue to evolve, particularly since Covid-19 which saw so many people locked down for extended periods of time and with so many restrictions placed on travel, in particular international travel. People are more inclined to visit local open air and natural settings to find a way to relax and feel safe with family and/or friends, seeking space, luxury and privacy in an experiential fashion – this is exactly what glamping is all about. The hospitality industry is having to evolve and adapt to meet the challenge of a post pandemic world. Wellness, wellbeing, health, nutrition, space, nature, peace of mind, and disconnection in some instances, are becoming central to this evolution.

In practical terms, there is very little that one cannot do with a tent that one can do with a conventional structure – when you know how.

Wood or aluminium framed windows and doors can be easily installed into a tent with relatively little effort though a lot of people remain nostalgic for the traditional zip-up roll-up openings.

These ‘exclusive tents’ are truly multi-functional and, as well as providing accommodation, they can be used for many other purposes and applications, they can and are also used as permanent homes.

Exclusive Tents considers multiple aspects of tent ownership and use, for example having recently developed an artistic and elegant rainwater harvesting system whereby rainwater can be stored in tanks under the tent platform or underground.

Lightning is also an issue in some places and a lightning deflection system is another unique feature that can be installed into an Exclusive Tent if required.

Certain installations will require a fire dousing sprinkler system to be incorporated into a tent, this is yet another challenge that Exclusive Tents has met and resolved.

Insulation is an increasingly important consideration in hot and cold climates, especially where a HVAC system or wood burning stove is required. Exclusive Tents has a variety of insulation options available for the canvas tent roof and walls. The insulation acts not only a thermal barrier, but also an acoustic barrier which is also an important consideration when it comes to glamping. Fireplaces or wood burning stoves commonly feature in tents: Not only to create an ambiance but to also to heat the tents during the winter months or for year-round use in high elevation locations.

Modern fireplaces are clean and very elegant and allow for installation freedom within the tent, with extraction through the floor and out from under the tent platform.

The tents are built to be functional all year round even in extreme hot (50C+) or cold (-35C) conditions.

Exclusive Tents have transitioned their tents to an extremely robust roof frame which has been engineered to resist winds up to a safe speed of 180 k/mph (without steel cable bracing lines), yet retaining the elegant roof lines and aesthetics for which they are renown. This engineering zeal accommodates high internal weight loads (lights/fans/pendants) and external loads for snow, hail, and wind.

Exclusive Tents already offer a high-end portfolio of Exclusive Campaign furniture, and will soon be manufacturing their Exclusive collections of Safari, Island, and Rustic furniture.

Whilst Exclusive Tents crafts tents designed for extreme weather conditions, they are also designed to be able to be dismantled rapidly, for example should the tents find themselves in the path of a catastrophic storm.

With this evolutionary expansion taking place in the glamping industry, it is critical to maintain privacy and enhance the connection between the living space and the natural environment. Thoughtful design, master planning, landscaping, and integration of the tent (together with its platform), will capitalise upon the full potential of good quality tents – offering an idyllic experience that seamlessly combines exquisite comfort with an unequalled connection to the natural world.

Exclusive Tents are resolutely eco-friendly, with a minimal footprint in complete alignment with the guardianship / kaitiakitanga of the environment. The direct connection between tented living space and the outside, with its closeness to nature, creates the opportunity for guests to embrace the inclusivity of mental and physical well-being. The tent is in essence a “living” structure as it ebbs and flows with nature. Spending time in a tent is experientially unique, and can offer guests the opportunity to connect with their primordial selves.

Glamping has come a long way and it most certainly presents the greatest opportunities for hospitality in this post-pandemic world.

Exclusive Tents International is one of the brands that has taken advantage of our Industry Support Package. To keep up to date with supplier news, click here

Main image credit: Exclusive Tents

A safari accomodation tent in the dessert

Luxurious and comfortable accommodation from Bushtec Safari

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Luxurious and comfortable accommodation from Bushtec Safari

Following the brand’s presentation as a Product Watch Partner at Hotel Designs LIVE, Bushtec Safari explains why luxury tented resorts have become global trend for guests seeking luxurious and comfortable accommodation…

A safari accomodation tent in the dessert

Luxury tented resorts have become global trending destinations for luxurious and comfortable accommodation, seeing to unique experiences, without compromising on quality.

Bushtec Safari as part of the Canvas & Tent Group is one of the leading tent manufacturers and suppliers to well-known safari camps and game reserves, hunting and luxury lodges, villas and resorts within the travel market both locally and internationally.

A tented accommodation in front of a river

Image credit: Bushtec Safari Display Area

The brand is renowned globally as we have provided luxury tents to countless projects through our head office and our branches in America, Europe and Botswana as well as our distributors in the UAE, Australia and Asia.

With more than 1,000 different tent designs, we prefer keeping everything we do in-house – from design, to manufacturing, delivering, and installing.

Over the years that we have been designing and manufacturing luxury tents, we have truly tested boundaries and accomplished the unthinkable. We have a range of standard designed luxury tents which can be customised according to specified requirements, alternatively we can create a custom design from scratch based on a concept on paper. With our team of in-house designers, we can create almost anything that you can imagine. We also work closely with the investor’s architect should one be appointed.

A tented accommodation in the middle of nowhere with stars above

Image credit: Mountain View Safari Lodge

Ladysmith, which is in the Kwa Zulu Natal province in South Africa, shelters our state-of-the-art factories, totalling a productive area of 27,500 m2 where more than 300 skilled design, technical and specialist personnel are employed. Here we craft masterpieces with passion and dedication.

Despite the rigorous quality standards which we adhere to when manufacturing our tents, we still need to deliver on our mantra: “Designed to Impress. Built to Last”.

While our materials are manufactured according to the most exacting quality and climatic durability standards, over time exposure to the elements will take its toll. To conserve the aesthetic appearance of your tented accommodation and extend the lifespan and return on investment, we offer regular on-site inspections and a maintenance service.

If you’d prefer to do it yourself, we can provide maintenance training for your camp managers and staff members, so they can extend the lifespan of your tented accommodation. The usual maintenance includes replacement of zips for canvas-style doors, resealing of the square tubing, tensioning of flysheets, washing each tent as well as reproofing each tent.

We also understand the importance of different environmental elements that have to be taken into consideration when we manufacture luxury tents. In order to accommodate these considerations, we offer different types of steel frames, different combinations of materials, fire-retardant materials, insulated materials and even guarantee that our canvas and flysheets are UV treated, welded and stitched to high standards. We engineer our tent structures in such a way that it can withstand the elements that it is exposed to, enabling the tents to last the investor for more than 10 years, which will be great for your return on investment.

Aerial shot of a tented site

Image credit: Bushtec Safari/Private Resort

Our tents are eco-friendly and can blend in with the natural surroundings quite effortlessly. Each tent has a light footprint, and by securing it to a wooden deck that plants into the ground, you can have your luxury tented camp without disrupting the environment at all.

Bushtec Safari luxury tents are designed and manufactured for year-round use in various weather conditions – from the African bush, to the deserts of the UAE, to the woodland landscapes of Europe and even tropical island style resorts – Bushtec Safari has got you covered.

Not only do we supply these one-of-a-kind luxury tents, we can also offer the investor the option of a full turnkey solution through our sister brand, Bushtec Safari. In this scenario everything concerning the project will be managed and implemented by our in-house team, from planning to concept development, design, site layouts, sourcing, manufacture and supply of all items needed including interiors, right through to deployment and project management. With our professional and experienced team you can rest assured that your investment is in the best hands. For us, no destination is too remote, no idea too bold, no challenge too big.

Bushtec Safari was one of our Product Watch Pitch Partners for Hotel Designs LIVE

Main image credit: Bushtec Safari/Good Moremi Gorge

Exclusive Tents: working with nature to create one-off luxury experiences

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Exclusive Tents: working with nature to create one-off luxury experiences

To conclude a three-part editorial series, Hotel Designs understands Exclusive Tents’ unique relationship with nature when its comes to designing luxury tented accomodation …

Exclusive Tents International could easily be considered the perfect evolution for Paul Zway’s philosophy, following his long experience as a Kruger Park ranger.

Indeed, the African heritage of these luxury products is reflected in their names with most of the tents named after the legendary elephants of Africa, mainly past and some still present. Zway’s vision is to apply Exclusive Tents’ experience, skills and enthusiasm to the accomplishment of his clients’ dreams.

Landscape showing tents and mountains

Image credit: Exclusive Tents

The appeal of a stronger, more fundamental link with nature is often a factor shared with their clients. It is a joy for Zway and his team when clients invest wholeheartedly in the adventure and go the extra mile to work with all that nature can offer. The most rewarding projects seek to integrate their natural assets as much as possible with their living spaces, even going so far as to reintroduce indigenous wildlife and replant species that have been driven out or endangered by human activity.

Alternative forms of accommodation are gaining popularity around the World, and Glamping is foremost amongst them. For those not familiar with African luxury safaris, the versatility and potential of these large, beautiful, ruggedly elegant, traditional real canvas tents requires reevaluating most, if not all, of the core elements of a project that might otherwise be taken for granted. It is a refreshing and eye-opening process that can and should encompass all aspects of a project.

Deciding to use tents rather than main-stream construction solutions can prove to be beneficial and advantageous for a number of key reasons – both aesthetic and financial. If you are reading this article there is a good chance that you are already intrigued by the possibilities that luxury tents might offer. Of course, the romance of a closer link with nature, the exhilaration of creating something exotic, seductive and sexy is foremost in the mind. Yet other key factors are equally important.

Image credit: Exclusive Tents

Development time and costs can both be significantly reduced. The tents can be in production whilst the project site is being prepared, with tent installation time being very quick – normally a few days for accommodation lodges, and a couple of weeks for the largest of the main tents. All Exclusive Tents’ products are made to client’s order such that each tent is configured with the desired materials, colours, door and window placements, etc., that best serve the project. Whilst this means that they are bespoke products, all fabrication is exclusively in-house with typical dispatch for delivery in only eight-10 weeks.

On-site preparation can also become most efficient. Exclusive Tents recommend installing the tents on raised decks – most often timber, but sometimes masonry depending upon the environment. The advantage of raised timber decks is that they can be quickly installed with little or no ground works, gliding above the natural topography, providing raised views, an elegant presence, and minimal impact upon the site.

“Exclusive Tents will never be the cheapest source of tents, but their mission is to offer the best “value-for-money”.” – Paul Zway, Founder, Exclusive Tents.

Price is important, and good quality genuine luxury tents are not cheap per se, but remain significantly less expensive than hard-construction of a comparable quality. It should go without saying that the sourcing of the tents is fundamental to success: they should be of the highest quality, providing not only beauty but also technical performance, longevity and practicality. Exclusive Tents will never be the cheapest source of tents, but their mission is to offer the best “value-for-money”: High quality, robust, durable, beautiful traditional real canvas luxury tents at a fair price. It is often worth remembering the saying: “The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten” or, as once reminded, “The common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a lot, it cannot be done. If you deal with the lowest bidder, it is well to add something for the risk you run and if you do that, you will then have enough to pay for something better”.

For any commercial venture the cornerstone is ROI (Return on Investment): Successful resorts offer a quality experience & service at an attractive ROI. Luxury tent resorts embody this principal with the advantage of a quicker and potentially better ROI. Of course, any resort project depends on much more than just choosing what type of guest accommodation to offer or how to embody the resort facilities. However, reduced development costs, reduced construction time, low maintenance costs, and (almost always) higher room rates than for their main stream or hard-construction equivalent are strong arguments in favour of opting for a luxury tent resort.

Tent on terrace in rural area

Image credit: Exclusive Tents

…And, that’s before remembering the exquisite charm of creating a project where magnificent vistas and a unique experience are enjoyed from the nature-infused deck of a beautifully made and furnished luxury tent! Even in trickier climates, the whole experience of staying in a luxury tent, relaxing on a beautiful terrace and enjoying the surroundings is invigorating.

Glamping has evolved a lot in the short time since the name was coined. Exclusive Tents are at the forefront of this wave, constantly innovating, improving, and showing the way forward in all variety of environments, climates, and conditions.

For example, all the tent designs are now available with a new frame wall system for harsh climates or where increased thermal and/or acoustic insulation are desired. The system gives a new clean aesthetic to the tents and incorporates a minimum of 50mm thermal / acoustic insulation without external or internal wood poles, steel legs, or outriggers, although these can be integrated into the design if desired. Furthermore, the tents can be enhanced with increased insulation and fully integral (hidden) hard-walls.

As the glamping movement evolves, Exclusive Tents are also providing an ever-larger range of delightful tent designs, with the Mabarule and Dida tents having recently been unveiled. The Mabarule is a subtle blend between the traditional safari tent with the more modern designs. At its heart is an opening in the roof, a pivotal focal point between the internal volumes and the spacious covered veranda. Light cascades through the opening in the roof, reinforcing the connection with the outside, and lends itself to creating a water or plant ‘art-scape’ coming up through the deck.

Exclusive tents is as much an adventure as a business, being pursued passionately by Zway, his wife and business partner Angelika, and Johan Maree. Their tight knit team includes their children and colleagues spread across the globe. For the team, the biggest reward to emerge from the adventure is the bonds they have forged with amazing clients and talented professionals who have become close friends.

Every project, no matter how big or small, is driven by the passion and desire of its owner. Luxury tents and glamping appeal to those of us willing to look beyond the established order of things and welcome a challenge. Some of the most exciting projects come to Exclusive Tents as an essentially blank canvas (pun intended!) where the painting of the dream and vision commence.

Many new clients will, quite logically, start with little knowledge about tents (especially large, genuine canvas tents – as opposed to stretch fabric tents and canopies), and may be unaware of the versatility that they embody. For example, some of the key considerations for a luxury tent project:

  • The guiding vision for the project.
  • Location: Desert, tropical, savanna, forest, open countryside, hilly, mountainous, coastline, semi-urban or even urban, and so on.
  • Topography and geology.
  • Climatic conditions, proximity to the ocean, and how to best harness the local meteorology.
  • What are the requirements for the project accommodation and facilities, and how can tents satisfy them?
  • Design features, desired internal and external spaces.
  • Materials, finishes, performance.
  • What is possible? What isn’t?
  • What is recommended, and what should best be avoided?
  • Tent model selection, configuration, or bespoke custom design.
  • How to integrate resort design and tent design?
  • Adapting interior design to suit luxury tents.
  • Common area tents and staff accommodations – pros and cons.
  • Density of development.
  • Soft or hard openings
  • Off-grid solutions, rain water collection, etc.

Exclusive Tents is a close knit two-family run business that believes passionately in what they do: They will enthusiastically inform and guide clients and their consultants. Importantly, they also offer expertise and alternative solutions working hand-in-hand with equally passionate and diligent partners: The clients and friends mentioned earlier, such as Valentin of four Rivers Floating Lodge and Emanuela of Sandat and Canonici di San Marco, and consummate professionals including the uniquely talented architect Patrice Belle who creates wonderful designs and succinct solutions, for example Telal Resort in the UAE, and has a complete understanding of luxury tents within the wider context of project design.

As a team, they will not systematically propose tents for all and every situation. Instead, their philosophy is to advise their client and provide to the project exciting, beautiful solutions in the context of short, medium and long-term project objectives.

While we are all looking forward to a bright, natural and healthy future, Zway welcomes you to share Exclusive Tents’ vision, mission and passion!

Exclusive Tents International is one of the brands that has taken advantage of our Industry Support Package. To keep up to date with supplier news, click here

Main image credit: Exclusive Tents

FEATURE: What roles do outdoor pools and spas play in tented camps?

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
FEATURE: What roles do outdoor pools and spas play in tented camps?

As Hotel Designs continues to metaphorically bathe in the topic of Pools and Spas during May, it asks the experts at Bushtec Creations how to sensitively add a new layer of luxury to tented accommodation…

Thinking about going on a Safari to the heart of the African bush or glamping during the hot summer months of Europe? Well there is nothing more refreshing and relaxing than washing off the adrenalin of adventure in a sparkling, clear pool.

Adding a swimming pool to your hotel or tented lodge in cities of towns doesn’t seem too big of a problem, but adding swimming pools in rural, remote locations can pose some difficulties. Yes, one can build a pool on site, with local labour and sufficient time, everything is possible.

At Bushtec Creations, we have different options available when it comes to swimming pools. Our DIY ready-to-assemble pools are hands down a winner for sure when it comes to remote areas. It is innovative, stylish, and elegantly designed with natural beautiful wood, which is the perfect complement to your tented camp/resort. The outer wooden structure of the pool is manufactured to exacting standards from high quality, pressure impregnated, dried and oiled, dense Scandinavian timber, fitting perfectly into any garden or location, in total harmony with its surroundings.

Image credit: Bushtec Creations

With Bushtec Creations, there are quite a few different ways to incorporate swimming pools in your tented camp/lodge/resort. Depending on each client’s requirements and the site layout, you may only want to have one communal pool forming as part of your main area or you might also want to add smaller private plunge pools or Jacuzzis at each tented guest unit which is what happens in most cases. Some cultures prefer private pool at each tent in terms of their customs. It is a good alternative then to add a reflecting pool to your reception tent which can set the tone of a peaceful and harmonic sanctuary where one can sit and reflect.

We have also found that guests at tented lodges prefer private pools, guests visiting these lodges are there to relax, go on game drives and capture the wildness of the African bush, whereas guests at glamping sites in Europe come back from an adventure with the family and don’t mind take a refreshing swim in communal pools. This also helps to reduce the noise levels at the guest units if families are at the communal pools.

Image credit: Bushtec Creative

Spas can also play a big role in your tented camp and can be immensely beneficial. When tourists look for tented camps as part of their vacation destinations, a spa would encourage them to add this to their itinerary.

Image credit: Bushtec Creations

Let’s be honest, how many people can say that they have had spa treatments in a luxury tent before? Not as many right? Tented camps/resorts are trending significantly on a global scale and you definitely want all the “most wanted” added benefits as part of your investment. Your spa’s can also be designed, like your entire camp, just the way you want it.

Image credit: Bushtec Creations

You can have a specific section of your tented camp/resort dedicated to an entire communal spa area which could include multiple spa tents for couples, each with their own inside Jacuzzi, or you can have a few private spa units separated by quite a distance, each with their own plunge pool and firepit to add to the ambience. Then again you can keep it simple with just one spa unit within your tented camp/resort which mainly caters for treatments. Your spa units would in most cases have the same designed “look and feel” as the rest of the tents so that your camp has a unified design throughout.

Image credit: Bushtec Creative

Bushtec Creations has the added benefit of having a dedicated in-house design team who takes all natural surroundings and outdoor elements into consideration when designing your tented camp/resort, aiming for your investment to be in harmony with the outdoors surrounding it. We are also very focused on making sure we create an environmentally friendly tented camp/resort so as to ensure that your natural habitat is looked after. Being aware of the minimal impact wanted on natural environments, we can create tented camps/resorts with the lightest footprint possible specifically to preserve the natural habitat and we have all relevant materials and technology to comply with this requirement.

We can create your tented camp/resort suited to your desired requirements ensuring a great return on investment!

Bushtec Creations is one of the brands that has taken advantage of our Industry Support Package. To keep up to date with supplier news, click here. And, if you are interested in also benefitting from this  three-month editorial package, please email Katy Phillips by clicking here.

Main image credit: Bushtec Creations

INDUSTRY INSIGHT: The role main areas play in tented lodges & camps

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
INDUSTRY INSIGHT: The role main areas play in tented lodges & camps

As the modern luxury traveller demands more one-off experiences, there has been rise in demand for lodges and camps. Hotel Designs asks the experts at Bushtec Creations to explain how designers can utilise a hotel’s main areas in these accommodation styles…

In short, your main area can be whatever you want it to be. Having a successful main are however, now that is where the secret lies.

First impressions are the ones that last. The moment a guest steps into the main area, a tone or impression will be set that they will expect from their stay, and it helps to dare to push the boundaries and be different. When it comes to luxury tented main areas, Bushtec Safari and Bushtec Creations has many years’ experience and products well suited to be used whereby the guests’ first impression will surely be one of amazement with the type of luxury, comfort and beauty these classic tents hold.

When it comes to tented resorts or tented hotels, first you need to determine how many guests your tented lodge/camp will be accommodating so that you can make sure you have a spacious enough main area. Then, you need to consider the design you are trying to create, specially for the roof, and aim to keep the same design flowing straight throughout your camp.

You also need to consider your location and space you have available for the development of your camp, so as to determine whether you will have one large main unit, or rather a main area made up of several smaller tents.

Image credit: Bushtec Creations

Think about what you want included in your main area. We have done several camps with main areas and not 1 camp is the same. You can have a main area that only includes a dining facility, you can have a main area that consists of multiple functional areas including a reception area, a lounge where your guests can relax, socialise, read books, access the restrooms, be near a bar area where your guests can sit and enjoy refreshments. Apart from this, you can even decide to include a sushi bar, which will take your main area to the next level.

Now let’s speak ambience. Want to add a fireplace but not sure if it can be one in a tent? Of course you can! With Bushtec Creations anything is possible. Adding a fireplace is also dependant on your location, you won’t necessarily want to add a fireplace if you are located in the desert at 40 degrees for most of the year, however with that being said, most locations can do with a fireplace and you can’t go wrong with adding one.

Now that we have covered the inside characteristics of your main area, let’s have a look at what you can do outside. That’s right, there is more! Most main areas will include a swimming pool on the front deck with some sort of remarkable view, cocktail table spread across the deck with umbrellas and even a fire pit to have memorable nights covered by a billion stars.

Your kitchen can also form as part of your main area and be enclosed for aesthetic purposes, however this also varies from one lodge owner to another. Alternatively you can have your kitchen apart from your main area connecting it with a walkway to create easy access for your personnel.

The options of connecting your main area with your accommodation units also plays a part in the entirety of your lodge/camp. You may want to connect the units with walkways throughout your entire camp, or you can leave your units separated should you wish to not stop wildlife from moving throughout the camp.

With all of the various considerations involved in creating your perfect tented lodge/camp, you still don’t have to feel overwhelmed as our Bushtec Creations team has years of experience to guide you through the process from start to finish. We have our own passionate in-house design team who does regular site visits across the globe. Several discussions will be held to determine your exact requirements and the latest technology is used to create a virtual render of your entire camp to showcase your project so that you will know what to expect.

In closing, your main area plays a substantial role in your tented camp/lodge and is ultimately where your guests will get together to relax, eat and socialise. This is where you want them to feel at home and keep them coming back for more. A tented lodge main area is the biggest asset not only for you as the lodge owner, but also for your guests.

Bushtec Creations is one of the brands that has taken advantage of our Industry Support Package. To keep up to date with supplier news, click here. And, if you are interested in also benefitting from this  three-month editorial package, please email Katy Phillips by clicking here.

Main image credit: Bushtec Creations

Mombo, Botswana

Introducing first look of the new Mombo, Botswana

1000 562 Daniel Fountain

The rebuild of Wilderness Safaris’ flagship camps in the heart of the Okavango Delta, Mombo and Little Mombo, continues apace, with both camps set to open for guests at the end of January 2018. Whilst comprising the most appropriate and sustainable luxury required of such a leading destination, the new camps will remain rooted in an authentic bush-camp offering to ensure that the original Mombo experience is retained.

Wilderness Safaris has been privileged to witness three generations of Mombo Camp, undoubtedly one of Africa’s foremost wildlife and ecotourism destinations. The brief to the architectural and design teams, Nick Plewman Architects and Associates and Caline Williams-Wynn from Artichoke, was therefore to rebuild the camps in such a way as to maintain the Mombo traditions and history stretching back nearly 30 years, yet rebuilding to the highest and most innovative standards.

“In short, the new Mombo is a show stopper,” commented lead interior designer, Caline Williams-Wynn. “As the Rolls Royce of the Delta, we have combined traditional and vintage elements with a modern elegance that truly embraces the real essence of Mombo. We have used deconstructed furniture in classic styles, antique brass finishings, vintage leathers, copper lighting and copper-cladded fire places combined with marble and natural oak floors.”

A tonal colour palette has been used throughout to reiterate the longevity of the interior design. A mix of mismatched – yet complementary – wooden furniture all works together to feature a collection of pieces sourced over the years, resulting in a personalised feel. Other interior features include headboards and bed bases made of crackled leather with hand stitching on the seams, wooden and brass chandeliers and custom-made, hand-painted embroidered cushions.

“Space was also a key factor in creating the new design,” she added, “with each tented suite now comprising an expansive entrance, a sitting room with a bar unit, a separate bedroom and bathroom with a dressing area, indoor and outdoor showers and a bathtub that creates a sense of indulgence.” The view out in front of the floodplain is uninterrupted thanks to the use of wood sliding louvre shutters that can be open or shut completely as the guest would like and a sliding gauze second layer to allow for maximum air flow. Spacious decks are perfect for in-villa dining and private plunge pools and swing beds offer the perfect base for midday relaxation and siestas.

“Our emphasis in terms of luxury and service excellence has always been on sharing and honouring the amazing natural environment in which we operate,” said Wilderness Safaris Botswana MD, Kim Nixon. “Each tented suite has been built on exactly the same place as the previous one – with a slight increase in size out towards the floodplain to facilitate a pool deck. By remaining the same width, this has allowed all the vegetation – particularly the large trees that are in between the units – to remain, ensuring minimal impact to the environment. We even hosted a tree expert in camp to ensure that the trees were properly cared for and professionally pruned in a few areas that needed it and we did not cut a single root greater than 50 mm.”

“We have also taken the lessons we’ve learnt over the years and used innovative ideas to allow for natural temperature regulation; extended verandas are shaded with pergolas in front of the rooms, while the multi-layered, insulated roof design consists of a fabric layer that deals well with heat and UV rays and a cavity roof with insulation that allows air flow through and drops the temperature,” Nixon added. Walls and floors all have three layers each and of course, being raised off the ground aids in the flow of air, as well as allows for free animal movement beneath. There is also a good through flow from the front to the back of the suites, taking advantage of the gentle breeze off the floodplain.

World-renowned as “the Place of Plenty”, Mombo’s location on Chief’s Island within the Moremi Game Reserve attracts an enormous number and variety of animals, which makes it a hugely sought-after destination. Mombo is also deeply committed to the plight of the rhino and, since the turn of the century, has played the key primary role in rhino relocation through its Botswana Rhino Reintroduction Project.

“We are proud of the progress we have made to date and look forward to sharing the magic of Mombo with our guests in 2018 – we have no doubt that Mombo will continue to exceed our guests’ expectations and remain a place of harmony: a balance between the camps, the environment and the people who stay here,” Nixon concluded.

The new Mombo and Little Mombo camps will open end January 2018. Please see additional notes below for further architectural and interior design details.

www.wilderness-safaris.com

Qorokwe Camp, Botswana

Project Spotlight: Wilderness Safaris’ Qorokwe Camp, Botswana

769 400 Daniel Fountain

Wilderness Safaris is delighted to announce the opening of its new Classic Camp, Qorokwe, situated in the private, wildlife-rich 26 180-hectare (64 692-acre) Qorokwe Concession, bordering Moremi Game Reserve in the Okavango Delta, Botswana.

Meaning “the place where the buffalo broke through the bush into the water”, Qorokwe comprises nine elegant tented suites, one of which is a spacious family unit with its own splash pool, as well as a dining area, lounge, library, bar and infinity swimming pool, all situated along the banks of a beautiful lagoon. An example of authentic, responsible luxury, the camp was built using innovative techniques and operates on 100% solar power, thus keeping as light an eco-footprint as possible in one of the Delta’s untouched wilderness areas – one that has been unutilised for the past four years.

“In our continuous quest for operating camps – and making a difference – in the best wildlife areas in Africa, the exclusive Qorokwe Concession has earned a well-deserved place in our ranks”, commented Kim Nixon, Wilderness Safaris Botswana MD. “We are proud to have welcomed our first guests to Qorokwe, in partnership with Cobus Calitz and Jil Gérard-Calitz, and are looking forward to revealing this contemporary, land-based camp and highly-productive wilderness concession to the world”.

Architect, Joy Brasler on Qorokwe:

  • The concept for Qorokwe grew out of a response to the landscape – the site lies next to a lagoon and the tented suites are raised off the ground to see over the vegetation growing at the lagoon’s edge, as well as providing a sense of safety in the wilderness.
  • The suites and main camp area were laid out by the team in response to the trees and views available on site. There are a number of large canopy trees which inspired the idea of a fairly cannellated ceiling to the unit which mimics the bark of the trees and canopy overhead. The rest of the unit is predominantly clad in canvas to the rear, and mosquito netting on the view side, with interior blinds/shutters that act as both curtains and environmental control.
  • In our practice, we had been pursuing the idea of a mechano m/s steel unit which would limit the construction time on site and the variations that typically arise out of building in the bush. Materials were therefore chosen for rapid construction with a steel frame with infill panels of either mesh or canvas, timber decks and the detailed timber ceilings perforated with light.Project Spotlight: Wilderness Safaris’ Qorokwe Camp, Botswana
  • The tented suites are spacious and include a large deck. Given that the temperatures are fairly benign and that the thrill of being out in this wild landscape is paramount, much of the main camp features are open and cascading towards the watercourse. The rear of the camp enhances the experience of traversing the various vegetation typologies as you move towards the water – open landscape, vegetated edge, and open view – the entrance sequence is treated as a series of “walls” in the landscape, ascent and view. The ceiling travels over these diverse features and is gently graduated with light.
  • Views are framed and isolated to elevate the visual experience of this photographic environment, water is used to bring the Delta into the camp, both to connect the experience of being in the landscape and to deal with the practical issues of keeping guests away from the edges.
  • References are made to the cycle of decay at the edge of the Okavango Delta through the use of “rusted” finishes in conjunction with lightweight tented construction infill methodology. Colours and imagery from both the landscape above ground and beneath the water are brought into the interiors.
  • The language of the infrastructure is seen as an elemental and contemporary response to an insertion in this landscape – the interiors are a response to the colours and activities of Africa, with the emotive use of materials, colour and form.

Owing to its location on the border of Moremi Game Reserve and its diverse habitat types – from scattered acacia and mopane woodlands, open seasonal and permanent floodplains fringed on either side by the picturesque channels and islands along the Gomoti and Santantadibe Channels – Qorokwe offers an abundance of wildlife. Game drives, walks, boating and mokoro present life-changing opportunities of viewing and photographing the variety of life here, including lion, spotted hyaena, leopard, wild dog, cheetah, elephant and buffalo, to name a few, as well as the myriad birds that are attracted to such pristine surrounds.

Interior designer, Michelle Throssell on Qorokwe:  

  • Sharing a similar design philosophy to Joy Brasler Architects, Michelle Throssell was thrilled to be introduced to the Qorokwe team by Joy Brasler in order to propose an interior design solution for the camp. According to Michelle, “Working off Joy’s canvas is always a pleasure and so our interior design concept grew very much from her inspiration. The selection of interior architecture finishes, various timbers, ceiling details, lighting, shopfitting and fixtures was a collaborative effort and we tried to involve the Qorokwe team in every decision to give them something that reflected their vision for the camp and also their passion for the bush. The palette of colours and materials was inspired by the Botswana landscape as well as by Joy’s strong architectural concept, resulting in a rich mix of bleached timbers, darker stains and accents of rust and burnt orange. By introducing a combination of organic shapes and textural diversity from live-edged timber to steel and canvas, we have created a warm, enveloping space providing comfort and luxury in an understated way”.

According to lead architect, Joy Brasler, and interior designer, Michelle Throssell, the design inspiration for Qorokwe came from the natural setting of the Botswana landscape, resulting in a rich mix of bleached timbers, darker stains and accents of rust and burnt orange.

Project Spotlight: Wilderness Safaris’ Qorokwe Camp, BotswanaThe materials chosen to build the camp include steel frames with infill panels to insulate against heat and cold, canvas and timber decks. Detailed timber ceilings are perforated with light to mimic the experience of being beneath the trees at the side of the lagoon, so that the entire camp experience blends in with its beautiful natural surroundings.

www.wilderness-safaris.com/camps/qorokwe-camp

Wilderness Safaris’ Qorokwe Camp – Luxury Eco-Chic in the Heart of the Delta

Wilderness Safaris’ Qorokwe Camp to open in December

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Qorokwe Camp, a new Wilderness Safaris Classic Camp due to open in the private, wildlife-rich 26,180-hectare (64,692-acre) Qorokwe Concession in Botswana in December 2017, will offer the perfect blend of luxury eco-chic within a beautiful Okavango Delta setting.

Designed by lead architect, Joy Brasler and interior designer, Michelle Throssell, Qorokwe Camp is situated along the banks of a beautiful kidney-shaped lagoon. The nine elegant tented suites, one of which is a spacious family suite with its own splash pool, and the main area, which comprises a dining area, lounge, library, bar and infinity swimming pool, are built on raised decked platforms (about two metres/six feet off the ground). This not only provides spectacular views of the lagoon and surrounding bushveld, but also enables the vegetation to thrive underneath the suites – a unique environmental advantage as most rooms create ‘dead’ space beneath.

According to Joy Brasler, materials chosen to build the camp include steel frames with infill panels to insulate against heat and cold, canvas and timber decks. Detailed timber ceilings are perforated with light to mimic the experience of being beneath the trees at the side of the lagoon so that the entire camp experience blends in with its beautiful natural surroundings. “The language of the infrastructure is seen as an elemental and contemporary response to an insertion in this landscape – the interiors are a response to the colours and activities of Africa, with the emotive use of materials, colour and form,” she said.

Michelle Throssel reiterated that their combined inspiration came from the natural setting, stating that the palette of colours and materials was motivated by the Botswana landscape, resulting in a rich mix of bleached timbers, darker stains and accents of rust and burnt orange. “By introducing a combination of organic shapes and textural diversity from live-edged timber to steel and canvas, we have created a warm, enveloping space providing comfort and luxury in an understated way,” Michelle added.

In line with Wilderness Safaris’ commitment to operating with as light an eco-footprint as possible, Qorokwe will be 100% solar-powered and all water will be heated by means of thermodynamic solar geysers, further helping to mitigate the camp’s carbon emissions. “We are also excited to have used a new building technique for the Delta, one that comprises an entirely steel sub-structure,“ said Qorokwe GM, Daniel Crous. “Although this is more expensive than building with wood, we believe that it is a more environmentally and economically sound method in the long run – requiring less ‘reconstructions’, as well as being easier to remove, thus leaving less of an environmental footprint. In addition, using steel removes the threat of termites and therefore there is no need to put chemically treated wood into the ground where it may affect the immediate environment.”

Owned by the Maun-based Calitz family, the Qorokwe (meaning “the place where the buffalo broke through the bush into the water”) Concession is a spectacular and highly productive mix of fertile Okavango habitats. Qorokwe’s diverse landscape includes scattered acacia and mopane woodlands, open seasonal and permanent floodplains and is fringed on either side by the picturesque channels and islands along the Gomoti and Santantadibe Channels. Guests can explore the exclusive concession on day and night game drives and nature walks led by highly-skilled guides, as well as enjoy mokoro and boating activities, depending on the water levels.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with the Calitz family to reveal this exclusive new land-based camp and private concession – a highly-productive game-viewing area that has been unutilised for the past four years. The beauty of the landscape and our experiences in the Qorokwe Concession to date are such that we know our guests can look forward to exceptional wildlife experiences, in addition to a world-class and original camp offering,” said Kim Nixon, Wilderness Safaris Botswana MD.

An illustration of how the Longleat hotel resort could look hugging the contours

Wiltshire Council resolve to grant permission for new Longleat Hotel

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Longleat’s plans to build a new 240 room hotel, with water park and business conference facilities on the edge of its Estate near Warminster have been approved by Wiltshire Council, subject to views of Highways England on the impact of the proposal to the strategic road network.

The approval provides a green light for the development which, it is anticipated, will further boost the local economy and create 300 new jobs, while providing much-needed additional family orientated hotel accommodation in the area.

Bob Montgomery, the CEO of Longleat Enterprises Limited which manages the commercial development of the Estate assets, said: “The decision to approve our application is a huge boost to Longleat’s long term future, for Wiltshire and our local town and village communities.

“We’ve still a little way to go and are working to secure Highway England’s final view on the impact of our proposals to the strategic road network in the area, but are confident this will be concluded soon.

“We believe the hotel will enable Longleat to develop and grow over the coming years and will provide a new tourism hub for the area which will create many more jobs and attract new investment,” he added.

With over 40% of its one million annual visitors driving for more than two hours to see its attractions, including the world-famous Safari Park, the management at Longleat, headed by Viscount Weymouth, believe the new hotel will secure the sustainability of the Estate with its Grade 1 listed Elizabethan house, Capability Brown and Humphry Repton Heritage Parkland.

Located on a 135-acre site to the south and south east of Tascroft Court, and close to Warminster and the A36, the proposed hotel will also incorporate a unique and intimate animal experience for its guests and much needed business conference facilities for up to 200 delegates.

Bisate Lodge, Rwanda

Wilderness Safaris opens Bisate Lodge, Rwanda

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Wilderness Safaris is proud to announce the opening of Bisate Lodge, situated next to the renowned Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda. Comprising just six spacious forest villas, Bisate offers a luxurious base from which to enjoy an extraordinary gorilla conservation experience and life-changing journey to this beautiful region.

Situated within the amphitheatre of an eroded volcanic cone, the 42-hectare Bisate site is incomparable in terms of its natural splendour, with sweeping views towards the Karisimbi, Bisoke and Mikeno volcanoes. It is close enough to Kinigi (the Volcanoes National Park Headquarters) to be convenient for guests’ morning gorilla treks, but far enough away so as to feel remote and even – as a result of the pioneering onsite indigenous reforestation project – part of the spectacular Park.

“With only six luxurious forest villas, the real generosity of Bisate in the Rwandan context is the amount of private and exclusive space that surrounds the Lodge, sheltering it in a rare natural landscape brimming with Albertine Rift biodiversity and beauty”, said Wilderness Safaris COO, Grant Woodrow. Each spacious forest villa comprises a generous yet intimate combination of bedroom, reception area and bathroom, all warmed by a central fireplace and with breathtaking views out across a private deck towards Mount Bisoke.

Bisate Lodge, RwandaBisate’s sophisticated architectural and interior design is rooted in Rwandan building tradition as exemplified in the design of the Royal Palace of the traditional monarch. This spherical, thatched structure echoes the thousands of hills that dot the Rwandan landscape, while the richly-detailed interiors exhibit surfaces and screens made from a variety of woven materials with strong resonance in Rwandan culture. Various interior design elements are drawn from aspects of the Rwandan lifestyle, particularly the colourful textiles and use of texture, such as the emerald-green colour in the textiles and chandeliers that is reminiscent of the verdant greens of the rainforests, as well as the vibrant markets that dot the villages throughout the country. Many of the furnishings are decorated using “imigongo”, an art form unique to Rwanda.

As a Wilderness Safaris Premier camp, the overall design concept for Bisate is based on the principle that ‘purpose is the new luxury’, with the vision being to create a world-class venture that will make a dramatic and far-reaching positive impact on more than ‘just’ the mountain gorilla. The whole Bisate experience is based around Wilderness Safaris 4Cs sustainability ethos of Commerce, Community, Culture and Conservation. Its pioneering reforestation project, which has already seen nearly 15 000 indigenous trees planted to date, community engagement, cultural appropriateness and exposure, eco-friendly operational systems and more will take guests beyond the ‘gorilla express’ and enrich their experience in this inspiring country.

“Since 2009 we have contemplated how our ecotourism model could contribute to the conservation of the Virunga Massif ecosystem and an iconic endangered species like the mountain gorilla. When we made the decision to invest in Rwanda, the last thing we intended to do was just to build a boutique lodge and sell gorilla treks”, Woodrow added. “We wanted to ensure that our brand of responsible ecotourism made a real difference to both rural Rwandan people and biodiversity conservation. As such, we hope that Bisate will exceed our guests’ expectations, and that together we will be able to make a dramatic and far-reaching impact on not just a Critically Endangered species like the mountain gorilla, but also the entire ecosystem of the Virunga Massif and the rural people living adjacent to it”.

Wilderness Safaris Relaunches Little Vumbura

Wilderness Safaris relaunches Little Vumbura in Botswana

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After an extensive refurbishment and partial rebuild, Little Vumbura Camp has reopened in Wilderness Safaris’ private Vumbura Concession in the Okavango Delta, Botswana. With only six intimate tented suites, the camp offers a true Delta-island experience, complete with an array of both land and water-based safari activities.

“We are thrilled about Little Vumbura’s refreshed look and feel, with the tents now boasting spacious rooms that lead onto a lounge area, having increased in size by 30%. They also feature large windows that bring the feel of the outdoors within so that guests can enjoy the beauty of the bush whilst also relaxing in their suite. The family tent has also increased by 30% and the intimate nature of the camp remains the perfect choice for exclusive family safaris”, said Vumbura Concession Manager, Nick Leuenberger.

Wilderness Safaris Relaunches Little VumburaOther improvements to the camp include the extension of the bar area, which now includes a circular bar with a lot more space for guests to enjoy a range of cocktails or their favourite drink whilst watching the sunset. The new shaded pergola, situated between the dining and lounge area, is ideal for afternoon tea or midday relaxation and also provides another scenic venue choice for communal dining. The main dining area now features new decking and free-standing furniture. The new fire deck will be used for pre-dinner drinks, offering the most incredible 360-degree views of the concession.

“One of the things that makes Little Vumbura special is the unique arrival into camp by boat which can only be experienced in a true year-round water camp in the Okavango Delta”, added Leuenberger. “Little Vumbura really does tick all the boxes in terms of exceptional wildlife viewing in addition to tranquil water experiences. You can begin your day by floating serenely through the waterlilies on a silent mokoro and end it on an expertly-guided game drive, watching a herd of 1000 buffalo against a golden African sunset”.

Wilderness Safaris Relaunches Little VumburaThe rebuild of Little Vumbura follows the extensive refurbishment of the main area of Vumbura South Camp in October last year. North Camp, South Camp and Little Vumbura all provide the perfect base from which to explore the diverse Vumbura Concession, renowned for its variety of activities on offer – on land, on water and by air! “It is a “hybrid” concession with the best of both worlds – permanent swamps, dry woodland and everything in between. It is the only Wilderness concession in Botswana that offers hot-air ballooning safaris – an absolute must-do bucket list experience”, Leuenberger concluded.

Bisate Lodge, Rwanda

Bisate Lodge to open in Rwanda June 2017

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Wilderness Safaris Bisate Lodge, situated next to Rwanda’s renowned Volcanoes National Park, is on track to open for guests in June 2017. Comprising just six forest villas, Bisate Lodge will offer a luxurious base from which to visit the nearby gorilla conservation experience.

“We are extremely proud of the progress we have made with Bisate, especially with regards to our pioneering reforestation programme which has already seen over 5 000 indigenous trees planted to date in partnership with the newly-created Tuzamurane Cooperative. This incredible opportunity to use our model of responsible ecotourism to contribute to positive conservation and community empowerment in such a unique and exciting Rwanda environment is exactly why we do what we do”, said Wilderness Safaris CEO, Keith Vincent.

Bisate Lodge, Rwanda

Featuring six luxurious forest villas, the real generosity of Bisate in the Rwandan context will be the amount of private and exclusive space that surrounds the Lodge, cosseting it in a rare natural landscape brimming with Albertine Rift biodiversity and beauty. Each spacious forest villa will comprise a generous yet intimate combination of bedroom, reception space and bathroom, all warmed by a central fireplace and with views out across a private deck towards Mount Bisoke.

Bisate’s sophisticated architectural and interior design will be rooted in Rwandan building tradition as exemplified in the design of the Royal Palace of the traditional monarch. This spherical, thatched structure echoes the thousands of hills that dot the Rwandan landscape, while the richly-detailed interiors will exhibit surfaces and screens made from a variety of woven materials with strong resonance in Rwandan culture.

Botswana's Chobe Water Villas to open in July

Botswana’s Chobe Water Villas to open in July

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Opening on 1 July 2016, Chobe Water Villas is an exclusive and intimate lodge, accommodating guests in 16 raised villas in the 150km² Namibian Kasika Conservancy. All the villas are situated directly on the edge of a lagoon, enjoying direct views of Sedudu Island, Chobe National Park and the Safari Town of Kasane in Botswana.

Chobe Water Villas will host a maximum of 32 guests in its uniquely positioned villas, lounges, bar, restaurant, infinity pool, pool desk and African “Boma”, a shielded area once used to protect both man and livestock, but now a traditional place to enjoy a “Braai” (BBQ) and camp fire while on safari.

Opening on 1 July 2016, Chobe Water Villas is an exclusive and intimate lodge, accommodating guests in 16 raised villas
The luxurious water villas have 85m² of living space, including lounge and bedroom areas, with floor-to-ceiling glass doors which fold back completely, opening up to the 19m² front terrace with built in day-bed and views of the Chobe River. Every villa also has a 12m² rear terrace which faces the natural bush and is the perfect spot to enjoy spectacular evening sunsets.

Opening on 1 July 2016, Chobe Water Villas is an exclusive and intimate lodge, accommodating guests in 16 raised villas
Under thatch and partially open to the gardens, the Main Lodge building overlooks the spectacular infinity pool and pool deck, blessed with unobstructed views of the neighbouring rivers and national parks. The Main Lodge features a 36-seat restaurant, cosy cocktail bar and library lounge with complimentary all day butler station.

www.chobewatervillas.com

Ruckomechi Camp

Wilderness Safaris opens Ruckomechi Camp, Mana Pools in Zimbabwe

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This month, Wilderness Safaris, the award-winning luxury safari operator, is delighted to announce the opening of the rebuilt and revamped Ruckomechi Camp, located in its private concession in Zimbabwe’s Mana Pools National Park.

“We are extremely proud to welcome guests to our beautiful new camp which still retains the understated tented luxury and nostalgic safari feel that is synonymous with Ruckomechi,” says Wilderness Safaris Zambezi MD, Ron Goatley.

Ruckomechi Camp
Comprising just ten spacious tented suites (eight of which have opened, with a further two family suites opening on 1st August 2016), the camp boasts the same wide-angled views of the Zambezi River and the dramatic purple-hued escarpment of Zambia in the distance. All the tents, as well as the central dining, bar and lounge areas face this evocative scene, often with an elephant or two included in the spectacle. The pool, star-gazing deck and outdoor ‘bath with a view’ add to the incredible camp offering.

Ruckomechi Camp

Subtle interiors were chosen for the guest areas and tented suites to ensure that the main focal point remained the sweeping views of the surrounding wilderness.

“We used lots of blues in the guest tent interiors which were inspired by the beautiful deep-blue colours of the Zambezi River at sunset; these hues are picked up in the Trading Glass beads in the Lozi wooden bowls and the hand-blown glass vases on the console tables and desk, as well as the natural cotton linen denim scatter cushions,” says Interior Designer and bush enthusiast, Mandy Langebrink, who has worked with Wilderness Safaris on a number of camps for the past 20 years.

Ruckomechi Camp

“The coolness of the Zambezi River is reflected in the light elegance of the stylish interiors, with the blues offset by the light tones of the solid wooden furniture, all complementing the old African artefacts of the Turkana and Tuareg bowls and the rustic coffee table. Large leather sofas create the perfect space for relaxing in between game drives and the elegant louvre screens provide a sense of lightness and temporary style of the ‘old camping days,’ Mandy added. “The camp epitomises luxury in style; one that is totally in touch with its surroundings.”

Elewana opens luxury tented camp in Kenya

Elewana opens luxury tented camp in Kenya

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Luxury safari camp and lodge operator Elewana has opened a new luxury tented camp on the site of the former Loisaba Lodge. Located on a 600ft escarpment, every room in Loisaba Tented Camp enjoys spectacular views stretching across the Laikipia Plains to Mount Kenya.

Elewana has been chosen by Loisaba Conservancy, with support from The Nature Conservancy (TNC), to partner with it in the development and management of its primary tourism assets in this critically important conservation area that has been recently secured by TNC for ongoing protection for the foreseeable future. The new camp is part of the Elewana Collection – a portfolio of fifteen properties spanning the highlights of East Africa’s safari and beach offerings.

Elewana opens luxury tented camp in Kenya

Loisaba Tented Camp comprises six stylish and extremely spacious ensuite tents (three double/three convertible twin/double), three family combinations each consisting of two ensuite tents with adjoining walkway. The Private Residence houses three ensuite tents (one family combination and one convertible tent) complemented with a private bar, dining area and infinity pool. Not least of all, the property will reflect Elewana and TNC’s commitment to the environment by limiting its ecological footprint wherever possible.

Commenting on the partnership, Karim Wissanji, Elewana’s CEO, said, “The partnership with The Nature Conservancy highlights Elewana’s passion and commitment to conservation, one that is reflected in its support (financial and otherwise) for this exciting new project; a project that sits at the very heart of TNC’s community, wildlife and land conservation philosophies and their important collaboration with tourism.”

Elewana opens luxury tented camp in Kenya

Matthew Brown, Africa Conservation Director, The Nature Conservancy remarks, “Tourism support helps make Loisaba a self-sustaining engine for peace, community development, and wildlife conservation. This is an innovative example of how Africa can both preserve its heritage and create economic opportunities for its people. We are excited to be working with Elewana.”