WILD SPLEN­DOUR

Sin­gita Pa­mushana Lodge in Zim­babwe’s Malilangwe Wildlife Re­serve has re­opened with a swish new look in­formed by its beau­ti­ful nat­u­ral sur­rounds and lo­cal her­itage

Elle Decoration (South Africa) - - HOTELS - Text LEIGH ROBERT­SON Pho­to­graphs MICKY HOYLE

If it’s the full, un­bri­dled game-view­ing ex­pe­ri­ence that draws you to the bush above all else, an ex­pe­di­tion to Malilangwe Wildlife Re­serve in south-east­ern Zim­babwe, oc­cu­py­ing 130 000 acres of pris­tine pro­tected wilder­ness, will likely not dis­ap­point. Add to this its out­stand­ing of­fer­ing of rock art sites dat­ing to the late stone age, and the al­lure of this lesser-trod­den nat­u­ral par­adise is ever more ap­par­ent. With the re­open­ing of Sin­gita Pa­mushana Lodge after an ex­ten­sive re­fresh and ex­pan­sion, the re­serve also prom­ises to en­tice and re­ward a more de­sign-con­scious trav­eller, not least those fa­mil­iar with the con­sid­ered, highly de­tailed ap­proach so char­ac­ter­is­tic of the Sin­gita stable.

Work­ing with long­time as­so­ci­ates GAPP Ar­chi­tects and Ur­ban De­sign­ers and de­sign firm Cé­cile & Boyd, part of the lux­ury sa­fari group’s brief was to up the ac­com­mo­da­tion of­fer­ing with the ad­di­tion of two new suites while en­hanc­ing the ex­ist­ing main lodge to make even more of its spec­tac­u­lar lo­ca­tion, built as it is on a hill with sweep­ing views of the re­serve and Malilangwe Dam. A se­ries of multi-level decked plat­forms, some cov­ered, oth­ers open to the sky, both

ex­tend the lodge’s com­mu­nal liv­ing ar­eas and pro­vide a con­nec­tion to the en­vi­ron­ment. The new cliff-top fire pit and bar, which has the ef­fect of float­ing above the dam, pro­vides a di­vert­ing spot for drinks.

‘The main fea­ture is the sur­round­ing na­ture and wildlife,’ notes Ge­ordi de Sousa Costa, lead de­signer of Cé­cile & Boyd. ‘Our key pri­or­ity was not to over­shadow this with overly strong de­sign.’ As a re­sult, the tones are neu­tral and earthy, from deep olive to to­bacco tan and char­coal, punc­tu­ated with flashes of brass and rhyth­mic geo­met­ric pat­terns that ref­er­ence the re­gion’s Shangaan cul­ture. A deep rev­er­ence of the lo­cal her­itage per­vades the lodge’s de­sign lan­guage, from the lib­eral use of stone in ar­chi­tec­tural el­e­ments to the carved wooden pieces, ar­ti­facts, and wo­ven rugs and cush­ions that com­ple­ment the con­tem­po­rary lodge aes­thetic. sin­gita.com

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