Sustainably modern architecture camouflaged in the middle of a grand safari
Ubiquitously hidden within tall branches of an acacia tree, the sun and its shadows, the shades of green and earth, is strikingly contemporary resort in the middle of a safari. From the outside, concrete walls create a necessary fence, but its weathered look—credited to its rugged mica stone surface—harmonises with the rest of the surrounding. Its wooden walls echo the colours of the jungle backdrop. Roof canopies hung from the feature walls, as if taking a page from South African design while brilliantly merging it with modern-day minimalism.
The breath-taking retreat is designed and built by ARRCC, whose goal is not to create a deliberate tension against the natural landscape, but to complement it in form and function so that one may experience nature more intimately. Three villas are built together in clusters, each featuring a main building, private communal spaces, and a spread of four-bedroom suites, all decked out with large glass windows that face out into the lush landscape.
Interiors are lofty, heavily woven with rich brown and natural shades, taken from the wood and stone from their interiors. Frolics happen in the cinema room, or in the private wine-tasting area which is fully air-conditioned. The patio terrace stars a heated outdoor pool, adorned with steel canopies that resemble the local trees, while offering a refreshing shade to the loungers on the day bed. There’s a romantic outdoor dining space, lit by a fireside for colder nights.
Cheetah Plains Lodge is tucked within the districts of Sabi Sand Game Reserve, a part of the more vast Kruger National Park where the big 5, among many other wildlife creatures, thrive and coexist. The luxury game spot has opened its doors to various safari activities, all while indulging its visitors with decadent resorts that feature present-day conveniences. After all, man need not admonish his usual comforts to discover his raw, primal origins. cheetahplains.com ◼
© This article was first published in Oct-Nov 2019 edition of World Travel Magazine.