“Tengile” stands for tranquil in the local Tsonga language, and the newly opened &Beyond Tengile River Lodge in Mpumalanga, South Africa, very much lives up to its name.
Mpumalanga itself means “the place where the sun rises” in Zulu, another allusion to the unspoiled beauty and serenity of the luscious lands that the &Beyond Tengile River Lodge is set on.
Strict vehicles limits on the renowned Sabi Sand Game Reserve leads to greater privacy and exclusivity when it comes to game viewing at the lodge – but more than that, it also ensures that minimal ecological impact is left on the reserve to maintain its natural grandeur.
The lodge itself offers up a contemporary twist on the traditional safari aesthetic, so you’re likely to see modern, contrasting terrazzo floors blended with vaulted ceilings that invite beams of natural light into each of the nine sprawling suites.
At 2150 square feet per suite, each of the secluded lodges are tucked deep inside the riverine forest and open up to soothing views of the river. Guests will also feel as close to nature as can be, nestled as they are in the cool, dappled forest shade.
Further touches of sustainability can be found throughout the lodge: from the repurposed stone cladding sourced from a local quarry and the handmade upholstery crafted by artisans in Cape Town, the &Beyond Tengile River Lodge strives to leave behind as small an ecological footprint as possible.
But perhaps the loveliest facility at the lodge is the holistic wellness centre that overlooks the river. Guests can indulge in a selection of natural healing therapies in private rooms that are steeped in nature, after which they can retreat to the sunken deck and soak in the tranquil, undisturbed beauty of the Sand River. ◼
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© This article was first published online in Jan 2019 – World Travel Magazine.