The new lodge offers a refreshing take on safari luxury amid 10,500 hectares of wildlife reserve, with bespoke handcrafted decor and a focus on sustainability
Conservation-led travel company andBeyond has opened the brand-new Tengile River Lodge, taking the level of luxury in South Africa’s Sabi Sand Game Reserve up to a new level. The lodge holds an idyllic private position on a bend of the Sand River, with serene river views from every vantage point.
Drawing inspiration from the history of Kirkman’s Kamp, andBeyond’s existing property in the reserve, Tengile River Lodge offers a contemporary take on the safari aesthetic that is a refreshing break with tradition. Nine exclusive guest suites are tucked deep into the riverine forest on the banks of the Sand River. Each offers 180-degree views over the river, looking out onto one of South Africa’s most wildlife-rich conservation areas.
Design that tells a story
Bespoke touches cleverly combine the classical and the contemporary, drawing on the area’s colourful past for inspiration. For example, stone from the Selati Railway, which used to run through the area, connecting the gold mines of Johannesburg with the port city of Maputo, has been used to create the terrazzo floors. The stones have been carefully laid out to make the most of the contrasting colours, including dark greens, shades of rust and black. Slatted raw wood is used for the ceiling and extends down onto the walls as cladding to create the illusion of a cabin. The high ceilings create beams of natural light that illuminate the rich interiors.
In keeping with andBeyond’s ethos of sustainability, the lodge design makes use of a great deal of repurposed material with a connection to the setting. The stone cladding has been sourced from a local quarry and the railway sleeper cladding pays tribute to the Selati railway once again. Rusted metal sheets are a contemporary take on the conventional metal sheet roofing of the colonial era. The roofs have been covered in sand from the site itself, which means that, when viewed from overhead, the lodge site has minimal impact on the area.
Sustainability elements at andBeyond Tengile River Lodge design include thermal efficiency, a minimal ecological footprint through careful environmental auditing, as well as state-of-the-art waste water and sewer treatment systems.
Handcrafted and locally sourced
Decor pieces have been specially made and designed in collaboration with a selection of local designers. The lights, couches, beds and chairs are all locally designed, as are the screen and shop fittings. The fabrics for curtains and upholstery are individually handpainted by a group of artists in Cape Town and feature wildlife prints and elements of nature. Handpainted animal fabrics make an appearance throughout the lodge.
An additional touch is a wellness centre overlooking the river, which includes a gym and pool, as well as massage rooms and a sunken deck from where guests can enjoy the tranquil surrounding while awaiting their treatment.
Situated in one of the most renowned wildlife viewing areas in South Africa, game drives traverse an area of 10,500 hectares and strict vehicle limits at sighting ensure the exclusivity of the game-viewing experience.