Staff, 2022-12-16 14:00:27,
For too long, the design of many safari lodges leaned on a handful of tired tropes: thatched roofs and turned poles, overstuffed leather Chesterfields and a color scheme of khaki matched with khaki. Bonus points for a buffalo head gazing glassy-eyed from above the oversized hearth.
Happily, that’s changing, as lodge owners embrace a new narrative that blends biophilic architecture with decor drawing on vernacular designs, traditional culture and local craftsmanship.
Take Lolebezi, for instance. Set on the banks of the Zambezi River, this six-suite lodge is the latest addition to the African Bush Camps portfolio and has emphatically raised the bar for luxury safaris within Zambia’s lesser-known Lower Zambezi National Park.
“The starting point is always the place itself,” explains Jack Alexander, Lolebezi’s architect. “There’s a natural context, but there’s also a cultural context, and that is particularly relevant for Lolebezi. It’s inspired by Zambian traditions, as much as the color palette of the Lower Zambezi. And it’s about interpreting all of those contextual inspirations into the lodge.”
A biophilic approach was key at Lolebezi, from the sunrise-sunset alignment of each riverside suite, to building on raised platforms to accommodate the annual floodwaters. Indoors, the…
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