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
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, artefacts, and woven rugs and cushions that complement the contemporary lodge aesthetic. singita.com
Text: Leigh Robertson Photographs: Micky Hoyle
Looking for more remote holiday inspiration? Read Morukuru Beach Lodge: Luxurious Off-the-Grid Retreat, Travel: Bisate Lodge in Rwanda and Dreaming of Singita Sweni Lodge next.