A safari holiday can be the journey of a lifetime – but you might not realise that it can offer luxury interior design as well as exotic animals. But the Thornybush Collection has long been dedicated to blending luxury and comfort with wild nature. Their new project, the Saseka Tented Camp, offers a chance for visitors to relax in style.
By day, guests at the camp can take advantage of the guided safaris through South Africa’s stunning Thornybush Nature Reserve. At night, they return to their luxury lodgings beside the Monwana River. With its name taken from the Tsonga word for beautiful, the Saseka offers luxury inside and out. Each of the 10 tented suites, which measure 200m², boasts a private pool, sundeck, and outdoor shower, and is air-conditioned for comfort.
However, despite all the modern conveniences, this safari lodge is designed to blend in with the magnificence of the natural surroundings. Thoughtfully designed by Silvio Rech & Lesley Carstens Architecture and Design, this is a modern, sleek take on a classic Out of Africa experience.
This safari lodge draws its inspiration from the nature that surrounds it. Lesley Carstens says, “We looked at the indigenous landscape – the flora and fauna. The camp is adjacent to a natural watercourse, the surrounding vegetation is typical riverine bush featuring excellent examples of classic river trees like Jackakberry; Apple Leaf and Leadwood. Our imaginations were fuelled by nature – hues of ivory, dark green, apple, sage and subtle flushes of pink echoing the characteristic tones of the flowers found in the bush.” At any time, guests in the suite will only have to close their eyes to listen to the sounds of the bush, reminding them of just how close they are to nature. The suites are also elevated, offering guests a rare chance to glimpse game coming to drink from the river, as they relax on their private decks.
Built to celebrate nature, the Saseka Tented Camp also features clever design choices with a Wabi Sabi influence such as recycled flooring. Not only is this an eco-friendly decision, but it also echoes the surroundings once again, as the flooring is the same off-white colour as the white sand of the nearby riverbed. As such, guests will always feel that they are a part of the bush while they are staying at Saseka.
The lighting is another area in which Saseka showcases innovation in design. As Silvio Rech says, “We took a sculptural approach which allowed us to create different spaces within the main area. The use of light was key and we created our extraordinary ceiling which filters light into the space – imitating the natural dappled light of a tree canopy. We christened it the ‘ceiling for all seasons’ which is totally apt.”
One distinctive, unique lighting choice is the Saseka’s unusual chandelier, made from a quirky and innovative mix of wood, metal and rattan. These materials showcase the lodge’s vision of mixing old and new, as well as its strong commitment to recycling and reusing materials wherever possible. The chandelier may be a spectacular centrepiece, but there are interesting touches wherever you go. Lampshades with a shape that evokes tree-pod blossoms can be found in some areas, creating small spaces where guests can enjoy privacy and intimacy. A fireplace is also available for use in the winter months, keeping things cosy when temperatures drop.
The Saseka Tented Camp is a one of a kind project that takes innovative design ideas and blends them seamlessly with natural surroundings. Visitors can enjoy that feeling of luxury, without ever forgetting that they are mere metres away from some of Africa’s most spectacular animals – and if they’re lucky, they’ll catch a glimpse without even having to leave the comfort of camp!