Life Interiors and Architecture have designed a riverside lodge in Botswana that combines traditional safari style with modern eco features.
Duma Tau, in the private Linyanti Game Reserve on the western boundary of Botswana’s legendary Chobe National Park and home to thousands of Kalahari elephants, is a river-resort designed to blend the site’s unique location both on the water and the African savannah.
With a brief to build a 10-unit classic camp (including two family units) upstream from an existing camp, this new site on the Linyanti River had direct access to the abundant elephant and hippo life populating this pristine area.
Maira Koutsoudakis, CEO of Life, explains the thinking behind the design of the camp: Life’s concept was based on the light on the land philosophy, which was then extended to a concept of light off the land. “What if we stepped off the land directly into the river?”
This approach translated into a small camp that would appeal to safari-goers who wanted an exclusive camping experience that offered excellent food, comfortable accommodation and the chance to encounter spectacular wildlife.
Making the most of the incredible landscape, Life had the brown tent canvas especially developed for the site, adding sheer mesh walls that allow the interior and exterior landscapes to blend seamlessly.
Stepping inside, each tent has been decorated with understated opulence: Earthy tones, sand blasted wood, turned copper and rich, textured fabrics combined with glossy ceramics from development projects, lamps and antique pieces. Maira describes her work as; “a hybrid between North and South; the very sophisticated and the raw; the refined and the pioneering”.
DumaTau runs entirely on solar power and has been built from sustainable timber sources with water-conscious waste removal to lighten its ecological impact as much as possible. Guests are also supplied with reusable water bottles to cut down on the use of plastic bottles.
Says Maira: “At Life, natural resources and time are seen as finite and precious, and the necessity for longevity echoes the necessity for the conservation effort through elegant, subtly sophisticated green and blue design. This inspires Life’s commitment to sustainable, conservation-centered, commercially viable developments, and focuses on community growth and cultural celebration.”