Conservation-led luxury travel company andBeyond will rebuild its iconic andBeyond Grumeti Serengeti Tented Camp, with the favourite property emerging as the newly branded andBeyond Grumeti Serengeti River Lodge.
With interior design by Fox Browne Creative and architectural design by Jack Alexander, the rebuild will utilise the existing footprint of the former structure to redefine the classical tented camp look in a form that will least impact the natural landscape. Reinventing the traditional safari tent, the brand new lodge will be even more luxurious and contemporary, while retaining the rustic and tactile nature of the original camp.
Drawing inspiration from the natural setting, the main guest areas will form a single sweeping arc that will follow the contours of the river, creating a series of sitting and dining areas that will flow naturally together. The design will cleverly provide shelter from the environment while retaining a wide open and natural feel.
More than doubled in size, the guest suites will feature raised ceilings and taller doors, allowing for an abundance of natural light. Canvas, banana fibre and hardwood cladding will add a layer of richness and call to mind the design of the original camp. Guest suites will now also feature deep baths and indoor showers, as well as extensive outdoor decks with private plunge pools. A family suite, which features an additional attached bedroom, will also be added to the lodge offering.
All buildings will be constructed from lightweight steel frames clad in canvas and sustainably sourced local hardwood. This will allow them to float over the landscape without the need for heavy concrete foundations and slabs, in keeping with &Beyond’s ethos of touching the earth lightly.
While the form of the buildings will draw upon the manyattas, or circular homesteads, of the nomadic Maasai, which can be found across the plains of the Western Serengeti, the colour palette for the interiors will take inspiration from the tribe’s vibrant beaded necklaces and the kitenge fabrics found throughout Tanzania’s Great Lakes region. The lively purple tones of the original lodge will be pared down to a more subtle tone reminiscent of hippo hide and accented with bright fabrics and hand-blown glass.
Guest favourites such as the boma and lodge pool will remain almost untouched, while a state-of-the-art gym will be a welcome addition.
“&Beyond Grumeti was originally built in the early 1990s,” says Niall Anderson, &Beyond Chief Operating Officer Africa Lodges. “While it has since undergone two refurbishments, when the Grumeti River burst its banks and the lodge was flooded in April 2020, we decided that it was time for a comprehensive rebuild.”
As with all &Beyond projects, sustainability will be key in the rebuild and the new lodge will include a 130kWh solar system, which will allow it to run on 80% renewable energy. All hot water systems will also be replaced with brand new, energy efficient ones. Waste water from the laundry will be recycled for other use and rainwater will be harvested for the swimming pools, while brand new technology will be installed to monitor underground water levels and ensure borehole capacity is not exceeded.
An extended selection of experiences is also being developed in time for the launch of the lodge, which will reopen on June 6, 2022. These will combine with the rich resident wildlife of this remote corner of the Serengeti, as well as the lodge’s ideal location for experiencing the thrilling river crossing and vast herds of the Great Migration
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