First impressions of Abelana River Lodge…

With the countdown to the opening of Abelana River Lodge nearing its zenith, we thought we’d give you a sneak peek at how some of the original artist’s impressions of the lodge are translating into reality, focussing on the stunning guest suites…

Located on either side of the beautiful main lodge – home to Abelana River Lodge’s dining, lounge, viewing deck, fire pit and swimming pool areas – the 20 guest suites all have unrivalled views out over the Selati River and the lush, riparian forest on its opposite bank.

Each suite is sumptuously spacious and filled with glorious natural light, opening out onto a secluded, private timber deck overlooking the river, where hippos wallow and crocodiles cruise by.

The artist’s impression envisaged a wonderful blend of chic, organic African décor, crisp white bedlinen and contemporary, modern design. The colour palette was decidedly neutral with punches of monochrome patterning and rich, earthy tones. Texture was a focus, from beadwork to the use of natural woods and rich, tribal textiles.

With our first guest suite completed and a “test run” of the layout and furnishings undertaken, we’ve managed to turn that vision of our suites into reality as you can see from the images above…

The rich, dark wood bedstead is offset with exquisite, white linen and rust-coloured leather headrests. The bedside tables are made from upcycled tree trunks and sit beneath suspended, hand-beaded bedside lights. Behind the headboard is a rustic, woven wall hanging and a gorgeous black and white throw brings in the monochrome theme.

The entire king size bed is covered by a soft, diaphanous mosquito net suspended from the thatched ceiling above.

Hand woven mats and rugs adorn the polished concrete floor and plush, taupe-coloured armchairs offer a place to curl up in front of a wood-burning fireplace that will be perfect for chilly winter nights.

Floor to ceiling glass doors open out onto the hardwood deck overlooking the river where wooden loungers, rustic deck chairs and plump cushions beckon. This is the perfect spot to sit and relax, watching the incredible bird life that inhabits the river’s banks, listening to the unique “laughter” of the hippos as they converse in the water below.

In the magnificent en-suite bathroom the use of stone, wood and concrete creates a wonderful, peaceful retreat from the African wilderness with all windows overlooking the river. A glass door opens out onto a secluded outside shower, protected from view by a stunning natural sandstone wall.

In the world of safari lodge construction, it’s rare to have the final product not just meet the original artist’s impression but exceed it. In the case of Abelana River Lodge, the translation from the digital realm to reality has surpassed expectations and has resulted in a fresh and distinct take on traditional safari lodge design. So in the final days leading up to the opening of Abelana River Lodge, as the construction and design team work feverishly to put the final touches in place throughout this beautiful new lodge, we’re all looking forward to seeing the final, finished product and can’t wait to share it with you! Watch this space!

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