Serenity in the Sabi Sands

Tranquility. Even the word, exhaled slowly, is enough to calm frayed nerves. Tengile River Lodge – the newest offering from conservation group &Beyond in the Sabi Sands Game Reserve – delivers on this promise. (‘Tengile’ meaning tranquil in Tsonga.)
Tengile River Lodge

With just nine suites strung along a sharp bend in the Sand River, &Beyond Tengile has upped the ante when it comes to bushveld luxury. Each opulent suite, with a private deck and pool, stretches across 200m2, and although expansive bedrooms and bathrooms come standard, the real magic happens under those wide Lowveld skies.

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The colours and textures of Sabi Sands are echoed in the inspired décor by designer Michele Throssell: a blend of organic African and colonial elements complemented by contemporary touches.

Slatted raw woods lends a rustic feel to the ceilings, while the textured bark of the surrounding woodland inspired the fabrics and materials flowing through the suites. Throughout the lodge, materials, furniture and décor were sourced from local designers and artisans.

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‘We worked hard on the concept of bringing the outside in,’ explains &Beyond’s chief executive officer, Joss Kent. ‘We have tried to create the ultimate space where guests can feel at home and be provided with everything that they need, without having to leave their suite.’

It’s certainly tempting to simply settle in for the duration. Throssell has subtly integrated the rich heritage of the region into the space. Rusted sheet metal evokes colonial vernacular architecture, while stonework from the century-old Selati Railway – which once ran through here, connecting the gold mines of Johannesburg with the port city of Maputo in Mozambique – was used to create the terrazzo floors.

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As with all &Beyond properties, sustainability and reducing the environmental impact was a key consideration in the building of &Beyond Tengile. Steel frames reduce the need for permanent foundations, wastewater is recycled for irrigation, and energy efficiency is maximised through wide eaves, covered terraces, cross-ventilation and insulation.

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Beyond the lodge, the wildlife experience is simply unforgettable. The game-rich Sabi Sands is famous worldwide for its big-cat sightings, and &Beyond’s highly trained guides ensure guests, local and foreign, soak up an unforgettable time out in the bush. Back at Tengile, warm hospitality is the hallmark, whether it’s creating a celebratory dinner in the privacy of your suite, or shaking up your favourite cocktail at the stylish bar.

The lodge has refined the notion of ultimate bushveld luxury, all while focusing on the one element we all seek: tranquillity.

For more information and bookings visit &Beyond’s website.

By Richard Holmes

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