The world-renowned Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve in the Greater Kruger National Park is certainly a must-visit safari destination. Especially for all those passionate about wildlife! Not only does the area boast an incredibly bio-diverse wildlife population, but it's known for its leopard-rich land and lavish, luxurious lodges. Here, sightings of the Big 5 are just about a given. However, the biggest highlight, hands down, is a stay at an extravagant lodge in the middle of the bush. In particular, one I recently had the pleasure of visiting, Chitwa Chitwa. Read more about their unique approach to art and the aesthetics of safari.
What Makes a Lodge Superbly Spectacular?
All Sabi Sand lodges and camps are spectacular in their own right. But what makes them truly special is how different they are from each other. From service, cuisine, activities, and facilities – each lodge strives to provide a unique and unparalleled experience. However, for me, the most distinguishing and delightful characteristic that sets them apart is the individual aesthetic they exude.
Chitwa Chitwa’s Main Area – Outdoors
Chitwa Chitwa's main focal point is, without a doubt, its extensive wooden deck that stretches far and wide to take full advantage of the spectacular (and large) lakeside views. The dark wood of the deck and charcoal-coloured exterior walls ensures that the landscape remains the primary focus. This dark contrast is also cleverly used to bring other elements to life. And boy-oh-boy are these other elements splendidly striking!
Something to See on Every Surface
The main deck facilitates an array of seating areas where you can relax and enjoy the surroundings. The soft couches and cushions in pastel shades and muted tones beckon for chill sessions and post-safari catch-up conversations. You will also find an interesting display of doodads sitting atop the coffee and side tables, ranging from ceramic crocodile skulls, bronze bowls, candles, intriguing literature and carved wooden board games.
Chitwa Chitwa’s Main Area – Indoors
The inky-tinted exterior gives way to a lighter ivory-coloured surface as you make your way indoors to the generously-spaced bar, dining and lounge area. Wooden beams support a vast thatch roof, with grand leather-string chandeliers hanging from it. The blend of earthy textures and natural materials with metallic and glass finishings offers a sense of nobility while still maintaining that traditional safari feel.
Chitwa Chitwa's Art and Aesthetics of Safari
Every design aspect is captivating, and, as the eye wanders, you can't help but notice some arresting art pieces. Many of which are original contemporary works created by Chitwa's owner Maria Brink. Bold, colourful and expressive, Chitwa's art exudes both a masculine and feminine feel and combines an eclectic blend of European style with traditional African chic.
Lead the Way, Marvellous Walkways
Wooden walkways meander from the main area, leading to the lodge's six luxury suites, the Charlsy suite and Chitwa House. The walkways are surrounded by fountains, lush vegetation and sausage trees. Therefore, it makes you feel like you're strolling through a fairytale forest.
Chitwa Chitwa Suites
The suites are wonderfully spacious, with softer undertones mirroring the main area's style. An air of elegance still flows throughout the design and décor, and you can see that great care has gone into balancing unpretentious style with complete comfort. It's a welcoming, luxurious space with natural materials combined with glass and metallic finishings and fabrics in soft and delicate pastel shades.
Each suite is individually decorated with unique artwork and opens up onto a spacious timber deck with its own private plunge pool and sun loungers. A bonus is your private view of the lake…Oh, and the outdoor shower, of course!
An Artistic Achievement
Stylish and innovative, Chitwa Chitwa Game Lodge certainly checks all the boxes when it comes to originality. Every nook and cranny has been given careful thought in terms of its aesthetic potential – bringing to life every space while still adhering to "feng shui" and remaining one with the natural environment.
If you're looking for a safari experience that is not only captivating while on game drives – Chitwa Chitwa is a feast for the eyes from beginning to end.
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