November 10

Silvan Safari’s Sublime Transformation

November 10, 2023

At Rhino Africa, we've got our binoculars dialled dead-on when it comes to the tiniest nuances of luxury travel. And we'll tell you, something has been stirring in the Greater Kruger. One of our favourite lodges, Silvan Safari, has cloaked itself in secrecy for a little while now – shrouded from the public gaze – but our vigilant eyes have been tracking every subtle shift, and finally, something miraculous has emerged!

Silvan Safari offers mindful luxury in the heart of the wilderness

A Thunderstruck Vision

It all started with a thunderstorm unleashing torrential fury upon the lodge last December. In the midst of the clamour of thunder and downpour of rain, David Ryan, the owner and creator of Silvan Safari, saw not chaos but the cocoon from which a magnificent transformation would arise.

A small detail in one of Silvan’s artworks

A small detail in one of Silvan’s artworks

The storm had stripped away Silvan Safari's familiar facade, leaving behind a canvas primed for reinvention. It was an opportunity for the luxury safari lodge to shed its former aesthetic, ready to rise reborn, revitalised, and more deeply connected to the surrounding wilderness of the Sabi Sand Game Reserve.

Pool deck at Silvan Safari with a view of the wilderness and dramatic stormy sky

Summer rains in the African bush bring life and colour

The Little Details Defining Excellence

What we've always loved about Silvan Safari is its unwavering devotion to the finer details – those delightful surprises that take your experience to the next level. Owner, design guru, and chief decorator David Ryan knows it well. He's the visionary behind the scenes, orchestrating every aspect of the recent refurbishments.

Paper and book artwork

All artworks aim to celebrate the particular environs around Silvan Safari

As David puts it, "the little details make Silvan Safari truly unique." He's personally handpicked and participated in the design of every element in the upgrades. To him, these details aren't just mere embellishments; they're the heartbeat of the experience – and we're right there with him!

Jackalberry main lodge interior

Everything at Silvan Safari is very particularly curated

Tree-Inspired Indoor Sophistication

Silvan Safari's design philosophy has always celebrated the natural beauty of the Sabi Sand, and the refurbishments have stayed true to this ethos.

And, for those fortunate enough to have experienced the lodge's luxury suites, you'll recall the harmonious hues and subtle textures that celebrate the very trees that lend their name and beauty to each room.

Close up photograph showing the detailed embroidered knobthorn tree on the corner of a couch

Silvan Safari is a space entwined in the rhythm of the bush

Now, picture an evolution of design where restyled curtains and mosquito nets unfurl like delicate wings, introducing a refreshing burst of colour complementing the suite's indigenous roots (pun intended!).

Opulent headboards, carpets, and wallpaper have also had a complete makeover – adding a dash of distinctive charisma which breathes new life into the very essence of Silvan Safari's aesthetic.

Silvan Safari Cassia Suite

The Cassia Suite reflects the attention to design shown throughout Silvan Safari

Considerable Creature Comforts

Oh my! Are those custom Casamento couches we spy? Prepare to be pampered because furnishings have never looked so affluent!

As you step into Silvan Safari's suites, you'll be greeted by Casamento couches, plush dining chairs and other impressive fixtures – each adorned with bespoke embroidery that pays homage to the fauna and flora of the region.

Close up image of detailed embroidery

After a chaotic storm, new ideas started to sprout

From Beds, Baths and Beyond!

New, sumptuous beds draped with high-quality Mungo linen ensure you are enveloped in sheer indulgence. But that's just the tip of the rhino horn. Each suite has seen a floor-to-ceiling bathroom facelift. Every element, from fixtures to flooring and even the signature artwork, has been thoughtfully reimagined.

Spacious bathroom with floor-to-ceiling window with wilderness views

Designed for exceptional space, comfort and uncompromising luxury

This attention to detail guarantees a harmonious atmosphere, perfectly in line with Silvan Safari's reputation as the World's Leading Luxury Lodge. What better place to stay for your Big 5 safari?

Silvan Safari's Tree Wisteria Suite

Silvan Safari's Tree Wisteria Suite

Enhancing Al Fresco Experiences

And that's not all. The Tree Wisteria Suite has something a little extra in store for you! Silvan Safari has extended its viewing deck, and guess what they've added? An oh-so-glamorous outdoor bath. Yes, now you can soak in style while gazing out at the Manyeleti riverbed.

Tree Wisteria suite outdoor bath

Tree Wisteria Suite now features a glamorous outdoor bath

And speaking about extra surprises, one of the standout changes you won't want to miss is the extension of the lodge's walkway. Guests staying in the Tree Wisteria or the Leadwood Suite are in for a treat. You can now indulge in leisurely strolls along a raised boardwalk, offering a whole new perspective of the wilderness around you.

Silvan Safari's main deck area

Savour exceptional outdoor spaces

Reimagining Luxury Travel

When reflecting on the refurbishments, David's enthusiasm is palpable: "I'm beyond proud of what the team achieved. I believe that this refreshed and rejuvenated Silvan Safari is every bit as intentional, connected and inspired as when I first dreamed of it when walking along the Manyeleti riverbed."

Silvan safari main area

Safari dreams come true at Silvan Safari

Be Part of Silvan Safari's New Chapter

We've witnessed Silvan Safari's inspiring evolution, diligently tracking every nuanced shift from secrecy to revelation. It has emerged not as a mere lodge but as a thunderstruck vision with details so delicate even a butterfly will swoon.

We invite you to experience this miraculous metamorphosis first-hand and let Silvan Safari ignite your own transformation amidst the wild wonders of Africa.

X Rhino Africa Consultants

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Big 5, Sabi Sand Game Reserve

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About the author 

Michelle Welvering

Growing up, Michelle always wanted to become a world-renowned artist, a kickboxing-champion and an eccentric explorer – aka a Kickboxing Exploring Artist! After pursuing an education in Fine Arts and opening her own Kickboxing gym in Pretoria, an unexpected twist led her to a six-year stint as a travel consultant in South African tourism. She believes that all things happen for a reason and, driven by adventure, she was eager to find a more “wild” and cultural space to call home. This led her to wander the Western Cape coastline, fall in love with the city of Cape Town and, of course, her workplace, Rhino Africa.

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