andBeyond Grumeti Serengeti Tented Camp in Tanzania’s Western Corridor will undergo an extensive rebuild, reemerging with a new identity as andBeyond Grumeti Serengeti River Lodge.
Originally built in the 1990s, the tented site has received two refurbishments over the years, and when the Grumeti River burst its banks and the lodge was flooded in April last year it was decided a comprehensive rebuild was in order.
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.
“We feel that what has always set the lodge apart is its magnificent setting on a tributary of the Grumeti River,” said Niall Anderson, andBeyond Chief Operating Officer Africa Lodges. “Our brief to the design team was to create spaces that would bring guests even closer to these riverside views, connecting them to nature while ensuring a sense of understated luxury.”
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.
Guest suites will be more than doubles in size and will feature raised ceilings and taller doors, offering 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. Suites will 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 andBeyond’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 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.
As with all andBeyond 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 options.
An extended selection of experiences is also being developed in time for the launch of the lodge on 6 June 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.