It’s said that ‘Good architecture lets nature in.’ This design from Nicholas Plewman Architects is so good, the native elephants, hippos, lions and leopards continue to live on and use the site as if these buildings had never emerged out of the Okavango Delta in Botswana at all.
The Okavango Delta is considered one of the seven natural wonders of Africa, so three are all sorts of hoops to jump through to meet building restrictions for a new boutique hotel. Unlike other eco lodges, this 24-bed complex makes no compromise on power, hot water supply, luxury bathing and food preparation – separated from civilization by a hundred miles of swamp, these are all equal to the best hotels in the world. The buildings are made of ultimately bio-degradable materials. Instant hot water comes from a solar array backed up by heat pumps. Some 70 % of the lodge’s generous energy requirements come from a sustainable origin. All water and soil waste is treated so the effluent certifiably safe for discharge into the highly sensitive environment.
The towering roofs and curved walls draw their inspiration from animals that carry their shelter with them, such as the pangolin, an armadillo-like animal that is elusive and completely harmless – just like Sandibe.