Wilderness Safaris’ new Chikwenya Camp is open! Situated in a private concession in Zimbabwe’s majestic Mana Pools National Park, the elegant camp is perfectly set at the confluence of the Sapi and Zambezi rivers, overlooking an open albida floodplain and Chikwenya Island – a true photographer’s paradise.
“We are delighted to have returned to this exceptionally photogenic area which we believe is one of the most productive and beautiful concessions in Zimbabwe. From the moment you arrive at Chikwenya there is a magic that envelops you and we can’t wait to share the new camp and its extraordinary wilderness offering with our guests”, said Ron Goatley, Wilderness Safaris Zambezi MD.
Designed to take advantage of the spectacular views of the Zambezi River and the Rift Valley escarpment beyond, the camp’s six luxurious tents are all connected by wooden walkways stretching along the Sapi River frontage. Sunken seating on each deck, gauze doors that open across the front, and the option of an outdoor shower give guests the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors and the cooling breeze coming off the river.
Interior designer and owner of Profurn Contracts, Tanja Beyers, said, “From the moment I arrived at the Chikwenya site three years ago, I was inspired by the raw beauty of the camp’s exquisite setting overlooking the Zambezi River. We therefore made sure that the new camp features numerous relaxation areas to take advantage of these spectacular views”. Tanja has created an environment that captures the essence of the natural surrounds.
From the sparkling pool and its comfortable loungers on the deck to the dining area under the deep shade of the Natal mahogany trees, guests will be able to enjoy the sights across both the Sapi river mouth and the Zambezi. The campfire, with its oversized plantation chairs, invites one to sit and relax under the starry sky whilst listening to all the night sounds as the nocturnal animals start their evening activities.
“There is an understated elegance to the rooms and the living area that is enhanced by the neutral palette and earthy hues”, Tanja added. “We kept all of the design elements as authentic and real to the surroundings as possible – making it comfortable without overdressing it. Chikwenya is one of those places that grabs a piece of you and never lets go”.
Numerous handcrafted elements were brought in to celebrate local art and culture, including handcrafted timber daybeds with turned legs and beaded chandeliers for the main lounge; 15 000 individually hand-rolled clay beads and 7 000 discs were made for this project, benefitting 34 families from the income generated. Reclaimed timber was used for cantilevered vanity slabs, with each piece hand selected and gently shaped to allow the natural lines to remain authentic. Hand-batiked guest gowns were designed and hand printed by a local textile artist and two local women were contracted to crochet the beadwork used to create the decorative accents on the bedside lights.
“This forms part of our ongoing commitment to our 4Cs sustainability ethos of Commerce, Community, Culture and Conservation, and offering life-changing journeys with Purpose in Zimbabwe for over two decades. By operating a successful ecotourism venture at Chikwenya, we will be able to positively impact the biodiversity conservation of this concession and the empowerment of local people. We are confident that the new Chikwenya will enhance our current portfolio by offering our guests a unique and extraordinary experience”, concluded Ron.
For more information on the wildlife experience at Chikwenya, click here. For more design/architectural details on the camp, see below.
Notes to Editor
Chikwenya – Design & Architecture:
- Interior designer: Tanja Beyers, Profurn Contracts assisted by Amy Roberts
- Project manager – Logistics: Craig Jones, Director of Fenix Construction, who has many years’ experience working in remote locations.
- Tanja met Craig on a project they handled 20 years ago in Mozambique and she knew that he was the right person to get the project off the ground.
- Craig was key in making instrumental decisions regarding what would work in such a remote environment such as Chikwenya.
- Profurn Contracts handled all the design work, including development drawings, detailing etc.
- “The initial inspiration of what has been developed was fed off the enthusiasm and passion that our client, Joe Wright, has for Chikwenya. This along with the idea of being authentic and real in every design decision, ensuring that what was designed did not deter the guest in any way from the raw beauty and magic that Chikwenya holds. Having worked extensively for Marc Armstrong and Adel Sumit worldwide, I was very fortunate to be given the opportunity to handle Chikwenya from ground level, working in these remote destinations is what feeds my soul”!
- For more information contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
About Wilderness Safaris: www.wilderness-safaris.com
- Wilderness Safaris is Africa’s leading authentic and sustainable ecotourism operator, specialising in memorable wildlife experiences in some of the most remote and pristine areas in Africa. In this way it offers its guests private access to almost three million hectares of Africa’s finest wildlife reserves, while remaining fiercely committed to protecting our planet’s precious natural and cultural resources.
- Wilderness Safaris operates camps and safaris in some of Africa’s best wildlife and wilderness reserves across seven countries: Botswana, Kenya, Namibia, Rwanda, Seychelles, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
- Wilderness Safaris is deeply committed to its 4Cs sustainability ethos of Commerce, Community, Culture and Conservation. It firmly believes that its single most important achievement to date is to have built a sustainable business model that does not compromise environmental principles and which provides jobs, training, skills, careers, adjusted horizons, hope and a realistic alternative to less sustainable development.
- Recognising that conservation is as much about people as about the environment, the company has pursued important goals through its Children in the Wilderness programme, as well as through theWilderness Wildlife Trust, which have helped change the face of nature-based tourism in Africa.
- Wilderness Safaris is part of Wilderness Holdings, a group of responsible ecotourism companies that together use responsible tourism to build sustainable conservation economies in Africa.