River Lodge rises again
This bush lodge is all about elevated style and a connected safari experience.
River Lodge in Lion Sands has (literally) risen from the ashes as a safari destination that marries contemporary design with an intimate wilderness experience. If you’re lucky enough to have stayed at Madikwe, Marataba, Ivory Lodge, Narina Lodge or any of the lodges within the MORE Family Collection you’ll likely have fallen in love with the work of interior designer Meg Ralph. After it burned down in a fire, her studio, Meg Ralph Spaces, was called on to redesign River Lodge alongside Rob Marneweck of Marneweck Swart Architects. The two make a formidable duo on the lodge design front.
With its rooms stretching out along the banks of the Sabie River, River Lodge shares an intimate connection to the bush. This relationship has been enhanced by the architecture which takes the form of simple sheds with clean-lined sophistication, meanwhile the lack of internal walls opens the inside up to the all-important views and maximises on natural light.
By collaborating with talented local artisans such as MOS products, Rialheim, Forget Me Knots, Esias Bosch and others, the design is an authentic, but contemporary, reflection of South African style. Here, every design decision has been carefully considered to honour the guest’s connection to the bush, from the colour palette which echoes the natural landscape to the interiors which champion comfort and a sense of place. With a lean angularity to its form, the architecture is a foil to the wilderness that surrounds it, as well as an ode to contemporary aesthetics that, when done right, take little away from their surroundings.