A tribute to nature’s most beautiful phases and a celebration of local art, Tengile River Lodge has opened its doors in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve to industry applause. Situated on the end of the Sand River, the gloriousness begins with the ample river views and the presence of wildlife all around. The organic mossy, autumn colour scheme makes it feel like every breath taken, indoors and outdoors, is enriched with oxygen, and every corner of bedroom, bathroom, dining, bar, or lounge is a depiction of natural life. The greatest asset throughout Tengile, which means “tranquil” in Tsonga, is the use of space, and the luxurious layout of the lodge ensures that each guest’s experience is private and personalised.
There are nine suites, which all have views of the winding river. Every thatched suite is air-conditioned and equipped with WiFi, and each has a private lap pool, outdoor lounge, full en suite bathroom and an outdoor shower. There is a pair of interleading suites, which is ideal for families (children 12 years of age and up), while others are individually positioned under riverine trees on the elevated bank of the river. The views from each suite’s poolside sun loungers offer an almost bird’s eye view of the rocky river and its residents and visitors.
The sustainable use of wood not only keeps Tengile’s promise of environmental consciousness but decorates the ceilings of each room in the guest suites and in the main lodge areas with a naturally streaked timber. Layers of slate stone create feature walls that draw the eye, and speckled screed floors are a sleek yet pleasingly non-uniform foundation of the nature-inspired structures. The extensive use of wood, glass, and organic materials in the build is complemented by rich emerald and khaki greens, copper, brass, brown, and gold. The combination of textiles both whacky and contemporary gather and settle into an artistic victory. And speaking of art, have you seen the chandeliers? We’re talking about the softened green sea glass twirling and chiming above the dining table. The chair covers, light fittings, kitchen counter, and coffee table all add unique elements of the same theme to generate the overall appeal of Tengile’s living environments.
There is a boma outside, which is created in celebration of the traditional “kraal” but embodies modernity with its uniformly logged wall, rising upwards in an even gradient to embrace the traditional fire-side dining experience. Evenings spent eating and drinking under the stars while a central fire crackles away are accompanied by the owls and nightjars singing into the atmosphere. Also outdoors is the ultimate viewing point at Tengile: a sunken lounge positioned high up from a lookout point over the river, nestling beneath the trees. A gym and a spa, of course, are present to soothe any lingering tension, while a stocked curio shop offers a bit of African retail therapy.
While this luxurious and undeniably beautiful lodge is one incredible place to hang out, it is secondary to the outstanding safari experiences on offer in this exclusive part of the Greater Kruger’s Sabi Sand Game Reserve. Daily game viewing activities start and end each day with some of the most unforgettable wildlife encounters. Game drives on a private network of roads ensure that sightings are never crowded, and the opportunity to watch and photograph the Big Five is second to none. Interpretive bush walks open up the world of the wild as Tengile’s expert guides share their knowledge.
Honestly, we wouldn’t want to leave the lodge either, but believe us, what is waiting to be seen out there in the wilderness is what inspired this magnificent build in the first place! Get in touch to find out more about this brand new Sabi Sand retreat.