Sandibe re-opened its doors, with a slight delay, in September 2014. Earlier we listed it as one of the 10 most anticipated hotel openings of 2014—and as the brand new lodge unveils, the long wait proves to be worth it.
Overlooking the rich in animal life, magnificent landscape of Okavango delta, and set in a cool forest canopy of wild palms and gnarled fig trees, this flagship lodge is a celebration of nature and unique design.
Unique is too weak of a word. This outstanding architecture fuses modernism and sustainable design into a singular dramatic vision, inspired by a pangolin’s body armour and a weaver-bird nest.
The inspiration behind the design steered the blueprint for the lodge’s architecture.
“The innovative design […] is driven by nature and reflects the sustainable footprint of the lodge while remaining warm and intimate”—Joss Kent, CEO of &Beyond
Bold, free-flowing shapes form the basic wooden structure, while a sophisticated bohemian luxury sets the tone of interiors, which follow the concept in rusty tones, ample natural light and recycled materials. There is copper, sculpted wooden tables, light fabrics and intricate baskets celebrating the best of Botswana craft.
The lodge relies solely on the latest technologies in alternative energy, in line with andBeyond’s ethos of stewardship of land, wildlife and people.
Eight new suites
“Sandibe is one of the most architecturally impressive lodges in the Delta.”—Joss Kent
The nest-like suites are uncluttered and elegant, becoming private cocoons at night with fireplaces for the winter evenings. The suites are raised towards the wild palms and fig tree canopies, facilitating great views onto the winding channels and lush floodplains of the river delta. Each comes with its own private plunge pool. There is one ‘family unit’ made up of two interconnecting suites.
“At &Beyond we seek to maintain a low impact on the land while deriving high yield for our conservation initiatives by creating very small luxury lodges that support enormous tracts of biodiverse land, which remains untouched.”—from &Beyond’s Conservation & Community statement.
Golden-grassed floodplains, sparkling lagoons and meandering channels inhabited by a staggering variety of wildlife stretch into the distance, framed by overgrown palm islands and the spires of giant termite mounds. A channel of clear, cool waters runs directly in front of the elevated guest suites.
This is the setting of the &Beyond Sandibe. Here guests wake up to the birdsongs and baboon antics, squirrels keep them company at breakfast and treading in the footsteps of elephants, exploring a maze of papyrus or the wide floodplains filled with wildlife will fill the rest of the day.
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Wildlife and star gazing
The floodplains are home to antelope, cheetah, elephant, lion, buffalo, hippo and giraffe, as well as secretary birds, giant horned kudu, wild dog, and many more species. The Lodge promises one of the Delta’s best wildlife experiences, boasting exclusive traversing rights over 55,600 acres of land.
Known as “the river that never finds the seas,” Botswana’s Okavango Delta lies at the heart of the Kalahari Desert. In recognition of its exceptional natural diversity and extraordinary beauty it was recently named the UNESCO World Heritage Site. &Beyond Sandibe Okavango Safari Lodge is poised to become its new jewel.
For more information visit www.andBeyond.com
Photos © &BEYOND