Enjoying an idyllic location, away from the crowds, in the private Sabi Sand Game Reserve, a borderless parcel of Kruger National Park in South Africa, Cheetah Plains is a true hideaway combining good taste and an intimate atmosphere. Everything for an unforgettable safari experience in the footsteps of cheetahs, leopards and other iconic South African animals
Its originality was to imagine three architectural houses designed by the ARRCC studio, breaking the typical codes of lodges composed of a common area and several suites scattered around. The architects wanted to totally reinvent the traditional safari-style architecture to create buildings that combine sustainable architecture with a minimalist aesthetic, and yet achieve a striking and beautiful contrast with the natural landscape. Interior and exterior mingle to immerse guests in their environment rather than placing them on a platform, reducing them to a mere spectator function. The walls are made of hand-packed raw mica, naturally rusted corten steel, and wood elements that provide warmth and rough textures.
Cheetah Plains is broken down into three independent structures: the Karula House, the Mapogo House and the Mvula House. Each has a private entrance garden with a covered awning, a large open-plan living room, dining area and a bar area with adjoining air-conditioned wine cellar and a family-multimedia room. These living spaces are surrounded by four suites, almost big enough to be considered as mini-lodges in their own right. Bathrooms open directly to the outdoors, providing an exhilarating outdoor experience.
The interior decor introduces softness and texture, sometimes maintaining a certain roughness with rough stone walls, rough concrete, weathered steel and glass sheets. The result are both typically African, but undeniably modern, with natural finishes and sophisticated details. Bronze and gold accents adding subtle subtle nuances of luxury.
Many pieces of furniture have been custom designed by ARRCC and OKHA in collaboration with local craftsmen, including Colin Rock, Pierre Cronje and Gerrit Giebel. One can only succumb to Pierre Cronje's unique stone dining tables, each made from a single sheet of lead wood, which is truly a central element in every home. Suspended above them is Martin Doller's hand-blown glass chandeliers that reflect and refract the natural light of the surrounding bush. As for the walls, they are adorned with a carefully selected collection of original South African artworks, many of which have been specially commissioned from established and future local contemporary artists. We love Arend Eloff's cheetah carvings and Gail Catlin's wild dogs.
To complete the stay at Cheetah Plains, all meals are prepared by a private chef, twice-daily safaris are organised and private spa treatments can also bring a touch of exclusivity and well-being.
An unusual place with a truly unique aesthetic signature...