Sandibe Okavango Safari Lodge — Maun, Botswana
Rising from a bed of reeds and nestled in a canopy of wild palms, the twelve suites at Sandibe Lodge, gaze over the pristine and lush floodplains of Botswana’s Okavango Delta. The green credentials of London-based studio Michaelis Boyd Associates and Johannesburg firm Nicholas Plewman Architects, were a natural pairing to safari company And Beyond’s sustainable ethos, whose brief required an environmentally sensitive design for the fragile local ecosystem. Matching and exceeding this challenge, the architects created a property inspired by the armoured shell of a pangolin, constructed with local natural and recycled materials. Visual drama is achieved inside with carved timber ‘ribs’ forming each suite’s ceiling, while local crafts are celebrated with sculpted wooden tables, intricate baskets and copper-clad traditional canoes. A private plunge pool and secluded outdoor deck offer ample opportunities for relaxation, though the real draw undoubtedly lies in the teeming array of wildlife in the delta beyond.