Design Africa - We Are Africa

Whether it’s a showstopping art installation, interiors overhaul or pace-setting new build, we want to see the designs changing the look of modern Africa.



After much deliberation, these are the final shortlisted submissions for the Design Africa category. Find out more details about your favourite submission here.


andBeyond Africa
andBeyond Tengile River Lodge

andBeyond Tengile River Lodge challenges the dynamic in the world-renowned Sabi Sand Game Reserve. The lodge offers a fresh and contemporary take on safari tradition, while providing guests with the luxury of space.


Fynbos Cottages

The design of these cottages retain a link to 18th century vernacular Cape farm architecture. Guests reach the spot via the vineyards and up a gradual incline, past a dam and on a slight elevation.

Boschendal Farm Estate

Boschendal Farm Estate
The Tree House

We wanted to create an exceptional edu-play concept as an added value experience for guests on Boschendal, unlike anything in Southern Africa right now.

Ultimate Safaris Namibia

Ultimate Safaris Namibia
The Nest @ Sossus

An eight year project, including a three-year build, has resulted in one of Africa’s most extraordinary private villas. The Nest @ Sossus is an architectural and geometrical masterpiece.

Zuri Zanzibar

Zuri Zanzibar

Designed by Jestico+Whiles and a member of Design Hotels, Zuri Zanzibar combines elegant contemporary design with a considerate, sustainable build and an authentic African atmosphere.












The objective of Jabali Ridge was to pay homage to the startling landscape of Ruaha National Park whilst bringing an unprecedented level of comfort and sophistication to Tanzania’s largest and least-known national park. Every element of the design was inspired by the natural environment to help guests connect with nature and disconnect from their busy lives. From the vertical elements which jut out of the rooms and represent the bulbous baobab trees the park is famous for, to the muted, hand dyed linens which mirror the colours of the granite boulders around which the lodge was built; Jabali is Asilia’s rough luxe interpretation of this vast wilderness. Handmade wooden headboards, dip-dyed mosquito nets and stone wash basins pay homage to Ruaha’s ancient and unique landscape. Jabali blurs the lines between inside and out and is designed to connect guests with the magnitude of their surroundings; retractable doors and louvred shutters allow guests the option to open their rooms entirely to the wild. Wherever possible the natural granite boulders which cocoon the lodge were used instead of formal walls, giving each room an organic shape. A key objective was that the lodge should be invisible to the human eye from a distance and blend seamlessly into the rocks, so as in no way to disturb the vista for safari goers exploring the park. Jabali was, as with all Asilia projects, built with the highest respect for the natural environment.


  • Angama Mara – The Shamba
  • Pelican Point Lodge – Pelican Point Lodge
  • Segera Retreat – The NAY PALAD Bird Nest
  • Time + Tide – Time + Tide Miavana

The Royal Portfolio - The Silo Hotel


We wanted to open a truly unique hotel that would become an icon of the Cape Town skyline and with the goal of becoming the best hotel in the world. Something different. Not just for Cape Town, but a destination hotel in its own right. A modern hotel that would complete The Royal Portfolio’s circuit of luxury South African travel experiences. The objective was to transform the historic grain silo building (originally built in 1921) into an architectural masterpiece. Heatherwick Studio was tasked with the transformation of the elevator house and the adjacent storage annex of six rows of seven silos into a luxury hotel above a contemporary art museum while carefully retaining its cultural and industrial significance. The design would incorporate two key architectural features – the grain shaped atrium carved out of the grain silos themselves and the pillowed glass windows that would adorn the façade of the hotel.

The Silo Hotel has been built in the grain elevator portion of the grain silo complex occupying six floors above what will become the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (MOCAA). The Silo Hotel is a magical space towering above the V&A Waterfront surrounded by the natural wonder of South Africa’s Mother City – the panoramic views of Cape Town are unsurpassed. Liz Biden’s exquisite interiors contrast the stark industrial nature of the building in their playful use of colour, fabrics and textures. The result is a building with historic, cultural, architectural and design significance. A pioneering development in luxury travel.


  • andBeyond – andBeyond Matetsi River lodge
  • Elewana – Loisaba Tented Camp
  • The Latitude Hotels – Latitude 13, Lilongwe 7 The Other Side
  • The Ocean Spa Lodge- The Spa 7 water Welness Circuit

African Bush Camps - Rebuilding Somalisa


The Design of Somalisa Camp has included 180 degree open views of the floodplain in front of the camp, as well as larger open space to allow guests to feel at one with nature. In addiiton, our sewerage purity systems from Germany allow for 80% of the water used in our camp to be recycled back for wildlife drinking usage. We have also implemented a full solar farm for the camp which means we will no longer require the usage of diesel generated power and will be off the grid in terms of unnatural energy usage. Our Rebuild has included innovative ways in which to have a lighter carbon footprint and allow our guests to feel at one with nature.


  • Bushtops Camps – Roving Bushtops
  • Leeu House – Leeu House
  • The Manta Underwater Room – The Manta Underwater Room



Extensively rebuilt and reopened in September 2014, andBeyond Sandibe Okavango Safari Lodge combines a modern design with an exceptional sense of place to redefine safari chic. The lodge’s structure is inspired by weaver birds’ nests and the pangolin’s body armour of scales, with the curvilinear shapes of the woven nests and the overlapping scales of the pangolin influencing its form and construction. The building’s skeleton is clad in a wooden skin of shingles and timber. Guests enter the lodge between segments of shingled skin, reaching a terrace above ground level. The boma is formed from huge logs of descending size that mimic the tailbones of the pangolin. The colour palette is copper and wood, highlighting regional handicrafts with huge baskets, woven carpets that mimic the pattern on the underneath of a water lily and an immense dining table made from the root of an ironwood tree. Guest suites are raised above the papyrus like nests and boast accent pieces like a crocodile-embossed leather sofa. The overall feeling is woody and ethereal, with bright copper highlights. In winter, the suites are warmed by a wood-burning fireplace. Sandibe has been designed with a focus on sustainability and the lodge’s combined solar electricity and solar hot water systems produce more than 200 000 Kwh of energy per year.


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