A safari for the senses through immersive architecture

Your Guide to Africa

Cultures & Communities

Wilderness Blogger


Immersing you in nature

Here at Wilderness, we believe that safari camps shouldn’t just look beautiful. They should also be carefully designed to fully immerse you in nature, unlocking the sensory journey of every place you visit, visually, but also through touch, smell and sound, with warm, textural, elements and tantalising, local aromas. It’s about highlighting the soul of each place, providing an authentic experience underpinned by comfort and luxury.

Wilderness Botswana Jao Hero Image
Wilderness Jao, Botwana

Eco-friendly but luxury architectural design


Location is of course the top priority for us when building any safari camp. Each lodge needs to offer outstanding views and good access to and from camp, while most importantly we need to consider any potential environmental impact. Over the years we have refined the placement of our camps down to an exact science. Each one is located in the best possible spot, near to a water source or close to a migratory path or animal corridor, to give you a wildlife experience that is as exceptional from your private sala as it is on a game drive.



The layout of our camps is often defined by the main communal buildings, which are placed towards the centre to avoid long traversing times from the rooms. We most often place family rooms closer to the main areas, and honeymoon suites as far from the main areas as possible for the utmost privacy. Each safari suite is also spaced in such a way that they make use of the natural environment, for example shade from trees, while creating privacy from noise and visual impacts, and providing the best possible views.


Sustainable safari camp design

Most of our camps have walkways purely from a safety perspective as the camps are often traversed by wild animals day and night, and the walkways give guests a certain amount of freedom of movement between their suites and the main area during the day.
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Alongside the camp itself, the walkways also play a part in our intent to build with a low environmental footprint, using sustainable products where possible, and focusing on renewable energy technology. Design elements are also important in the camp, providing good levels of comfort while being locally sourced, and inviting you in to really touch and feel your surroundings, with throws, cushions, leather, copper, and cow hides all sourced from our partner communities. You even have the opportunity to join the artisans at work on basket weaving demonstrations and visits to local villages.


Our most architecturally exquisite safari camps

Wilderness Bisate, Rwanda
Wilderness Bisate Rwanda Camp Aerial View

When it comes to safari lodge design, some of our camps stand out from the rest. With interior design materials inspired by nature and award-winning sustainable architecture, discover some of our most beautiful safari camps:


Ascend to your elegant bird’s nest, perched on the mountain and nestled in restored indigenous forest at this sustainably luxurious rainforest lodge. Here six breath-taking, eco-chic Forest Villas provide a base from which to trek to meet mountain gorillas.
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Marvel at the organic vegetable gardens, indulge in Earth-to-plate cuisine, spend time in the library, spa, wine cellar or tree nursery, or pick up a local artefact, a piece of handmade Rwandan jewellery, or clothing, in Bisate Kwanda’s Safari Boutique.


Discover some of the best game-viewing in Botswana at Mombo, located in a prime position in the Delta, where the main Okavango River splits into its primary channels. Mombo’s architecture is reminiscent of the original, pioneering safari camps with spacious wood and canvas suites that invite the outside in.
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Here days are characterised by relaxing in your private pool or on your extensive deck overlooking the plains where hippos, elephants, and baboons are frequent visitors. Evenings are spent feeling the heartbeat of Africa through traditional song and dance around the fire in the boma.


DumaTau is spread out along Osprey Lagoon, providing a front row seat for viewing hippos, elephants, and numerous water-based wildlife species, bathing and swimming in front of you while you sip your morning coffee.
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Here the animals frequently move through camp so you can enjoy the safari experience without leaving your suite and private plunge pool, the spa, or the floating fire deck over the lagoon. The local Linyanti region is also brought to life throughout in hand-crafted mosaic tiles, acacia wood, traditional textiles, and handmade artworks which play homage to the resident species.

Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp

Tucked into a dry watercourse carved through the desert rock, and artfully designed to blend in with the landscape, this camp gives you a true sense of adventurous spirit. An oasis in the desert, it features eight chic tented suites which are totally solar-powered and off the grid.
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But it’s the waterhole that takes centre stage, providing you with a front row seat for seeing desert-adapted lions, elephants, and giraffes.

Serra Cafema

Along the northern border of Namibia lies Serra Cafema, separated from Angola only by a range of shimmering mountains and the rushing Kunene River. This is a world unto itself in an ancient, unexplored landscape. Here the sound of the flowing water, and the silence of the desert reign supreme as you rest in your wood, canvas and thatch suite.
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Every element of the interior design pays homage to the nomadic Himba people who wander these parts, while under a dense canopy of trees, the elevated decks provide panoramic views of the Kunene and beyond.


Located on a remote island in the heart of the Okavango, water camp Jao is surrounded by Delta channels and floodplains. The camp is a sculptural marvel, built from wood, steel and glass, as well as several natural and recycled materials.
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Its light-filled interiors welcome you to explore various spaces – from the elaborate main area to the spa, riverside pods, and even its own gallery and museum, complete with a real giraffe skeleton. Here you’ll find five expansive safari suites as well as two private villas with their own plunge pools, private butlers, chefs, guides, and vehicles.


On the edge of Hwange National Park’s productive Ngamo Plains, Linkwasha is all about space and privacy. Here nine large, tented suites, shaded by leadwood trees, overlook a waterhole, while the tiered decks of the main area lead to a sparkling pool where elephants often come to quench their thirst. The neutral tones are offset by bold Ndebele patterns, authentically African.
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Located at the confluence of two rivers in Mana Pools, Chikwenya invites guests in to explore seven elegant, tented suites, including two family units with their own private pools. Here towering shade trees provide a restful spot for birds, antelopes and of course, elephant, which are frequently been seen around camp. It’s a tranquil spot that seamlessly blends in with its pristine surrounds.
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At Wilderness, we believe that providing a high-end safari experience does not rely solely on architectural design and the comfort levels of your room. Rather it’s about a diverse experience providing a life-changing journey that engages on different levels of conservation and community development, with every aspect of your journey in camp designed to make you feel in touch with our unique destinations. But don’t just take our word for it. Come and experience it for yourself.



Let’s plan your next journey


When we say we’re there every step of the way, we mean it, literally. From planning the perfect circuit, to private inter-camp transfers on Wilderness Air, and easing you through Customs. We’re with you on the ground, at your side, 24-7, from start to finish. Ready to take the road less travelled? Contact our Travel Designers to plan an unforgettable journey.