Safari Lodge, Masaii Mara – Kenya.
The Place – Along the southern border of Kenya with Tanzania, where the Masaii Mara meets the Serengeti, lies Sand River, a seasonal river. This site and the project setting is a tented camp along the shores of the river.
The Brief – This project came about as the clients where experiencing huge problems at the tented camp. The setting at the base of a hill and adjacent to the river meant every rains the camp flooded badly. Similarly badly designed paths which where both narrow and wiggling meant neither the clients nor the staff kept ‘on the path’ had meant all the grassland vegetation in the camp had been destroyed underfoot.
We where asked to create a nicer sense of entrance into the camp, resolve the drainage issues and find a solution to the multiple flows of circulation.
The Design – Our design of the camp looked to allow a free sense of movement without causing further damage to the vegetation, basically to find away to allow both the guests of the camp and the natural habitat, to flourish and co-exist.
We created wide entrance steps which weave through the existing vegetation and then simple permeable terraces which allow multi directional movement around the central cluster of the main tents. A series of french drains have totally removed the flooding risk.
Been in a sensitive ecological area and conservation site we only used locally sourced hardscape materials and a totally locally sourced plant palette. This time planting the native grasses with root stock.