June 24, 2011

Settling in on the Serengeti

The "chill out spot" at the new Lamai Serengeti, the perfect place for a sundowner.

On June 27th safari operators Nomad Tanzania will debut their latest endeavor, Lamai Serengeti. This new permanent camp (the others are nomadic and follow the migrating herds) is tucked amid the high granite outcroppings overlooking the Mara River Valley and the astonishing array of wildlife—wildebeest, zebra, buffalo, lions and elephantsthat call it home.

Nomad Tanzania has shared with us not only the renderings created for the camp, but designer Jo Cooke's inspiration boards. They're a familiar part of the process, but not something we normally get to see. Cooke, who spent twelve years in the art department at World of Interiors, moved to Tanzania with her family 2004. They began their African adventure by restoring a Georgian house; it was an experience that led her into garden and furniture design, and to doing the interiors for other African camps.

Designer Jo Cooke's inspiration board for the camp illustrates an emphasis on indigenous architectural traditions and locally sourced, handmade materials. From hangers to spoons, even the smallest details have been considered.

The main public areas of the camp, as with all of the accomodations, are oriented to engage views over the valley. Building within and around the confines of the rocks was no easy task but the result is an entirely organic feel. The camp sits proudly on the site yet is virtually undetectable from the surrounding landscape.

For the bedrooms, the designer concentrated on natural materials, an earth and sky palette, and woven textures.

Each of the twelve tents, as they're called, feature a spacious living and sleeping area, a full bath and an outdoor shower, as well as expansive verandas. Lamai is divided into two components, the main camp (8 tents) and the private camp (4 tents.)

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