Safari vernacular: a glamping in the Serengeti

Easy neutral tones and natural textures ground and uplift at Singita’s Faru Faru lodge in the Serengeti.

In the safari vernacular, some things come standard – earth tones, tribal motifs, a sense of space. It’s a rare example though that manages to simultaneously stay within this universal lodge language, while inventing its own dialect. Singita Faru Faru’s recent reinvention does just that – forging a specific identity on the safari landscape without feeling out of place.

Divided into different areas by virtue of clever zoning, the open-plan lodge building and freestanding suites feel intimate and hospitable despite their spaciousness and profusion of light and air.

Singita’s Faru Faru lodge in the Serengeti. Photo Adriaan Louw
Singita’s Faru Faru lodge in the Serengeti. Photo Adriaan Louw

Within this architectural envelope, design firm Cécile & Boyd, the custodian of the creative direction of all of Singita’s lodges, combined minimal lines with natural textures and colours to create a comfortable and easygoing series of spaces. A consistent thread of triangular and circular/rounded forms is woven throughout the communal areas and suites, giving the design a coherent feel. While inspired by the simplicity and understated nature of midcentury design, these motifs have been reimagined in a contemporary African context. “The shapes evoke a pared-back simple and casual atmosphere and also play homage to a new simply defined tribal African pattern,” says designer Geordi de Sousa Costa from Cécile & Boyd. “The link between these forms and nature is in their asymmetrical geometry,” she adds.

The colour scheme too, pays homage to the setting. A palette of neutrals – the pink clay of the watering hole below, the blonde grass of the iconic Serengeti savannah and cool grey of the scattered rocks – creates a comfortable symbiosis between the lodge and its surroundings and complements the open structures. “A strong neutral palette always works in nature – so we decided to be a bit playful with it. All in all it is fresh but calming,” says De Sousa Costa.

Singita’s Faru Faru lodge
Cécile & Boyd
Grumeti, Tanzania

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