The rich tribal history of the region is the inspiration for the design of Singita Pamushana Lodge, drawing on the proud heritage of ancient Zimbabwe. Perched atop a sandstone ridge overlooking the shimmering expanse of the Malilangwe Dam, the lodge is a celebration of its incredible wilderness setting; a 130,000-acre wildlife reserve conserved by the Malilangwe Trust. With eight elegant suites and a five bedroom villa designed to maximise the connection to the natural beauty of the surrounding area, Singita Pamushana Lodge makes for an unforgettable luxury safari that sets a new benchmark for meaningful travel experiences.
A spectacular African safari is only the beginning of the adventure at Singita Pamushana Lodge; the abundance of wildlife, the pristine landscape and the cultural heritage of the local people gives guests much to explore. The conservation work of the Malilangwe Trust forms a significant part of the experience, giving guests a deeper understanding of the importance of preserving this extraordinary reserve. Whether exploring the bush on a game drive, observing 2,000-year-old rock art or learning about Shangaan culture at the Kambako Living History Museum, there are daily opportunities to find connection with this special place.
The astounding natural beauty of the Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve and the role that nature plays in the guest experience at Pamushana Lodge was an important consideration in the redesign of the public areas which overlook the Malilangwe Dam below. Architect Sally Tsiliyiannis explains that one of the key design ideas was to draw guests from the existing buildings, which are set back behind the pool, up to the edges of the hilltop to hover above the dam. “We achieved this by purposefully introducing a series of staggered and interlinked platforms, perched high above the ground on a light steel framed support structure. From these decks, guests are able to weave their way along the edge of the dam, with each platform offering its own unique view of the extraordinary surroundings.”
A new suspended bar deck hangs dramatically over the outermost promontory of the hilltop, providing a 270-degree view of the reserve and making for an extraordinary sundowner spot. The design of the bar and other new buildings were carefully planned to avoid intrusion on the landscape. “The buildings are woven into the existing landscape. Organic shapes were derived from carving the new decks around large sculptural boulders and existing trees. Using a limited palette of natural materials sourced from the area, all new structures sit at ease within their environment.”
The majestic location also served as a reference point for the new interiors. Lead designer Geordi de Sousa Costa from Cecile & Boyd says the team “wanted to create a certain grandeur and elegance that suited the palatial proportion of the buildings and interior spaces.” Texture plays a key role, making use of woven leather, natural fabrics, raw silks, hammered brass and polished stone to create depth and character. Geometric patterns and carved furniture are featured throughout, as is painstakingly crafted stonework directly inspired by Great Zimbabwe; a medieval stone city built by the ancestral Shona people which sits 200km north-west of the Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve. The primary colour palette has been pared back from the vibrant tones used in the original lodge to a subtle mix of tan, black, ivory and brass. Geordi describes this move away from very colourful decor to a more calming palette as the most significant element of the lodge’s aesthetic “metamorphosis”.
The re-opening of Singita Pamushana Lodge has unveiled two new two-bedroom suites which are located a short distance away from the main lodge, offering additional privacy and exclusivity as well as breathtaking views over the Malilangwe Dam. Guests have plenty of space to relax with a spacious shared living area, private pool, indoor and outdoor dining spaces and tiered viewing decks; a configuration that is ideal for families or couples travelling together.
Sustainability is a core pillar of Singita’s operations and is always at the forefront of our approach, which is why the footprint of the lodge remains small and light, with minimal impact being made on the pristine wilderness in which it sits. In the transformation of Singita Pamushana Lodge, the design team prioritised the use of existing structural features and furniture, hard-wearing and sustainable materials, and local artisans and craftspeople. This dedication to environmentally conscious hospitality is just one of the ways we intend to fulfil our vision of preserving and protecting large areas of African wilderness for future generations.
Singita Pamushana Lodge has eight suites and a five-bedroom villa, all with private plunge pools and panoramic views of the 130,000-acre reserve. Home to one of the highest concentrations of the endangered black rhino as well as fourteen species of eagle, the area is known for its rocky sandstone outcrops, cathedral-like mopane forests and majestic baobab trees. Get in touch with us to make a booking for a once-in-a-lifetime safari adventure.