Inside Great Plains Tembo in Zimbabwe • Hotel designs
As we follow the story of Great Plains and Beverly and Dereck Joubert – and the fascinating lives they build for themselves and the community around their meaningful camps – it’s hard not to anticipate what the filmmakers have become. hoteliers will do next. We last spoke to the couple a few months ago when they teased us and our readers about two camps set to happen this summer. Mara Toto Camp and Mara Plains Camp, both of which are now open in Kenya.
For those familiar with the Jouberts, however, will understand that their brand’s narrative is an endless and ever-evolving portfolio of authentically designed camps – after all, there is still so much Africa to explore. The latest twist in what is undoubtedly a difficult chapter for hospitality worldwide, is the entry of Tembo Plains Camp, which will debut in August as a proud member of Relais & Châteaux. Although at the time of publication we are limited to the number of images we have available, you can see how the camp, in true Great Plains style and substance, will naturally blend into the work around the rhythm of the nature.
With four spacious guest tents, an exquisite two-bedroom family unit and a private guide tent, the camp, designed to frame African wildlife in all its majesty, will be ideal for couples, families, multigenerational travelers and those who are looking for an exclusive personal safari experience.
The beautiful family unit, with interiors designed by Beverly, consists of two tents with a shared living and dining area and a swimming pool and will accommodate up to four adults, two adults and two children. Each guest tent offers an indoor lounge and outdoor dining area, a private plunge pool and exercise bikes, in addition to spacious en-suite bathrooms, indoor soaking tubs, showers, and double sinks. Guests have access to professional Canon cameras and Leica binoculars throughout their stay to capture the many special moments of the vacation.
“When I designed Tembo Plains Camp, it was in order to refer to the famous ruins of Grean Zimbabwe, but not to lose sight of our love of the web and exploration,” Dereck explained. “So we ended up with a unique combination of canvas and stone walls. The semi-circular walls inside each tent isolate the tub and shower from the bedroom and interior living rooms, bringing that architectural reference to the interior. On the outside, this freestone wall design continues along the back of the guest bedroom, which really gives you a greater sense of privacy which is often a problem in tents. I didn’t want a completely “built” room. Therefore, the front has those uninterrupted views of the Zambezi flowing a few yards from the “tempted” canvas portion.
“Tembo,” meaning elephant, pays homage to animals commonly seen around Tembo Plains camp, as well as painted dogs, buffaloes, lions and leopards. The Sapi Private Reserve borders the Mana Pools National Park and is today recognized as one of Africa’s most beautiful wildlife destinations. Twitchers will be spoiled for choice as Tembo Plains is located in a prime birding country, ideal for photographers and nature lovers alike. Activities at Tembo Plains include day and night wildlife viewing tours, walking safaris, canoeing and paddling on the Zambezi River.
Tembo Plains will join the Reserve Collection of Camps, Great Plains’ highest level brand, alongside sister properties Zarafa Camp, Selinda Camp, Duba Plains in Botswana and Mara Nyika, Mara Plains and ol Donyo Lodge in Kenya.
Beverly and Dereck will both join as speakers at Hotel Designs LIVE on August 10, where they will discuss the role of surface design in the camps they develop and design. If you are a designer, architect, hotelier or developer, click here to secure your free tickets in the public.
Featured Image Credit: Great Plains