Coveted AHEAD People’s Choice Award recognizes excellence in hospitality design voted by industry professionals and the general public: a true validation of the firm’s commitment to creating exceptional design experiences
The AHEAD Middle East and Africa judging panel of leading hoteliers, architects, and interior designers narrowed down their winners in 16 categories. From 100 entries spanning 13 countries, Lolebezi Safari Lodge won in the “Lodges, Cabins & Tented Camps” and the “People’s Choice” categories.
Set along the mighty Zambezi, the river that forms the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe, Lolebezicombines modernist geometries with layers of sustainable, environmentally conscious design techniques to tread lightly on the earth. The lodge’s luxurious canvas and glass design by Fox Browne Creative in partnership with architect Jack Alexander of Johannesburg play out through eight River Suites, each with a privately shaded outdoor sala and river-view infinity pool, as well as public spaces including a dining pavilion, bar, and guest sitting area nestled at the edge of a Winterthorn forest.
“Built using renewable bush-lodge materials such as locally-sourced grass thatch and reeds, the lodge twists around the site’s Winterthorn trees to create a flowing floorplan, which is elevated to allow animals and floodwaters to pass unhindered,” according to the AHEAD judges. Another judge commented that the safari lodge is “a beautiful balance between integration with the landscape and luxury. A true example of what nature-based tourism should be”.
Debra Fox, a partner of the Fox Browne Creative team, was particularly excited to be a winner of the People’s Choice Award after just six months of operation. She comments: “At Fox Browne Creative, we are passionate about hospitality and its impact on the developing world. Awards like these put Africa at the forefront of travelers’ minds, bringing more guests to Africa, making a meaningful difference in the people and wildlife in the region, which is, after all, why we do what we do every day.”
Lolebezi is operated and managed by African Bush Camps (ABC). In keeping with ABC’s 17 bush camps and lodges operating across Botswana, Zimbabwe, and Zambia, Lolebezi is designed to connect guests with the heart and soul of Africa while contributing to the continent’s conservation. ABC sees itself as a custodian of the new camp’s setting along the Zambezi River and the well-being of the wildlife and the surrounding communities while also providing fresh and exciting safari experiences that travelers will remember for the rest of their lives.