Mateya Lodge is a privately owned bush retreat for both tourists use and the owner’s entertainment requirements. It is situated in the Madikwe Game Reserve on the border of Botswana, about 450 km from Johannesburg and about 75km from the nearest supply store for anything.
We selected the site together with the client, from a range of sites available on a concession basis. The selected site is defined by two koppies, with the main lodge situated on the side of the one hill and the accommodation spread around the base of the other.
Views from the lodge are across a vast plain of dense bush, terminated by a range of hills a few kilometers away to the south.
Mateya Lodge consists of a reception building with a
waiting lounge and curio shop, check in / out facilities,
a business centre and a gym. The main lodge complex has a
lounge, library, dining room with kitchens and coldrooms, and vast wine cellar.
Wooden decks and raised natural stone walkways link the
separate buildings. A complete staff village with
recreational areas and its own canteen area and food hall
lies within walking distance of the main lodge. Luxury
lodges of this type have a guest to staff ratio of between 2.5
The fire pit / boma sits in the veld above a local watering
hole, affording a 360 degree view of the plain and the entire
lodge, and is linked to the main dining area by a raised
wooden bridge, under which animals pass freely.
Six chalets plus an owner’s unit are provided. Each chalet has a bedroom, dressing room, and bathroom. The bathrooms have palatial free-standing baths clad in deeply veined black granite, and indoor and outdoor showers, the latter of which are located in the open air under a tall conical corbelled stonework structure. Each chalet has its own pool with rim overflow, timber deck and ‘sala’.
Care has been taken to design the chalets without interrupting the natural ridge lines, and to integrate the units into the thick Tambotie forest which grows around the second koppie.
Only natural materials have been used, and timber elements are all from FSC graded plantations. Floors are cast using a cement screed coloured with locally quarried sands, and the grass roofs use thatching methods specific to local traditions. All stone walkways are built with material quarried in the surrounding villages.
Madikwe Game Reserve, Limpopo Province, South Africa
Anthony Orelowitz, Henning Rasmuss, Paulo Esteves, Susan Beningfield, Marilize van Dyk, Victoria Robinson, Victoria Ross
The Madikwe Game Reserve was, at the time of construction, mainly undeveloped. Technical challenges on site included herds of elephants digging up the water pipes repeatedly during the dry season, the owner’s pet dog being bitten by snakes, and a particularly hair-raising moment when the plumber almost got eaten by a lion while connecting the main pump.
unspecified. 42 separate structures of varying sizes.
Hotel, New Building, South Africa