The South African tourism industry has received an estimated R200m boost from a US group of companies, Really Epic Dog(RED), to develop and operate a new luxury lodge in the Nambiti Big 5 Private Game Reserve in KwaZulu-Natal. Known as The Homestead, the new “conscious luxury” lodge is under construction and scheduled to open in the last quarter of next year. It will be a low-impact, sustainably built lodge, offering visitors an integrated experience of wildlife, history, traditions, wellness, community, food, culture and conservation.
RED is working closely with Durban-based architect Dean Jay and his team who are globally acclaimed for their work on other leading game lodges such as Singita and Lion Sands. “The Homestead site evokes a unique spirit of place with the juxtaposition of the existing historical ruins, the lake and escarpment,” says Jay. The lodge will accommodate up to 24 guests in a combination of deluxe suites with private infinity pools and luxury units, all of which will combine privacy with beautiful views across the reserve. The main lodge is designed to offer multi-sensory dining venues and experiences, conference facilities, a lavish spa, gym with a view, and swimming pool that extends over the edge of the escarpment.
“As a group of companies, we have a longstanding and deep-held passion for South Africa,” says Benjamin Smith, president of the RED Group. “We not only believe South Africa will emerge from Covid-19 and continue to attract tourists from all over the world, but we want to instil that belief and hope in others by offering our guests a place to reset and reconnect with themselves, first and foremost through experiences that help them reach a sense of understanding and peace with the world, as well as inheriting our love of South Africa.” The reserve is close to the renowned KwaZulu-Natal battlefields and rich in history, with old stone kraals scattered around dating back to the Iron Age 500 BC, left behind by the Khoisan.
The new contemporary lodge will be developed on an historical site dating back to 1838 and the old buildings will be incorporated in the design