Designer Wilderness

Experience nature, while still enjoying beautiful architecture and modern conveniences, at these four safari stays.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel
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This lodge in Yala National Park, Sri Lanka, is made up of 28 cocoon-like camps, some of which are located near watering holes. Here, you might even spot a privy herd of bathing elephants. No luck? Drive farther into Yala National Park, where there are 44 different mammals (like jackals and sloth bears) and 300 types of birds. The camps feature bamboo-woven roofs, leather chairs and freestanding copper bathtubs, and the sea breeze will surely lull you into a relaxing afternoon nap. You might want to stay awake, though, if you don’t want to miss the rare glimpse of a leopard. Remember to bring your binoculars.

Wild Coast Tented Lodge is part of the Mr & Mrs Smith portfolio of luxury hotels. Check it out at www.

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Named after rhinoceros in Oshiwambo (a dialect of the Ovambo people in northern Namibia), Omaanda sits in the heart of the Zannier Reserve. It was built and designed to stay true to Ovambo traditions and architecture; surrounded by a wooden fence, the 10 huts in a cluster are considered to be “beating hearts” where guests can enjoy one another’s company. The walls of the huts were built using natural clay, and the thatches are handmade. There’s even a heated swimming pool overlooking the savannah.
Guests can sign up for a list of exciting programmes, from private game drives and leopard tracking to a behind-the-scenes tour of the anti-poaching unit of the Shiloh Wildlife Sanctuary. The latter was named after Angelina Jolie’s daughter. The actressturned-humanitarian introduced the place to the Zannier family, who has made it their life’s mission to preserve and protect the savage beauty of the reserve and country.
Omaanda Safari Lodge is part of Zannier Hotels. Check it out at www.zannierhotels.
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An exclusive island retreat that accommodates only 16 guests at a time? Count us in. The Xugana Island Lodge is located in the middle of Okavango Delta in Botswana, and features rooms that come with private viewing decks. These are frontrow seats to viewing hippos, elephants and nesting storks. The delta is home to 200,000 animals that migrate from the desert to the wetlands in June, so you are bound to spot some beauties. When you’re not taking in the sight from your luxurious yet rugged room, you can experience birdwatching and the boat safari along winding waterways.
A stay at Xugana Island Lodge is part of Trafalgar’s Botswana Delta Tour. Check it out at
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Instead of staying put in one area, traverse the North Indian landscape via a mobile camping trip. It kicks off in busy Delhi, and you will be driven to Khajuraho for your first taste of wildlife and exquisite 10th-century temples. The Kaafila camp is your base; set below the ruins of Kalinjar Fort, this spot is ideal for the next leg of the adventure – driving through Panna National Park in search of the Bengal tiger, leopards, deers and caracals. The mobile tented Kaafila camps also provide guests with views of the Kuno River, where the resident crocodiles will surely make an appearance. The local tribes, including the Moghiya hunters, will also show their traditional fishing skills.

A stay at Kaafila Camps is part of And Beyond’s India Mobile Camp tour. Check it out at

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Unlike bulky incliners of the past, Sho is a modern Cellini seat with a slender frame that will blend in with other sleek contemporary furniture pieces. It is clad in genuine cowhide leather and features an adjustable headrest. This incliner mechanism allows the seat, backrest and leg support to move forward –instead of a traditional recliner which slides backwards – thus freeing up space in the living room. You can choose from a living room set of one-, two- or three-seaters.

Sho is available at Cellini, #01-05 Furniture Gallery at Space @ Tampines, tel: 63853481,

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Muji’s wel l-loved aroma diffuser now comes in a smaller, portable size that you can bring on your travels, or place on a desk without it taking up too much space. You don’t need water, either. This cordless device is powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery. Simply apply three to five drops of essential oil on a felt pad; its scent will last four hours and the felt pad can be reused. Without the need for water, you can also place it in your car without worrying about spillage.

The portable muji aroma diffuser retails for $59, and comes with a storage pouch, holder with felt pad, and USB cable. essential oil and felt pad refills are sold separately. Find it at all muji outlets.

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Divide living area from dining room or create privacy without the need for walls, with the Straits Screen Divider. Designed by Aartical, an in-house brand by Star Furniture, the divider features swing doors that give the user flexibility in style and function; you can hang apparel on it, too. Made out of stained grey solid ash wood as well as grey fabric to match, the design won Star Living’s D’Star 2017 award.

Straits Screen Divider retails for $990. Find it at Star living in Sungei Kadut, and at the labrador outlet. more information at

text eliza hamizah