The making of Xigera Safari Lodge’s ground-breaking collection of African design
For the past two years, the Southern Guild team and our artists have been hard at work creating a remarkable collection of African art and design for Xigera Safari Lodge in Botswana’s Okavango Delta. The body of work is notable for its scale, exquisite craftsmanship and development of vernacular form. We are now finally able to reveal the many dimensions of this extraordinary project, the culmination of a lifelong dream of the Tollman family, owners of the Red Carnation Hotel Collection.
Ground-breaking in its scope and vision, Xigera is the first design project of this scale on the continent. It was conceptualised by Toni Tollman, Philip Fourie and architect Anton de Kock, who collaborated with Southern Guild to commission a collection of works rich with narrative and site-specific relevance.
Blacksmith Conrad Hicks‘ totemic sculpture, Structure of Self, is the centrepiece of Xigera’s outdoor boma, creating a dramatic focal point around the firepit.
Almost everything guests touch has been handmade especially for the lodge by local artisans, from the furniture and artwork to the textiles and tableware. Approximately 80 creators and studios from all over the continent have work in the Xigera collection, including Porky Hefer, Andile Dyalvane, Atang Tshikare, Peter Mabeo, Stanislaw Trzebinski, Zizipho Poswa, Madoda Fani, Meyer von Wielligh, John Vogel, Jesse Ede and many more.
Each of the 12 guest suites is furnished with its own unique scheme of custom-made furniture, specially commissioned woven throws by African Jacquard, rugs by Coral & Hive and ceramic table lamps by Ardmore.
The project also generated significant contributions from small-scale craft businesses and NGOs such as Woza Moya, Monkeybiz, AAKS, Gone Rural, and Ngwenya Glass.
You can read more about that in our journal, The artisans bringing a human touch to Xigera Safari Lodge’s interiors.