Share this post:

Put a Sabi Sands private lodge in the hands of two architects and a style maven and you get a remarkable merging of art and design that results in the ultimate modern safari destination in the wild beauty of the African bush. The project was recently shortlisted for an award by the World Architecture Festival (WAF) Awards 2021.

The owner Japie van Niekerk and interior design studio ARRCC, combined their considerable talents to conjure Cheetah Plains into being. The architecture and interiors speak volumes. Consider for a moment the conceptual eye and the artistic confidence that was called on to push the boundaries and arrive at this product.


Wilderness reframed

The project was the re-imagining of an existing, perhaps somewhat pedestrian, bush lodge, and Japie’s private home. He called on fellow architect and close friend, Stefan Antoni and his team at ARRCC interior design studio to lead the redesign.

Given its remote location in a protected area, Japie’s initial concern was that the architecture and design should complement the surroundings, not overshadow the location. “I had nothing to worry about as the design team exceeded my expectations in meeting the brief.”

The resulting imaginative, honest architecture is balanced by restful interiors that invite the outside in. With a muted indoor palette warmed by natural elements, the interiors are enhanced by handpicked decor pieces by local artisans, as well as works by recognised artists.

Art and art

Each Plains House is not unlike a contemporary gallery space designed to offer an interpretive journey through some of Africa's most celebrated artistic talent.

“I have essentially searched for and selected unique pieces by acclaimed masters and these are often thoughtfully placed alongside ascendant talent,” says Japie. The art collection includes  Lionel Smit, Conor Mccreedy, Loyiso Mkhize, Greatjoy Ndlovu and Gail Catlin.


Set in a privileged wildlife area, Cheetah Plains comprises shared space and separate private accommodation. Japie’s vision was to provide guests with the perfect layout and design elements for exclusive family and group travel.


“This is how I personally love to vacation with my family and friends; feeling part of the magnificent surroundings, making memories of a lifetime with loved ones and also enjoying the benefit of privacy.”

#southafrica #lowveldliving #lowveldmpumalanga #krugernationalpark #editorial #editorialphotography #colors #natural #travelafrique #africanphotography #afriquedusud #afriquedusud #african_portraits #loveafrica #africanature #thisisafrica

safari and living coming soon page image of a hotel she traveled to
  • safari and living coming soon page image of a hotel she traveled to

Images courtesy of OKHA & Cheetah Plains

Share this post: