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andBeyond'sNgala Treehouse is suspended twelve metres above ground on a custom-designed platform. 

To describe this elegant space as a treehouse seems a misnomer. It’s far removed from the thing ten-year-old you conjured in the garden jacaranda out of some planks and a candlewick bedspread. And yet the name is perfect. A treehouse encapsulates a fragile mystique. It’s a route into the numinous. This chic version is secluded in 36 000 acres of the wild sanctuary that is the andBeyond Ngala Private Game Reserve. Guests who have the privilege to spend the night here float in off-grid luxury and the special intimacy with the natural world that happens when you sleep under a billion stars.

Visitors first

On the exterior, a web of poles mimics the shadow play of branches. Architect Jack Alexander’s clever device doubles as a security feature and also conceals the steel frame supporting the building.
The interior was minutely curated by FoxBrowne Creative to provide everything visitors may need. I spoke to Ashley van der Walt, the interior architect on their team. 

"Everything is designed around the guest experience. We put a lot of thought into considering ways to make it come alive. For example, there are 360° views from every part of the treehouse. We placed the bed to face the sunrise, and we incorporated some fun elements. I love the dumbwaiter on a pulley that can send snacks or a breakfast tray from the kitchenette to the upper levels."

"There’s a custom made twist to a lot of the soft furnishings and we always look for local crafters to work on our projects. One of my favourites for this one is the hand-embroidered linen featuring the Ngala bird life made by Kaross Weavers." 

Dreamy hangout

Starting with a kitchenette pre-stocked with posh nibbles and drinks, the treehouse rises through two more levels holding the sleeping and bathing areas. It's completely off-grid. Despite this, all the niceties are in place. Specifically, flushing toilets and hot running water. The tower continues to an open-air platform at the very top. Up here a sofa transforms into a proper king-size bed and has a retractable awning if needed. This rooftop is the final flourish in this dreamy hangout. It has everything - safety, comfort, privacy and a unique setting in pristine wilderness. Add the African bush at night and you have the closest thing to Eden.   

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