Robin Pope Safaris (RPS), the classic safari company known for its innovative safaris, is moving one of its renowned camps from one area of the South Luangwa Valley, upstream to a location on a narrower section of the Luangwa River. Part of the new, 10-bed tented lodge is being designed by renowned architect Neil Rocher, acclaimed for his designs of Luangwa Safari House and Chongwe River House, among others. The new location was chosen for its huge stand of mahogany trees that line the beach, affording shade and shelter for guest rooms. The relocation is expected to be completed in July of 2012.
The rooms will align both sides of the main area, which will house the dining room as well as a bar and a rustic sitting area, where tea and cocktails will be served. Rocher has conceived a basic but clever design of canvas beneath the trees that will accommodate the sitting area. It has a small viewing deck, allowing moonlight and starlight dinners with luscious views of the lazy Luangwa River. Books comprising a library will be set on the “shelves” of a dug-out canoe, as they were in the original Tena Tena.
Canvas tenting will be constructed in a similar fashion to the previous Tena Tena tents. And, en suite facilities will be much the same, built to take advantage of the natural features of each location, especially the river bank and the magnificent Mahoganies, whose pods look like wooden roses – and are a cherished collectible to safari-goers. Roofs will be double canvas with a shade-cloth fly sheet (the orignal Tena Tena’s tent was inside a thatched roof). Each tent will have its own view of the river from a small veranda sheltered beneath the eaves of the tent roof. The camp will be solar-powered with plans to use solar throughout.