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Southern Guild: Xigera Safari Lodge Celebrates African Art & Design

For the past two years, the Southern Guild team and 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.

The team is 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.

Almost everything guests touch has been handmade especially for the lodge by African artisans, from the furniture and artwork to the textiles and tableware. Approximately 80 creators and studios from all over the continent have pieces in the Xigera collection, including Porky Hefer, Andile Dyalvane, Conrad Hicks, Atang Tshikare, Peter Mabeo, Stanislaw Trzebinski, Zizipho Poswa, Madoda Fani, Meyer von Wielligh, John Vogel and many more.


The project also generated significant contributions from small-scale craft businesses and NGOs such as Woza Moya, African Jacquard, AAKS, Gone Rural, and Ngwenya Glass.

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.

Blacksmith Conrad Hicks‘ totemic sculpture, Structure of Self, is the centrepiece of Xigera’s outdoor boma, creating a dramatic focal point around the firepit.

About Southern Guild:

Southern Guild commissions, produces and exhibits contemporary collectible design by the most compelling talents in South Africa. The gallery has pioneered the collectible design category on the continent, propelling its artists and designers to make original work that is distinctly African and globally relevant. Founded in 2008 by Trevyn and Julian McGowan, Southern Guild’s rigorous curatorial programme has shaped the world’s perceptions of African design and forged a unique vernacular in the international arena.

For more visit Southern Guild.

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