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Asilia boosts sustainable tourism in Tanzania with new camps

Following the opening of Roho ya Selous in the Selous Game Reserve in August, Asilia has opened their new flagship property, Jabali Ridge, in Ruaha National Park in Southern Tanzania.

Image Supplied
Image Supplied

Jabali Ridge, perched on a kopje looking down over a forest of baobabs, blends seamlessly into the rocks which cocoon it. Eight rooms can be either twins or doubles (with king size beds) and the walls are made entirely from louvred shutters to allow guests to feel as though they are living in the open air with uninterrupted views. Jutting from the rooms are vast baobab trunk like elements, a homage to the landscape beyond.

Recycled railway sleepers were used to make the beds which are covered in hand dyed linens inspired by the muted tones of the surrounding rocks. Designed by Caline Williams-Wynn of Cape Town-based interior design firm Artichoke and Johannesburg based Nick Plewman Architects, the bold design and outstanding location are true to Asilia’s ethos of pioneering safaris in areas which offer exceptional experiences whilst making a lasting positive impact.

Undercrowded safaris, wilderness explorations

Ruaha is Tanzania’s largest national park but has just a handful of safari camps meaning that game drives from Jabali are uncrowded and other safari vehicles are a rare sighting. It is about the size of New Jersey and part of the larger, unfenced Ruaha-Rungwa ecosystem which covers 50,000 square kilometres. This eco-system is home to strongholds of many of Africa’s endangered species, considerable populations of lion and elephant roam here as well as less common species such as roan and sable.

The neighbouring Selous Game Reserve is the perfect complement to Ruaha’s flora and fauna. The Selous’s lifeblood is the Rufiji River which meanders through the wilderness and opens up into vast, shallow lagoons which provide water to the reserve’s inhabitants. Here the wilderness is best explored by boat.

Raw, wild and untamed

Roho ya Selous is an eight tented camp surrounded by water. Asilia’s aim was to build a camp that not only provided guests with comfortable accommodation but also reflected the very essence of what Selous is all about – raw, wild and untamed Africa. As with all building projects Asilia undertakes, as much as possible has been sourced and made locally.

Making a meaningful impact

In tandem with these tourism developments, Asilia will engage in various conservation initiatives in the Selous and Ruaha during the coming years. Already a long-term partner of the of the Ruaha Carnivore Project which does exceptional work in reducing human-wildlife conflict, Asilia is launching various community and conservation initiatives in 2017.

“Our new camps in the Selous and Ruaha will not only allow us to offer our guests a great experience in these magnificent wilderness areas but also create a presence for us from which we will be able to make a meaningful impact on the conservation of these important ecosystems and the livelihoods and opportunities of the people surrounding it,” says Jeroen Harderwijk, co-founder and Managing Director of Asilia.

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