Upeo Camp, Lake Jipe
Tsavo West, Kenya

Year: 2011
Client: Private, Switzerland
Area: 1350 m2
Team: Borja Arellano
Status: Design Stage

Perched on top of a hill in Lake Jipe, Tsavo West, this twelve-room boutique hotel offers 360 degree views in a prime region that is still virtually untouched. The environment of Upeo Camp is so unspoiled, our mission was not to leave a mark upon it, no footprint, such that you wouldn’t even notice a lodge on that spectacular vantage point.

Follow along the ridge line on a narrow path. Suddenly, the hillside becomes flat, like a small, horizontal platform in the earth. From there, you can relish the horizon, as far as the eye can see. Suddenly, you notice that stairs lead down from the “platform” or terrace, which is actually the ceiling of your room. As you descend, you enter a completely open-air hideaway, tucked into the hillside. There are no walls, no glass, no intrusion, only the occasional gleam of lights or candles in the valley below.

This completely-integrated, intimate lodge faces either east or west, so you can enjoy either the sunrise or sunset. And at the very top of Upeo Camp, there are huge boulders, upon which we’ve based a different style of room or suite so that it resembles one of the giant rocks. Simply wild.