Chobe Water Villas

Design Union transformed this three-star lodge on the Chobe river of Namibia into an international five-star destination offering a luxurious experience of the local culture, the river and its wildlife.


Design Union transformed the lodge’s vision for its guest accommodation, creating an elegant suite concept with an interior that invites the river into the room in all the right ways. There is now a spectacular view of the waterscape all year round from the comfort of an un-floodable five-star room.


Constantly fighting a flooding river, this suite had little to offer in terms of comfort and aesthetics and generated low revenue for the lodge.


Design Union raised the floor, reimagining the interior and amenities to create a sought-after suite in the lodge, a favourite among local and international guests.


The unique location of the lodge on the banks of the Chobe river makes it susceptible to regular flooding. To embrace this inevitable challenge, Design Union raised the entire floor level by a metre through ingenious adjustments to the existing structures, saving the lodge from frequent shutdowns as a result of water damage, and transforming it in the process into a world-class retreat open throughout the year.


This was the public area before the renovation. Notice the flood line at the base of the building to which the Chobe river frequently rises.


Design Union strategically elevated some levels and lowered others to elegantly accommodate the moods of the river and create new revenue-generating leisure spaces the lodge now offers to guests.


Design Union brought a new dimension to the suite by introducing thematic ambience and amenities into the bathroom.

We added a freestanding bath and separated the water closet into a private section to replace the previous in-room combination.

We also designed a practical double vanity that echoes the theme of the room and the lodge.


To immerse the guest into the natural beauty of the Chobe River, Design Union suspended a spacious private deck over the water where, from the comfort of an outdoor lounge and dining area, guests can enjoy the sights.


In an exquisite example of function combined with elegance, Design Union housed in a bespoke armoire the following essentials required for every suite:

  • A mini-bar and refrigerator
  • A safe
  • A tea and coffee station
  • A utility bar

The moment a guest opens the stackable doors, the internal lighting automatically illuminates the armoire interior with its durable stone worktops and backlit glass shelves. The ergonomic design means that everything is within easy reach, eliminating bending, stretching and climbing.

Armoire Schematics


For the bedside, Design Union created a pedestal with sufficient surface space and a closable drawer inspired by the shape of a cold-blast paraffin lantern. Incorporated into the unit are a night light and a storage tray for smaller items like mobile phones and jewellery.

Lamp Pedestal Schematics



Speak to us about space transformations.

Call: +27 61 116 6557