At Red Carnation Hotels, our passion project over the last three years has been working with a collection of African artists to form the exceptional 'living gallery' at Xigera Safari Lodge – a showcase of the continent’s natural authenticity and beautiful design.

The project, conceptualised by Toni Tollman, Philip Fourie and Anton de Kock – in collaboration with award-winning South African gallery Southern Guild – is breath-taking in both its scope and bold vision. At its heart, it is a celebration of the human and natural heritage of this remarkable corner of Africa, and today, on International Women’s Day, we wish to thank all of the contributing artists, but in particular the female artisans whose vision, passion and purpose has created a beautiful lodge that is truly our love letter to Africa…

Trevyn McGowan

Together with her husband Julian, Trevyn is the founder of The Guild Group, a collective of companies bringing South African design to the forefront of the global marketplace. They are embedded in the South African cultural landscape and play integral roles in guiding, advising and mentoring designers. The McGowans’ pioneering vision and insight into global design markets earned them places on USA Art + Auction magazine's 'POWER 100’ list of the most influential players in the global art world, City Press’s 100 World Class South Africans and Fast Company’s Most Creative People in Business 2016.

In 2008, the McGowans founded Southern Guild, the sole gallery representing locally made limited-edition design in South Africa. Under their leadership, the gallery has redefined global perceptions of African design and escalated its value on the international market. In 2011 it became the first African gallery to present at Design Miami, and in 2015 it was the first to be featured at Christie’s London’s annual design auction. Against the backdrop of a design industry that is still fairly young, Southern Guild gives designers a platform to reimagine what is possible. With Trevyn at the helm as chief executive officer, The Guild Group plays a broad role within South Africa’s design community.

Gone Rural

Gone Rural was started in 1992 by the late Jenny Thorne to create employment for rural women across Eswatini, as Swaziland is now known. What started as a local business of 30 people evolved into a company providing income for over 731 women, supplying textile woven basket products to over a thousand retail outlets in 32 countries. Gone Rural has become a globally recognized model of socially responsible business that promotes understanding and respect for cultural heritage. Its non-profit organisation, Gone Rural boMake, assists with income generation, education, health and social needs, leading to the fulfilment of basic human rights. Gone Rural’s unique home accessories combine traditional skills with high-end, contemporary design and are hand-woven from sustainable, local natural fibres. We are proud to showcase them in our Shop.

Woza Moya

The economic empowerment project of the Hillcrest AIDS Centre Trust, Woza Moya is a holistic HIV/AIDS project that was established in 1991. It started as a way to alleviate poverty and has since developed into so much more. Drawing on a co-operative of beaders and artisans, Woza Moya has used traditional beadwork in new and revolutionary ways, helping to define a contemporary design vernacular based on indigenous craftsmanship. For Xigera Safari Lodge, its beaders created a series of custom-made ottomans in a dizzying array of geometric patterns. Hundreds of hours of painstaking work went into creating the functional artworks, strip by strip, panel by panel.

Katy Taplin

Katy Taplin is one half of Dokter and Misses, a multi-disciplinary product design company, together with her husband Adriaan Hugo. Their respective industrial and graphic design skills combine to create work described as 'modernist, where strong construction lines and a bold use of colour create graphic shapes and spaces'. Their custom Kassena cabinets feature in each of our suites. Inspired by the patterned adobe structures built by the Kassena people who live in the Tiébélé region on the border of Ghana & Burkina Faso, the geometric patterns are derived from two literary texts in the Sotho and Tsonga languages.


Founded by designer and entrepreneur Akosua Afriyie-Kumi, AAKS aims to introduce the world to her favourite Ghanaian weaving techniques whilst creating sustainable jobs within Africa. Handcrafted in Ghana, AAKS creates raffia bags in styles that maintain the spirit and durability of their ancestral counterparts, characterised by bright exuberant colours. For Xigera Safari Lodge, AAKS produced a collection of handheld fans, waste paper and laundry baskets in unique colourways specific to the lodge’s individual suites. Made by hand, each item bears the fingerprints of the person who fashioned it, with a signature tag to celebrate authenticity.

Zizipho Poswa

Based in Cape Town, Zizipho Poswa’s unique ceramic vessels are bold declarations of African womanhood, inspired by her own narrative as a Xhosa woman and artist living in contemporary South Africa. Zizipho grew up in the town of Mthatha in the Eastern Cape, a stronghold of Xhosa culture. She was raised by her mother, a teacher, who recognised her creativity from a young age and did everything within her means to support it. She studied surface design, majoring in textiles, at the Port Elizabeth Technikon and draws on this textile knowledge to amalgamate the visual stimuli she encounters in her daily life into a simplified pattern language. Her totemic Umthwalo series is an ode to the load carried by African women and the traditional tasks of gathering wood, collecting water and taking bucket loads of clothing to wash in the river. For the artist, who witnessed these daily rituals as a young girl, this balancing act is analogous to the multiple life-sustaining roles that African women play as they bridge traditional and modern worlds.