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T+L Reports: The New African Lodge

African lodges usually come in one of two styles: traditional (such as MalaMala) or fantasy (Singita). Style-seekers who don't want to star in either an episode of The Flintstones or a Ralph Lauren ad have had to check their preferences at the door. No longer. CC Africa's latest retreat, Ecca Lodge (888/882-3742 or 27-11/809-4300; www.ccafrica.com; doubles from $390 per person, all-inclusive), brings minimalist chic to the bush at the malaria-free Kwandwe Private Game Reserve, on the Eastern Cape of South Africa. Accessible to those driving the Garden Route, with cheetah and black rhino in plain view, the lodge's six massive suites (each more than 1,500 square feet) showcase designer Chris Browne's take on the urbane. Polished concrete floors, chrome Mid-Century Modern lamps, and tailored tuxedo sofas are mixed with stools upholstered in green ostrich skin, life-sized animal photographs retinted in psychedelic colors, and walls of sandstone encased in diamond-mesh wire. Thanks to the youthful, relaxed vibe—they're spinning deep cool tracks in the dining room, cosmos are being shaken in the lounge, the manager greets you not in khakis but in a cheongsam—it's safari goes South Beach.
—Nathan Lump

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