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Belmond Eagle Island Lodge undergoes a metamorphosis

We take you on a tour through this natural, awe-inspiring setting and show you behind the scenes challenges and pushing of creative boundaries to accomplish this stunning project.


Situated on the banks of the Okavango Delta in Botswana, Belmond Eagle Island Lodge forms part of the UNESCO World Heritage site. With a brief that none of the structures be permanent, should the owners want to tear down the entire lodge -  and leave behind no evidence that a lodge was ever there - the designers had to overcome challenges for the dramatic transformation.


FTK (Full Turnkey Design + Development) and DSA Architects approached Cemcrete with a great alternative for the walling systems. Their approach was to use one of Cemcrete’s waterproofing products as a wall structure and thus the perfect plan was born. This system selected consists of layering membranes and a cement slush, making it very appealing for an eco-build - as everything could be effortlessly removed as and when needed.

The product used for this project was Cemcrete MatCrete. While usually a layering system to create waterproof structures such as ponds, dams, etc., this was tested to see how successful it would be as a wall structure. After multiple meetings, tests and prototypes FTK, DSA Architects and Cemcrete finally discovered a specification that would work.





Inspired by the form and flow of the Okavango Delta, the contemporary bush feel of the lodge is evident in the design. The depth and movement of MatCrete blended in perfectly with its surroundings.

The grey colour scheme was achieved by using MatCrete in Charcoal and SatinCrete Graphite - a colour designed specifically for this project and that has now become part of the SatinCrete colour range.

CreteStain Black was used to intensify the colour of the Graphite walls even further. They tastefully paired the greys with copper accents and we believe this will be the start of a new design style for lodges in Africa.