The Magnitude of Mombo

“An important message to express our thanks for your effort on the Mombo rebuilds. Andrew (Johnson) has been extremely complimentary of your efforts and for the support you have given him on this monster of a project. The workmanship looks great. This is greatly appreciated by all of us at Wilderness.” 
Grant Woodrow, Chief Operations Officer
Mombo, Wilderness Safaris

The magic of Mombo. Photographer: David Crookes

The successful rebuild of flagship camps, Mombo and Little Mombo in Botswana’s Okavango Delta, was the culmination of a year’s worth of intense planning with another year of complex construction in order to bring this mega project to light. By engaging in a rigorous process of technical design, engineering and project management, Tenthouse Structures (THS) delivered a world-class roofing solution – achieving the aesthetic vision of the client, as well as the technically challenging performance requirements of the delta site.

Multi-level structures

In total, Tenthouse Structures delivered 48 independent roof structures for the 3 hospitality areas, 12 standard accommodation units and 1 family villa. Each tensile (tension) structure, engineered of multiple elliptical ring beams, welded and box-reinforced plasma cut plates, was integrated into a complicated system of multi-levelled walls, pergolas and screens. To arrive at an engineering solution, demo units were built by the Tenthouse Structures team to ensure precise positioning and seamless installation on-site.

To incorporate the natural beauty of each unit and accommodate the living spaces below each tent canopy, a non-symmetrical layout was developed. This meant that structural requirements, such as weather and animal barriers, were balanced harmoniously with the scenic surroundings for the greater guest experience.

Tensile roof accommodation units

Included in the operational execution, Tenthouse Structures managed costs closely on all customised elements throughout the project. This involved the stringent procurement and consolidation of all structural components, which were shipped under tight regulations, across the border to Maun, Botswana. Once received, the goods were deployed to smaller vehicles (and boats on the delta channels during the rainy season) to get to the secluded campsite.

Tenthouse Structures’ lightweight structures made up 35% of the total coverage, but a fraction of the weight of this was an immense part of the project. Coupled with an efficient construction-management process, an awareness of the sensitive eco-system was maintained throughout the project by the Tenthouse Structures team.