African Hot Sulphur Springs-Lilani KwaZulu

Development of an African Sulphur Hotspring in Lilani rural KwaZulu

Phase 1   1998-2000 completed

Phase 2  2002 completed

Phase 3 commenced ? on hold from ?

client Department of Economic Affairs + Tourism

            Department of Tourism

location Umvoti – Northern Kwa-Zulu Natal


The development of the spa and resort complex involves rehabilitation of the landscape; encapsulating the cultural energies of the area. This was achieved through environmentally conscious design, material use and construction.

An assortment of communal hot mineral pools is sensitively sculpted into the landscape, whilst some are discreetly carved into organic stone structures, all with related ablutions and change facilities. The architectural aesthetic facilitates a branding for tourism, drawing on Lilanis unique natural character.


An overall master-plan concept was developed to enhance local tourism potential while protecting the natural features of the site. Target areas were developed in a phased strategy funded by the Government’s Poverty Alleviation Fund.

community involvement

Local folklore and skills were incorporated into the development, juxtaposing hand craft and fabrication techniques, with the sculpting of tactile built forms. In addition, natural site resources are symbolically contrasted with contemporary materials.

The project aimed to further improve the lives of the local inhabitants by providing an extended source of income for the area as well as valuable skills training. All the stone used was sourced locally and collected by the community. Organic hot mineral pools, operate on a natural gravity feed water system, without disturbing the natural watercourse.

Phase 1 (1998-2000) complete

completed master-plan concept

existing disused buildings demolished

analyses of local resources

5 pools rehabilitated

new ablutions and change-rooms

new information office / reception

new kitchen

new self-catering rondavel units

freshwater spring directed to facility

camping site delineated

Phase 2 (2002) complete

8 4-sleeper self-catering suites


communal kitchen (to become commercial)

conference room / reception

communal lounge

outdoor boma

minimal landscaping

Phase 3 on hold 

extension of reception area + dining

leisure centre development

further accommodation