Christie’s online-only auction Living with African and Oceanic Arts, open for bidding from 25 February to 11 March, will spotlight artworks from Africa, Oceania, Indonesia, and North America. It was Malawi-born artist and author Samson Kambalu who said, “Art is not only about representation. This is how the Greeks defined their art. African art is about life.” The same could be said of African architecture. In the north’s ancient citadels, the Moorish style’s dazzling arches and domes dominate the streetscape. Indoors, cool shaded rooms illuminated by stained-glass windows offer the dazzling, colorful abstractions of zellige mosaics and contemplative moods. In South Africa, safari culture and pioneer style offer a different adaptation to climate and terrain. Come explore the art of living in this Luxury Defined collection of African estates. Choose among a hillside fortress in the White City, Tangier, or a Moorish palace in Marrakesh’s palm oasis. Live in a luxury safari lodge or tented camp in a wildlife preserve among the eight distinct biomes of the Great Karoo, or in a luxurious compound in the rolling hills of the Western Cape lowlands: Africa calls.
El Borj Tangier in Marshan, Morocco
El Borj Tangier is an opulent hilltop mansion perched 130 feet above the Strait of Gibraltar, overlooking the Maghreb and Andalusian coasts. El Borj, Arabic for “fortress” is one of the finest homes in the prestigious neighborhood of Marshan, a stone’s throw from Tangier’s ancient city walls. The 21,528-square-foot interior unfolds across four levels with six bedrooms and six bathrooms, grandly scaled reception rooms, a contemporary kitchen, library, office, and fitness center. The modern amenities include solar panels, security and surveillance systems, and a unique observation point equipped with radar to view shipping activity through the straits. There are numerous places to relax and entertain. The formal gardens are a private oasis graced with a tiered infinity pool, several sea-view terraces, mature trees, and lush vegetation.
Magic Hills Conservation Preserve on the Eastern Cape, South Africa
Magic Hills Conservation Preserve is a 49,668-acre estate with breathtaking views of the rugged mountain ridges and savannas of the Great Karoo region of South Africa’s Eastern Cape. The property offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to join one of the most profound conservation and wildland-expansion endeavors in Africa: regreening and linking biodiversity sites and corridors to allow the natural movement of wildlife, including the “Big Five” (lion, leopard, rhino, elephant, and buffalo). Magic Hills is well suited to those searching for a conservation mission and an authentic safari experience. The compound consists of three varied accommodations in pristine, isolated sites around the reserve and the fourth, a luxurious tented lodge, is under construction. The views stretch from the coastal regions of Addo Elephant National Park in the south to the savannas of the Camdeboo National Park in the north.
Villa Mejjat in Marrakesh, Morocco
Villa Mejjat is a sumptuous private villa in the heart of La Palmeraie, the famous palm grove oasis of Marrakesh. This ultimately private estate includes a palatial main residence and a guest house surrounded by resplendent gardens. The villa’s 16,000-square-foot interior extend across three levels. Its rich architectural details include intricate zellige mosaics and Mudéjar-style ceilings, decorative archways, solid wood doors, and stained glass windows. There are six luxuriously appointed bedrooms and six bathrooms between the main villa and the separate guest house. The serene outdoor spaces include a courtyard with fountain, a beautiful mosaic-tiled swimming pool with palm islands, a pool pavilion, and numerous terraces to take in the views of the gardens and the Atlas Mountains. The Medina of Marrakesh is just 10 minutes away.
African Splendour in the Cape Winelands, Western Cape, South Africa
This breathtakingly beautiful estate is secluded in a 1,195-acre private game reserve in South Africa’s Cape Winelands. The sanctuary is a habitat for wildlife, including eland, kudu, springbok, red hartebeest, and zebra. The compound’s traditional lines conceal a dazzling contemporary style, hinted at by the landscape design: towering mature acacia trees and native shrubs and grasses integrate with geometric rock ponds, pools, channels, and walls of native rock, with indoor spaces flowing to the outdoors. A terraced breezeway links the two main residential structures, There are seven bedrooms and nine full, spa-like bathrooms; the living spaces are grand, with luxurious finishes and details, yet intimate and comfortable, with floor-to-ceiling windows offering uninterrupted views of the rolling hills and mountains. A contemporary chef’s kitchen, library space, media/billiards room round out the amenities.
Majestic Estate in Constantia, Western Cape, South Africa
This palatial residence is surrounded by 2.5 acres of magnificent grounds in South Africa’s Constantia wine valley. Encompassing 15,349 square feet, the living spaces are grand in scale, yet warm and inviting. There are five reception rooms, a study, and a chef’s eat-in kitchen. All five bedrooms are en suite, and many have breathtaking views of the Constantiaberg Mountains. The home is designed for grand-scale entertaining. Among the unique amenities are an outdoor braai (barbecue) with a bar and surround-sound system, a fabulous wine room with a tasting area, fireplace, and a second-floor lounge with a custom-built bar. The landscaped grounds are graced with water features and a spectacular resort-style pool with sundeck. The amenities include a generator, irrigation system, and top-of-the-line security surveillance.
Villa Agra in Marrakech, Morocco
Marrakesh’s Villa Agra is an homage to Moroccan craftsmanship. It took three years to design and build this magnificent 21,528-square-foot villa and its beautiful palm-lined gardens. The villa’s ochre façade is topped by three Moorish domes with stained glass windows. The Moorish-inspired details continue within. At the entrance a rotunda adorned with marble columns and arches rising 33 feet to a domed, skylit ceiling. It flows into a vast three-story living room which in turn opens to a sun terrace surrounding a lagoon-style pool. In the dining room, the interplay of light through the stained-glass windows highlights the room’s decorative wood finishes. Farther along are numerous sitting rooms, each with a fireplace; an elegant lounge with a wood-carved bar; and a magnificent indoor pool with a zellige-tiled ceiling, marble columns, and carved stone arches. There are seven deluxe bedroom suites over two levels. The grounds are a sanctuary of native desert plants, palm gardens, and water features.