Across many cultures, traditional living accommodations have included structures built from the raw materials around the environment. In Africa, it’s not uncommon for walled housing, African huts, and outdoor, gazebo-like structures to be made from African thatch, African reed, or woven palm leaf.
These types of African huts exist across the entire continent, from the Nile River all the way through Ghana and central Africa, and down into South Africa. For generations western visitors have enjoyed these simple accommodations that provide the sensations and essence of the continent. Their style has thus been imitated for decorative and utilitarian purposes across the world.
African huts typically come in the form of gazebos and walled shelters. African reeds are a common building component, as well as bamboo for structural support. Different types of huts exist in different parts of the continent. For instance, in Eritrea huts along the Great Rift Valley are commonly built in a domed or circular shape. These houses are called bulas, are made from straw, and designed to be portable and carried by villagers from one part of the region to the next. In all these circumstances, huts provide very simplistic living accommodations that include bedding and perhaps a simple table or shelf to store belongings or to dine at.
The African gazebo is a much more popular choice among African huts for homeowners interested in implementing a bit of an exotic flair to their décor. These can be purchased through exotic niche vendors that specialize in traditional structure, or they can be constructed by do-it-yourself enthusiasts, often through a combination of a solid platform, four sturdy beams and thatched palm for protection. A gazebo offers the ability to host barbecues and outdoor parties with an exotic, African style that is sure to draw attention from neighbours.
Whether you choose to build your own African hut or gazebo, or purchase through an expert craftsperson, it’s important to make sure your structure is built to last. A poorly constructed gazebo is at risk from collapse as soon as a heavy wind occurs and sweeps away the thatched roofing. With a combination of proper sealant chemicals and extra sturdy ties, an African gazebo can endure for many years in your backyard without any problems, and with the right preparations one can also keep it safe from termites and other pests, allowing the benefits of a gazebo to be enjoyed for many years.