Perched high above the astoundingly game-rich plain on three of the Maasai Mara’s signature rocky outcrops, called kopjes,—many scenes from Out of Africa were filmed on one of Angama Mara’s beautiful kopjes—Angama Mara offers an unending cavalcade of views and carefully curated safari delights; it’s the kind of place that dramatically evokes a common African sensation: the feeling of somehow returning, of coming home again. As the great Isak Dinesen wrote, “You woke up in the morning and thought, Here I am, where I ought to be.”
Angama Mara, serviced by its own airstrip, consists of two completely separate camps of just 15 tents each, every one with a vaunting view of the plains below. The Pavilion, situated between the two camps, is graced by an infinity pool, gift shop, wi-fi, library, astutely equipped fitness room, and an expansive deck from which to delight in the Mara’s famously theatrical sunrises, sunsets, and shifting daily moods…all within a 10-minute walk of all the tents in both camps.
Masterfully designed by Kenya’s King of Canvas, Jan Allen and the ace architectural duo of Silvio Rech and Lesley Carstens, doyens of elegant African minimalism, Angama Mara’s tented suites embody the Maasai Mara’s natural elegance and quietly stirring beauty. Each more than 320 square foot suite features a floor-to-ceiling glass front almost 40 feet wide; gleaming parquet floors; splendid interior decorations; wi-fi connections (and an old-fashioned collection of African-themed books); vast views from the bed, bath, sitting area, and, of course, the tent’s open-to-infinity deck, where we’re invited to take private meals if we wish.
As we enjoy saying, these are tents in the same way the Empire State is an office building, yet the King of Canvas has excelled here at Angama Mara, creating imaginatively luxurious dwellings that bow to the truest safari traditions.
Angama Mara welcomes children 6 or more years old, and it features four sets of interconnecting tent suites, so kids can gambol safely and privately between their suite and their parent’s.
Game viewing in the Maasai-Mara, the more verdant northern segment of the vast Serengeti-Maasai Mara ecosystem, is as rewarding as game viewing gets on planet Earth. The great cyclical migration of millions of herbivores and their carnivore predators occurs throughout the year, peaking in July through November. But the mass movement is relatively constant, and the fabled Big Five (elephant, leopard, Cape Buffalo, lion, and dinasauric rhino) are always in residence. Our game drives are designed for flexibility (of time, game locations, and your naturalist predilections) and our Micato Safari Director, who knows the Mara intimately, is always ready to honour our preferences.
Micato’s half-century in the safari business has taught us that people come to Africa see its animals, but leave in love with its people. Angama Mara is well staffed with local Maasai, from naturalists and bakers to the camp manager himself; every evening at sunset Maasai warriors (or moran) visit the lodge to perform their dramatic dances, and in the craft studio guests can take a well-tutored crack at traditional crafts, jazzing up their safari jackets or sweaters, say, with classic Maasai beads. And when we visit a local manyatta, or village, our Safari Director is greeted as a familiar elder, and we are welcomed as interesting new friends.