Angama Mara is a luxury lodge that is located in Narok county, Kenya, on the periphery of the famous Maasai Mara National Park. Angama is a Kiswahili word that means “suspended in mid air” and truly, the lodge is suspended safely atop the hills, close to the clouds. We would be staying at this lodge while also enjoying the beauty that is the famous Maasai Mara National Reserve. We arrived here via road and it was exciting to see many wildebeests as we approached it. At the gate/barrier, we were met by security, who then had to confirm that we had a reservation. As we were ushered in, I felt like I had just shed off my “common man” tag at the gate and was now been elevated to Very Important Person. The whole experience at the hotel can only best be expressed in clusters as below:
The layout of the restaurant is a true masterpiece. There is the outside eating area and the inside eating area. This area is surrounded by glass which allows everyone to not only enjoy natural lighting, but a view of the savanna outside. It has a mini pool outside and thus as you view it from different angles, the restaurant looks like it is floating.
The inside restaurant has beautiful minimal decor that gives the places an “earthy” feel. There is a fireplace made of red bricks and the roof is made of neatly arranged wooden pieces. The dinning area also allows one to enjoy watching the savana below as one enjoys their meal. I was especially impressed by the “chair dressing” the seats had, which ensured they kept warm even though it was raining outside.
The food served here is finger licking amazing, as they not only use fresh ingredients mainly from their garden, but their chefs are professionals. I sampled new delicacies that I only read on the menus and truly, I was not disappointed. I was also further impressed by their hearty serving, Kenyan servings to ensure you are truly satisfied.
b) Inside Lounge :
The lounge areas are very beautiful, with the colour red, like that of bricks being dominant. This made the area feel very homely and welcoming. Here, you can relax as you enjoy a drink or even enjoy the heat from the fire place in the evening.
The hotel gets a plus for this extra feature- I have nerd tendencies. It is well stocked with books from across the genres and games that people can engage in. Many are the times when people travel, one ends up staring at the roof with no indoor activities to indulge in, Angama Mara has you covered.
When you sit here, you get a true understanding of why the hotel is called “Angama Mara”. You will truly see and feel like you are suspended between earth and the clouds. They have a beautiful lounge area where one sits on their comfy red cushions and enjoys the beautiful Savanna of the Mara. At instances, you may also see animals walking below. During the night, this place has a bonfire where people can sit, trade stories and enjoy the fire. Unfortunately, it rained during my visit.
The set up of the bar is also an interesting masterpiece to look at. It has been made to look like an upside down cone with the top having neatly arranged pieces of wood. The drinks selection is so wide, you may actually get confused as some will be names you have never heard of, ok, that was my experience.
I am not sure I should share this piece of information, but since I am doing a tell all-well, move closer. You can partake of as many drinks and meals as you want, at no extra cost, due to it being “All Inclusive”. The only drink that is an exception is French Champagne, so go on, have a blast and remember to drink responsibly. For the non alcoholics , Angama Mara also has you covered, everything from African tea to some amazing smoothies and even cocktails.
f) Swimming Pool
This is the first infinity pool I have had the privilege to swim in-Scream of excitement. The pool is not only a gem to look at, but swimming while looking at the vast Savanna in the Maasai Mara is a plus. The staff being as cool as they are, became my photographers to ensure I didn’t miss memories of this.
I pride myself on having great genes that ensure I keep in shape -Thanks Mum and Dad. However, the gym here was too enticing to ignore, that I had to have a session and a morning one at that. One, it is fully equipped, two it has mirrors almost everywhere ensuring I got great angle views of myself -told you I am not a gym pro and to top it off, I got to overlook the Maasai Mara savanna as I kept fit.
2) The Tented Suits:
The accommodation areas are spread out into North and South Wing, with each having 15 suits that each have a 180 degree view.
From the outside, they look like Luxury Tented Rooms but once inside, I felt like I was in a Palatial Home.
First up, mine had a long door that gained us access to a veranda where we could put our shoes, umbrellas, bags and/or luggage.This ensures that the room does not play host to dirty shoes which have collected dirt from the days activities. There are no telephones in the room, thus allowing one to relax and commune with nature. Whistles are hang in the veranda area and can be used to “call” for assistance from the staff. I then walked through another door that then welcomed me to my home for the next few days. I choose the word home because that there is not a room, but a Palatial Home.
As I entered, I was met by the amazing view of the Maasai Mara, the great Savanna as instead of stone walls everywhere, they have wall to wall clear glass windows . The layout of the room itself had me compeletely mesmerized. The double bed was super comfortable, it had an electric blanket to ensure I was warm through the cold night and to top it off, I enjoyed looking at the savanna and the night skies from the comfort of my bed. The room also has a couch and binoculars that one can use to spot the wild life in the yonder. It also has a bath tub in the “room” thus you can be sipping on your drink, as you enjoy a bubble bath whilst also enjoying the wild life, how cool is that? The balcony area outside also allows one to enjoy a better close up view of the savanna, read a book or just enjoy the chirping of birds.I told you, this team ensures your experience moves from one “high” to another” luxury high”.
They have a well stocked fridge and pantry and yes, they even have wine and beer in it. I got to brew myself a hot cup of tea during the night when I couldn’t sleep due to excitement. All “homes” receive a bottle of Gin and Whiskey, but, if these do not meet your fancy, you can ask for your drink of choice to be delivered. And to top up this mind boggling room experience, you will not receive an extra bill or a hidden supplementary budget as you check out. Everything is “All Inclusive” once you pay to stay at this hotel, all apart from French champagne, for real,I tested this.
Showering is exciting as it has no door (blush) and it faces the glass “wall” allowing you to look at the open skies and the Maasai Mara while at it. At first I felt shy, wondering if people would see me, even though the hotel is practically suspended in mid air away from prying human eyes. However, my fears were soon forgotten, excitement took over and my naughty and adventurous self had a blast showering as I watched baboons and wildebeests in the yonder. For the unadventurous, you can roll down the curtain. They even have his and hers sinks to ensure that you do not fight if you are a pair.
3)The Staff/My Friends :
My interaction with the staff at Angama Mara tugged at my heart, it still does. They do not feel like staff, they became my friends and seemed to know what I needed before I even asked. I will never forget a statement Azei their Operations Manager once told us, “Anyone who comes to Angama Mara is a Very Important Person (VIP) and we treat them all as Very Very Important People (VVIP). ” This statement rang true throughout my stay and I now refer to my self as VIP Wangechi Gitahi 🙂
First up, we were received by a team led by Josphat-Camp Manager, all armed with a bright smile and red umbrellas to cover us from the rain. Secondly, we were assigned a “Minder” called Terry who ensured all our needs from drinks to food were catered for with assistance from her colleagues like Robert and Koikai among others. She even assisted some of us -read me, select meals from the menu when the names were a bit too “luxurious” to comprehend. They got an A+ when a statement I made in passing was taken literally and executed, I will forever be grateful.
I am a sucker for sunrise and sunset and you can only imagine my surprise and joy when a comment I made about wanting to see the sunrise was taken literally. I had Benjamin at my door at 6 a.m to escort me to the North Wing so that I could have a greater view of the sunrise as it showed off. I ended up watching one of the best sunrises ever and also seeing three elephants and a large herd of wildebeests while at it. If this is not special treatment, luxury treatment, I do not know what is.
4) Sustainable Tourism:
Listening to different staff sharing stories of how Angama Mara has changed their lives for the better and the opportunities it has granted them was inspiring. I had the privilege to interact with the ladies that work at the shop and listened to how they have now been socially and economically empowered, thanks to Angama Mara.. Angama Mara hires ladies from the nearby communities on a rotational basis to make jewellery that is then sold at the shop, thus enabling them to earn an income. It has enabled a previous past time of theirs to become a money making business. I heard of how they also support the schools around the area and thus are tully adhering to Responsible Tourism.
5)Sun downer :
Sundowners now have a new meaning to me. We were driven to a semi secluded area where we found the way lined with lanterns.They then had a great big bonfire burning, food and drinks available and the show stopper being entertainment by Maasai Morans. This was surely a great night.
6) Game Drive :
A Game drive at the famous Maasai Mara is also inclusive when you stay at Angama Mara excluding park fees.They have knowledgeable and experienced Mara Guiding team and fabulous open vehicles that enabled us to enjoy the game drives from all angles of the car. Oh my, the whole experience was beyond my wildest dream, everything from actually seeing the widebeest migration, to a wide array of wildlife to an actual hunt and so much more. Read all about it http://wangechigitahi.co.ke/wildlife-extravaganza-in-maasai-mara/
Angama Mara, thank you very much for having me and the Twende Mara team courtesy of Magical Kenya . The wholistic approach of the hotel to treat everyone who walks through your doors as a VIP, as well as the responsible tourism you are involved in, deserves an applause.Your whole facility is indeed a masterpiece and you out did yourselves on offering “Luxury”. I now go by the name Very Important Person (VIP) Wangechi Gitahi. It was a pleasure tomeet the regional managers Shannon and Tyler as well as the owners Nicky and Kate Fitzgerald during my stay.Thank you Angama Mara for having such an amazing facility that truly offers a wholistic luxury experience.
To my people, you should already be checking out Angama Mara and making a call for enquiries and reservations.Say a big hi to the team for me when you get there. A big thank you Muraguri for granting me permission to use some of their amazing pictures from the trip and Gamewatchers Safari for providing us transport in their very comfortable 4×4 safari vehicle .