Angama Mara has quickly become one of the most talked about lodges in East Africa. The main drawcard for this lodge is the enviable view, which gives guests unparalleled views over the Maasai Mara from above. I checked in to Angama Mara to experience the camp for myself and report back for a full review.
Checking In: A luxury escape
Arriving on safari often means a long travel day. For me the journey began in Cape Town, South Africa. After an overnight flight to Nairobi, I landed at the international airport and made my way to the arrivals area to catch an uber to Wilson Domestic Airport. The journey between the International airport and Domestic airport takes anywhere between 40 minutes to two hours, depending on traffic. Once you have arrived at Wilson Domestic Airport, be sure to know which airline company you are flying with as you will need to tell this to your driver (each airline has its own mini terminal).
After waiting a further four hours, I was finally on my way to the Masai Mara. Bush flights can often add up in terms of price, so I would recommend choosing one or two camps to stay with in the Mara to limit your costs and time spent travelling between camps.
Angama Mara has its own private airstrip, though often you will disembark at the nearby Kichwa Tembo airstrip (depending on how many guests you are travelling with or if there are other travellers on board your flight disembarking at the same stop).
If you land at the Angama airstrip, it is a short few minutes drive to reach the camp. From the Kichwa Tembo airstrip you will spend around 30 minutes driving to reach Angama Mara, driving straight uphill to the escarpment on which Angama stands.
The Rooms at Angama Mara
After a brief introduction to the lodge with the manager on duty, you will be escorted to your room by your butler and shown all the tricks and switches to make yourself comfortable throughout your stay.
The main feature of the rooms is of course the view – a mostly uninterrupted view of the Masai Mara National Park below, complete with your own pair of binoculars to use throughout your stay to spot the animal activity below.
Each room features a double sink with luxurious amenities, a large bath tub, full size shower, reading chair and sofa. There are a few books in the room to pass the time between game drives – including the famed Out of Africa and a lesser known recount of Denys Finch Hatton’s life titled Too Close to the Sun.
The rooms are appointed with all the amenities you could need and if you forgot something, the staff are all too happy to help you source an item for your stay. There are a lot of lights in the tent but with limited power and water supplies, be sure to use these luxuries responsibly.
Each morning a butler will magically appear to tidy your room and reappear every evening while you are out for dinner to turn on your electric blanket (what a luxury!) and refresh your drinking water and tea/coffee supplies.
Room Views over the Mara
The views at Angama Mara are what set this lodge apart. Most of the lodges inside the park and on the outskirts are at the same level of the park, meaning you should absolutely make the most of those views from above. The fitness room also has a great view over the park, as well as a huge swimming pool to make use of during the hotter months.
A Day at the Lodge
Typically your days on safari will begin early in the morning with a wake up call in your room and coffee delivery. From there, breakfast can be enjoyed at the lodge before drive or you may arrange with your guide to take breakfast out on drive and really make the most of your time in the park.
Some safari goers will be out on game drive most of the day and others will return around noon followed by lunch at the lodge. It really depends what you prefer and there is flexibility depending on the time of year.
Lunch would always consist of three courses at the lodge, followed by a restful afternoon before dinner service from 7:30pm.
Activities at Angama Mara
There are a few activities on offer at Angama Mara that are different to other lodges. One such activity is the “Out of Africa” lunch, served at the exact spot Karen Blixen and Denys Finch Hatton enjoy a picnic, overlooking the Maasai Mara. This was my favourite day throughout my stay and if you’re a fan of the film, you absolutely must make the most of the opportunity! If you haven’t seen the film it is available in the Angama library should you chance a rainy day to stay inside.
Another few activities include lunch in the shamba (where most of the menu’s produce is harvested on site), running with a Kenyan or a community visit to one of the local villages.
A very warm thank you to Angama for welcoming me to experience the Maasai Mara! All opinions and photos are my own.