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Visit Kenya - Here's Why Angama Mara is the Luxury Safari Lodge of My Dreams

Image courtesy of Angama Mara

There are some hotels you never want to leave. Angama Mara, a luxurious safari lodge overlooking Kenya’s Maasai Mara National Reserve, is one such hotel. Upon arrival to the lodge’s private airstrip, guests are immediately welcomed by a group of kind, smiling, supremely friendly staff members before being shuttled to the lodge.

No one can prepare you for the view that awaits: the Great Rift Valley, a sprawling, grassy stretch of the Mara. The expanse is almost enough to distract you from the beauty of the lodge itself. A handsome patio, equipped with a high-powered telescope for prime wildlife sightings, extends seamlessly from the open-air common area, where guests can lounge on plush red chairs around a central brick fireplace.

Here is a place that deserves a top spot on any bucket list. I’d say Angama Mara is a once-in-a-lifetime destination, but it’s, in fact, somewhere you’ll want to return to again and again.

Angama Mara’s overall design is exceptional

Image courtesy of Angama Mara

Angama Mara consists of two separate camps, each with 15 luxe tents. The camps are each perched atop a kopje — a grassy hill — and are perfectly spaced apart to create an intimate, private feel. (Everything is a short walk or drive from each other.)

The exquisite tented suites are modeled on those one would expect in a traditional safari camp — canvas walls, writing desks, binoculars — but have a chic, modern twist, with splashes of Angama’s signature color, Maasai red.

Floor-to-ceiling glass windows open up to a patio with — what else? — red rocking chairs perfect for taking in the stunning view. Oversized bathtubs beckon after a day of game drives, and in-room massages provide the ultimate pampering — with a five-star view, of course.

You’d be content with never leaving your tented suite, but the lodge’s guest areas are equally stunning. A series of brick-walled, cone-shaped buildings make up Angama’s common areas. Head to the Map Room to peruse over 150 maps, the oldest of which dates back to the early 17th century. Wander around the shamba (Swahili for “vegetable garden”) and sample its organic vegetables. Take a dip in the camp’s sleek infinity pool — which feels even more refreshing after a sweat sesh in Angama’s brick-walled gym.

In the Beading Studio, you can learn the intricate art from local Maasai women, and in the Photography Studio, an expert will show you how to capture the best pictures — or teach you how to use your own camera (highly worth it). You can even rent a fancy camera to take with you on one of the day’s safaris.

Angama Mara is the perfect home base for enjoying a successful (and uncrowded) Kenya safari, with ample sightings year round

Image courtesy of Angama Mara

The Maasai Mara boasts an impressive amount of wildlife, and is one of Africa’s prime locations for fruitful game viewing. The Mara is one of the few places where you can theoretically see every one of the Big Five — lions, leopards, rhinos, elephants and African buffalo — all at once.

At Angama, guests can enjoy guided African safaris in a comfy landcruiser. But you can also choose from walking safaris or hot-air balloon rides — other incredible ways to take your luxury safari to the next level. (The flatness of the Mara plains allows for some of the best views in East Africa.)

Each year, the Mara also hosts some of the most dramatic parts of the famed Great Migration, the largest land-based animal migration on Earth. During the annual journey, herds of zebras and wildebeests travel from the Maasai Mara to Tanzania’s Serengeti plains. The hectic (and often bloody) river crossings are often what people think of, and usually occur around the end of August or early July.

Angama’s cuisine is locally sourced, nourishing and absolutely delicious — and served in unbeatable settings

Image courtesy of Angama Mara

You’ll likely come to Angama Mara for the luxe accommodations, warm hospitality and access to some of Africa’s best safaris, but you’ll stay for the food. All ingredients are meticulously sourced and fresher than fresh — and many are picked right from Angama’s onsite shamba.

Savor breakfast on the common deck, or in your tent. Better yet, opt for an early-morning meal out in the bush. Angama Mara excels at luxury picnics. Homemade muesli, yogurt, fresh fruits, freshly baked muffins, housemade passionfruit lemonade and gourmet breakfast sandwiches are packed in chic tins to be enjoyed out in the wild.

Lunch and dinner can also be enjoyed anywhere around the lodge: by the Library, on the deck, by candlelight in your tent... But don’t miss a charcoal-grilled feast in a nearby forest enclave illuminated by lanterns strung overhead. It’s the gourmet al-fresco BBQ of your dreams.

Extend your stay with a tip to Angama Safari Camp and Angama Amboseli

Image courtesy of Angama Amboseli

If you want to spend the night out in the bush, consider a stay at the four-suite, eight-person Angama Safari Camp, in the heart of the Mara Triangle. The Mara Triangle is an idyllic section of the Maasai Mara, formed by the Kenya-Tanzania border, the Mara River and the Oloololo Escarpment. The Mara is less crowded to begin with, but the blissfully isolated Angama Safari Camp offers an even more intimate experience, with all the luxuries and amenities Angama is known for.

Southeast of Angama Mara and Angama Safari Camp, you’ll find Angama Amboseli, a hot-off-the-press, 10-suite retreat in the Kimana Sanctuary, Kenya’s first community-owned conservancy. Gaze at Mount Kilimanjaro, and marvel at the area’s regal Super Tuskers, elephants with exceptionally large tusks. (Each tusk weighs more than 100 pounds!)

Lounge in Amboseli’s swimming pool, perched right above a drinking trough frequented by elephants. Choose a board game from the camp’s Games Room, perfect for a leisurely afternoon. In the evening, roast marshmallows by the fireplace. Explore the camp’s art gallery, visit the Photography Studio for a (very helpful) crash course or visit the vibrant Maker’s Studio for an expert lesson on the art of weaving, a local Kenyan specialty.


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