As I was packing to travel to the Maasai Mara and specifically Angama Mara where we would be staying, I went through their website to confirm what elements are catered for on their full board package .This was to enable me to then have an agreement with my wallet on acceptable AOB costs we would incur.I was shocked when their site basically told me I could arrive without my wallet as everything would be catered for apart from if I ordered French Champagne and the Maasai Mara park fees. I decided that they had taken their Marketing agenda a step too far and thus travelled armed with my wallet, debit card and mobile money – just in case. This is a Luxury Boutique Hotel I was going to and I didn’t want any embarrassments. Lets just say-Angama Mara proved me wrong-I returned with all my cash intact minus park fees as I decided to forgo the French Champagne 🙂 .
As we drove to Anagama Mara that is located in the periphery of the famous Maasai Mara National Park, we passed several communities, met herds of wildebeests also known as gnu (did you know that ) all welcoming us to the Maasai Mara and to Angama Mara. You can drive there, hire a tour company to drive you-we used GameWatchers Safaris whom I would also highly recommend or Charter a plane or helicopter-the choice is yours.Angama is a Kiswahili word meaning- hanging in the air as the hotel is truly safely suspended near the clouds. As we approached the entry barrier, the security had to confirm with the hotel that we had a reservation before we were ushered in -elevating me from a Common Citizen aka Mwanachi to feeling like a VIP. It has two Wings-North and South each having 15 tented rooms which all have a 180 degree view of the Maasai Mara.During my stay I felt like I was floating in luxury-from one height to another-never coming down.Welcome to Luxury Living-Welcome to Angama Mara
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
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,I do not know what is.
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. Shannon and Tyler, the regional managers, were also at hand to check up on us and ensure that we were well and it was great to meet Nicky and Kate Fitzgerald the owners before we left. Angama Mara team, Thank you for an amazing experience .
The term tented doesn’t do the rooms justice. First up, it has a long door that gains you access to a veranda where you can put your shoes, umbrella, bags etc.They also offer whistles which you use if you need assistance-no telephones.How cool is this place! You then walk through another door that then welcomes you home. I choose the word home because that there is not a room but a 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 .This came extra handy during the night when I opened my eyes and saw the best view of the skies(stars) ,I even identified some constellations all from the comfort of my bed.
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. You also receive a bottle of Gin and Whiskey in every room and if those do not meet your fancy, you can ask for your drink of choice and they will top up your selection. 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 as it is all catered for in your accommodation fee all except for French campagne-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. 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.
The food served at this place is finger licking amazing.They use fresh ingredients and all food is cooked on order-no microwave food.I highly advise you taste anything and everything that is on the menu-I didn’t regret it.
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 as you want though I highly recommend responsible drinking. For the non alcoholics , Angama Mara also has you covered, everything from African tea to some amazing smoothies and even cocktails.You do not have to worry about leaving your car as a deposit for your extra bill or as us Kenyans would say “Kuchonga Viazi” i.e peeling potatoes in the kitchen to clear a bill, your accommodation has you covered as it is all inclusive.Only Angama Mara seem to understand the true meaning of All Inclusive.Check out Angama Mara http://www.angama.com/ to discover all the other extras offered.
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. And to top it off, I was served a bottle of wine to enjoy while at it. Like seriously, who does that?Off course, only at Angama Mara! And the staff being as cool as they are, became my photographers to ensure I didn’t miss memories of this. Did I tell you the sunrise and sunset from here is breathtaking!
I pride myself on having great genes that ensure I keep in shape (Thanks Mum and Dad), but the gym here was too enticing to ignore. One, it is fully equipped, two it has mirrors almost everywhere ensuring you get great angle shots of yourself (told you I am not a gym pro) and to top it off you get to overlook the Maasai Mara savanna as you keep fit.
I had the privilege to interact with the ladies that work here and listen to how they have now been socially and economically empowered. Angama Mara hires these ladies from the nearby communities on a rotational basis thus enabling more to work.It has enabled a previous past time of their to become a money making business thus revealing how Angama Mara is dedicated to Responsible Tourism.
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 stoper being entertainment by Maasai Morans.This was surely a great night.
Game Drive :
A Game drive at he famous Maasai Mara is also inclusive when you stay at Angama Mara. They have knowledgeable and experienced Maras 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……read all about it here: https://wangechigitahi.co.ke/2016/11/04/to-maasai-mara-we-go/
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.You have opened my eyes to what luxury travel really is, to know that I am a Very Important Person (VIP) and to always expect to be treated as such.
To my people,you should already be checking out Angama Mara,making a call for reservations and local rates and if you get Kate,tell her I said hi. A big thank you http://muraguri.me.ke/ and http://lifeinmombasa.com/ for granting me permission to use some of your amazing pictures from the trip.