In Kenya, conservation of the natural resources and wildlife and the involvement and development of local communities go hand-in-hand with the sustainability of the camps and the ability to provide authentic experiences. Follow our journey as we explore seven properties that offer unique experiences for their travelers, are committed to conserving Kenya’s natural resources and wildlife, and are intimately involved in the development of their local communities. To see all of the posts from this multi-part series, click here.
Welcome back for our final post in our series of top safari properties and conservation partners in Kenya. We’re concluding today with an interview with Nicky Fitzgerald, owner of Angama Mara.
Inspiration for Angama Mara?
There were three sources of inspiration when planning Angama Mara: guests to be delighted at all costs all of the time; over and above making a profit, the business should make many small but meaningful and sustainable differences to the community and the Conservancy; and celebrate our fantastic view from every vantage possible.
Favorite time of year at Angama Mara?
That’s a tricky question but my favorite months are April and May – the game is FANTASTIC, the Mara is impossibly green, rainbows arch across the sky most afternoons, the Reserve is all yours to enjoy and the rates are the best value in the whole year. Doesn’t get better than that.
Describe a perfect day at Angama Mara?
That’s easy: wake up in time to watch the hot air balloons float by at sunrise whilst enjoying a cappuccino delivered by your butler; set off on safari at around 7am with a picnic breakfast and lunch on board; find a fig tree in the middle of nowhere for breakfast; continue bumbling along down to the Tanzanian border (you won’t see another soul); jump into Tanzania just for a moment just because you can; slowly start winding your way up the Mara River and stop for lunch at a hippo pool; bumble along some more (and there is a good chance mid-afternoon of watching a serval hunting) and up the hill and back to the lodge you go. Afternoon tea and a massage will be waiting followed by a quick siesta before a BBQ dinner in the forest, just a five-minute drive from the lodge. Oh, and did I say you would have probably bagged the Big Five, too. The best of days.
What is something you want guests to take away from their stay at Angama Mara?
Reading all the emails and reviews we receive from guests what they treasure the most after their safari is the bottomless well of kindness they have received from the Kenyans who cared for them. They thought they came for the animals but what they promise to return for are the people. And we also hope that whilst they travel through these beautiful corners of Africa they will take home an appreciation of the fragility of these wild places and feel happy that just by coming here they would have made a small difference in ensuring these places endure for next generations of communities, wildlife, and travelers.
Number one tip for travelers?
Expect the unexpected – in a good way!
Most Memorable trip you’ve ever been on?
Crikey that’s a tough one so let me focus on adventure travel. Twenty odd years ago a colleague and I traveled around Africa discovering and researching the food from the Ivory Coast, Senegal, Morocco, Egypt, Eritrea, and Ethiopia. Yes, we ate our way around the continent – and boy, was that fun.
Oh so good for the soul
Thanks so much for joining us this past week as we looked at some of Kenya’s top safari properties and conservation partners. In case you missed any of the posts, you can find them all here. And when you are ready to book you Kenyan safari, contact your Luxury Travel Consultant.