“The chief feature of the landscape, and of your life in it, was the air. Looking back on a sojourn in the African highlands, you are struck by your feeling of having lived for a time up in the air. The sky was rarely more than pale blue or violet, with a profusion of mighty, weightless ever-changing clouds towering up and sailing on it. But it has a blue vigor in it, and at a short distance it painted the ranges of hills and the woods a fresh deep blue. In the middle of the day the air was alive over the land, like a flame burning; it scintillated, waved and shone like running water, mirrored and doubled all objects and created great Fata Morgana. Up in this air you breathed easily, drawing in a vital assurance and lightness of the heart. In the highlands you woke up in the morning and thought. Here I am, where I ought to be.”
The writings of Karen Blixen make you feel like you’re living the moment of her book ‘Out Of Africa’ which she wrote in the 1930’s as Isak Dinesen. Blixen’s story of her life in Africa managing a coffee plantation in Kenya is so powerful that it captivates you to the moment – and Sydney Pollack’s 1985 film adaptation of her book captures the mesmerising beauty of Kenya. Many people never tire from watching the movie, now fast forwarding from a 80’s movie winning seven oscars, to a present day location called Angama Mara – the one place where you can live the romantic moment of the Ngong Hills scenes where the movie was filmed.
Inspired by the Swahili word “suspended in the mid air”, Angama Mara lies high above the floor of Africa’s Great Rift Valley – and balanced on its rim – lies a beautiful piece of land that overlooks what many safari travellers deem the loveliest game reserve in the continent, Kenya’s Masai Mara. This new safari lodge sits on the site where some of the most memorable moments in ‘Out Of Africa’ were shot.
Angama Mara is Steve and Nicky Fitzgerald’s new lodge overlooking the Mara Triangle, a husband and wife team known for their management of andBeyond, together they set the modern standard for high end safari properties. Angama’s 30 tented suites are spilt between two totally separate camps and have been crafted by Nairobi’s finest tent maker, using the world’s largest custom built cutter/plotter and a further 42,000 man hours to complete.
Architect Silvio and Lesley Carstens of Ngorongoro Crater Lodge, North Island Mombo Fame – have designed Angama Mara to be a lodge quite unlike any other. Each tent suite literally hangs onto the edge of the escarpment, with views that go on and on. Annemarie Meintjes, peerless African stylista, has tackled the lodge’s interiors with a totally fresh, disarming, uncluttered and often humorous approach. This dynamic creative combination has been driven by the following two guiding principles: “we have built Angama Mara to last; and Kenya is the home of safaris, so lets go back and start again. Our inspiration is drawn from the classic safari: romance, canvas, just the right amount of everything, an elegant simplicity and the desire to be always authentic. As quoted by Travel + Leisure magazine “to me, this is the ultimate site in Africa” Steve Fitzgerald. Angama is a place that will make you feel so present at the moment, so alive, that you can hear the words of Karen Blixen echoing-“If I know a song for Africa…does Africa know a song for me…”