Meet the Founders

Steve & Nicky Fitzgerald

Having delighted travellers for over 40 years, creating and running some of the finest safari lodges across Africa and India for &Beyond, the lifelong dream of building Angama Mara drew renowned operators Steve & Nicky Fitzgerald out of retirement, saving their best for last.


Steve Mitchell

Angama was co-founded by Steve Mitchell, a finance-trained professional attracted to the opportunity presented by this remarkable site, the adventure of a start-up and the role that business can play as a catalyst for change.

Having previously served in a variety of roles, Mitch served as CEO from July 2022 through 2023, ensuring the continuity of values on which the business was founded. Persistent to a fault and naturally curious, he brought an entrepreneurial approach to growing the business across East Africa including opening Angama Amboseli, while ensuring Angama was a model citizen — in part through the work of the Angama Foundation — and continually developing Angama’s team of professionals in their daily pursuit to deliver high-touch guest experiences.

Nicky Fitzgerald

Nicky spent four decades developing numerous hotels, restaurants and over 50 luxury safari lodges across both sub-Saharan Africa and India. After qualifying from the University of Cape Town with an arts degree in English and History, she quickly discovered that her calling lay in taking care of guests. Together with Steve, she co-founded Halcyon Hotels in South Africa’s Cape and in 1994 joined &Beyond.

At &Beyond, Nicky spent her first eight years at the coal-face of lodge operations, one of her proudest achievements being the development of the Ngorongoro Crater Lodge in Tanzania. From 2002, Nicky took full responsibility for sales and marketing for the group and spent the next seven years on an aeroplane: telling the company’s remarkable story far and wide and directing a team that developed &Beyond into one of the world’s leading experiential travel brands. It is this network of long-standing relationships across the globe which Nicky prizes above all, and which has resulted in her being consistently recognised by her peers for her contribution to the industry: as a judge in various capacities, Relais & Chateaux Woman of the Year, and most recently, as a board member for the Adventure Travel Conservation Fund.

After Steve’s death in 2017, Nicky served as CEO until her retirement in June 2022. She continues to serve as a shareholder and non-executive director on Angama’s board and is a respected thought leader and keynote speaker in the hospitality industry.

Nicky’s Stories

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Nicky Fitzgerald | 5 January 2022

30 Years of Packing for Safari (into a 15kg Duffle)

I have to come clean here. First and foremost I am a world-class petty smuggler. I have been doing this for years — generator spare…
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Nicky Fitzgerald | 22 November 2021

Keep Calm and Come When It’s Green (& Gorgeous)

Before Toto’s lyrics take up permanent residence in that space between your ears let’s focus on the facts about rain in Africa in general, and…
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Nicky Fitzgerald | 1 July 2022

The Wind Beneath My Wings

‘It might have appeared to go unnoticed, But I’ve got it all here in my heart,I want you to know I know the truth, of…
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Steve Fitzgerald

Born and educated in South Africa, Steve spent 37 years building two substantial hospitality businesses. First, he founded Halcyon Hotels in 1981, a group which included Cape Town’s Bay Hotel and Blues Restaurant, among others. Thereafter he joined &Beyond, then known as CC Africa, and from 1994 served as the Managing Director / CEO until his departure 15 years later in 2009.

At &Beyond, he was instrumental in growing the business from three safari lodges in South Africa to over 50 lodges across all of sub-Saharan Africa and India, as well as travel management and property development divisions. During his tenure, &Beyond became the first lodge company to acquire a tour operating business and realize the value in vertical integration up the supply chain. A couple of Steve’s most notable achievements at &Beyond include negotiating lease agreements with communities across Africa; expansion initiatives into India; and the conclusion of a groundbreaking land claim settlement in South Africa.

After his departure from &Beyond, Steve explored several opportunities in Central and South America. He credited his achievements to inspiring a common vision, never wavering from core values and the absolute empowerment of staff. The development of Angama Mara was the fulfilment of a long-held dream of his, to build a lodge on this beautiful piece of land.

Steve passed away in October 2017, following an unexpected complication after a successful heart transplant. Angama Mara stands proudly as his legacy, and together the team honour his memory up high on the edge of Africa’s Great Rift Valley.