Our guests’ happiness is everybody’s business and nothing is ever too much trouble. Staff are chosen because above all they love being of service to others – something Kenyans have deep in their DNA. At Angama Mara, the staff village was built with the same attention to detail as the guest accommodation. We take care of our staff, and the staff takes care of our guests.
Azei leads the charge at Angama Mara with a calm and can-do attitude. Quick to laugh and always with a smile, Azei is a much loved and respected member of the team having earned his reputation during the lodge’s installation where he took charge of the arduous task of ensuring every single thing was safely transported from the warehouse into just the right place. With his usual aplomb, he made it look easy. Graduating from Kenya Utalii College with a diploma in both Hotel Management and Marketing, Azei has worked as a Hotel Manager, Trainer and Events Planner before joining the Angama team. With a love of mentorship and a passion for service excellence, nothing gives Azei more joy than a happy guest.
Angama Mara’s two totally separate camps, of just 15 tents each, are smoothly run by camp managers Joseph Kosen, Josephat Mwateri and relief camp manager Ibrahim Hussein, who between them have many years’ experience taking care of top-end safari travellers and delighting guests. They are ably assisted by our gracious and quietly efficient head butlers. Butlers fulfil a very important role at Angama Mara. With a warm smile, drinks and ‘bitings’ (Kenyan for snacks) always at the ready, they are often the first person you see as they deliver a fresh pot of coffee to your tent for your morning wake up call and the last to bid you goodnight after serving you dinner and planning your day of adventure that lies ahead.
Our safari guides sit at the heart of the Angama Mara guest experience. The guides have been selected first and foremost as great story tellers, and the rest flows from that: commitment to guest safety, ability to find animals off the beaten track, knowledge of the bush, and most of all, an ability to give our guests the best time ever. Head Guide Sammy Komu and his second-in-command Douglas Onsongo lead a remarkable team of 17 highly-qualified veteran guides and Maasai naturalists. The guiding team plans game drives in the lovely Mara Triangle entirely around what guests want – an early drive before breakfast, then back out after lunch; a late morning drive with picnic lunch; or an all day Mara safari with both a picnic breakfast and lunch.
What is the food at Angama Mara all about? Delicious food served with a sweet smile at a time when guests want to eat it in a place of their choosing – hard to beat. The kitchen team, led by head chef Collins and assisted by camp chefs Evans and Joseph; bakers Corridon and Kina; and picnic maestros Irene and Hudson, works wonders with fresh local ingredients. The chefs try at all times to celebrate the finest produce for which Kenya is renowned: grass-fed beef, fresh vegetables from the highlands, tropical fruits and seafood from the coast – amongst many others. The result is food which is simple yet delicious; unfussy but oh-so-good to look at; always generous and joyful, and sometimes surprising.
It takes a well-oiled back-of-house team to keep a lodge of this scale running smoothly. James Koikai leads a merry band of tent stewards and laundry staff in keeping everything and everyone as spotless as can be; Misheck Murage keeps the administration and finances in check; master builder and engineer Cyrus Kimongo and his maintenance crew ensure the lodge stays shipshape; and the safety of our guests rests in the professional hands of John Wayongo and his team of askaris. Although mostly behind the scenes, these wonderful teams work tirelessly to keep the lodge wheels turning smoothly day after day after day.
Shannon and Tyler joined the Angama Mara team in January 2015 as employees #3 and #4. Tyler came to the company with years of experience as a private guide and Shannon, amongst many other talents, is a US-qualified pediatric nurse. Based on site at Angama Mara, their primary role is to throw a protective net around the the lodge team, so that they can all get on with delighting guests. Hailing from Seattle, it is no surprise that Shannon is a total coffee addict and that she loves all things food and wine – lucky for her she is also happens to be a total exercise junky. Tyler is a birder extraordinaire and ensures we are a grounded and well-rounded team. He also sometimes forgets to take his binoculars off at dinnertime.