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A New Chapter

As he takes the reins, Angama's new CEO, Steve Mitchell, reflects on what — and more importantly who — has brought us here
Above: People first. Always.

When I began my entrepreneurial journey together with Nicky and Steve way back in 2010, little could I have predicted what lay ahead. All I knew was that I had a lot to learn, I loved this industry and its ability to offer people the best days of their lives, to create jobs for many and to protect nature by valuing it — and I steadfastly believed in them both, and moreover that others did too.
 
Somebody once described insanity entrepreneurship to me as, “The pursuit of opportunity without regard for current resources”, and so off we set on our merry way, first to the southern cone of Latin America, and when we couldn’t quite get that over the line as intended, then focused our attention on what would become Angama.

Two weeks before the arrival of our first guests, June 2015
Staff dinner a few days later, tables and chairs yet to arrive

Those early days from 2013 to 2015 are now somewhat of a blur; we moved fast and it was a steep learning curve. Raising capital, breaking ground, recruiting a team, telling the story — I remember moments of discovery, wonder, shock and joy as we somehow found our way through it all.

Ever so steadily, the number of guests picked up, the feedback reassured us of our direction and steered our path, and the capacity of the Angama team grew. In more recent years we’ve been able to add the Shamba, the Photographic Studio, the Map Room, Angama Safari Camp, launched a photography competition, and most importantly of all, add many new faces to the team — colourful characters and consummate professionals. Of course, all in our pursuit of delighting guests, day in and day out, celebrating the Maasai Mara and connecting guests with nature, with the Maasai people, with each other and with themselves.

The snakes and ladders of the Shamba came to life in 2016
Angama Safari Camp first pitched up in the Mara Triangle in 2020
Just a few of the constant smiles our guests have come to love

Soon we will break ground as we prepare to open Angama Amboseli next year. There, the view is not looking down across the endless plains of the Mara, but rather looking up — at glorious, majestic Kilimanjaro (did you know I’m smitten?). Yet our values, ethics, hospitality philosophy and the intangible thread of Angama remain the same: gracious and welcoming service delivered by Kenyans; contemporary, elegant design; irreplicable locations all held together by a true sense of place, and a good business that is equally a force for good — be it for Angama’s guests, the Angama team, our neighbouring communities, conservation partners, suppliers and everyone else in our orbit.

The Angama Foundation becomes a reality, March 2017
Hosting the Maasai elders of Amboseli at Angama Mara, November 2021

Angama’s partnerships with its Maasai landlords, community, and the park authorities count among its most important, and while they are all vociferous in their thanks for our support, it’s Angama who is thankful to them, for entrusting us with this precious opportunity to showcase the Mara with guests from all across the world.

Nicky infamously trimming the toilet brushes to fit the holders, June 2015
Her ceremonial passing of the "torch" to Steve, June 2022

So as Angama turns the page and starts a new chapter, I thank you for joining us on this journey: be it as a past guest; a future guest; a friend; a member of the broader Angama family or an aspirant one at that; or even just a curious bystander. We are only because of who you allow us to be, and your support strengthens our resolve to look after guests in places that matter more than ever.

Filed under: Inside Angama

Tagged with:

Angama Pride , Angama Staff , Angama Team

About: Steve Mitchell

Steve is a Co-Founder and the CEO of Angama Mara. Responsible for the vitality of the business along with the stewardship of the Angama Foundation, he is besotted with African travel and his golden retriever, Knox.

Browse all articles by Steve Mitchell Meet the angama team

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Join the Conversation (3 comments)

Comments (3):

Wangui Wangari

14 July 2022

Congratulations. Small steps manifestation!! Keep going. I acknowledge your humble beginnings

Njama Githui

13 July 2022

Congratulations on your humble beginnings and what you are doing to the community around you"minding other people welfare" .

Patrick kisiara

10 July 2022

You are the super duper hero at Angama lovely family💋💋

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