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Cape Town to the Mara

In a once-in-a-lifetime 60th birthday trip, Christine and her husband Louis drove 10 000km from the tip of Africa all the way to Kenya
Above: Christine looks out over the Mara wrapped in her Maasai red African Jacquard throw

I had the honour and pleasure of meeting Nicky and Steve Fitzgerald a few years ago, providing our services (my company, African Jacquard, supplies textiles to Angama). In the course of our different meetings, Nicky often offered to have me visit Angama Mara. One day, one day. But I did not see myself just getting on a plane and going there. Too easy, too simple. My husband, Louis, always said, “My dream is to see the Marquesas Islands in the Pacific Ocean — but only I go there sailing,” which we did in 2003. I took this idea into account: “For my 60th birthday, I’m going to Angama Mara but only by car, driving myself!” Luckily, my dear husband spent a few months preparing the car to be able to sleep in and all the navigation.

The sign to Angama — the ultimate goal of our trip
We arrived with our dirty Pumba vehicle to such a warm welcome

Why drive 10 000km? I wanted to feel the hollows and bumps of Africa, ride on the back of this dear continent, take the elevation little by little, feel the equator at 1800m, descend degrees of latitude 1 by 1 from 36° south to reach 0°! I used to live on the other side of Africa on the same horizontal line but at sea level. I can feel it now — this is not the same Africa, not the same people.
 
Angama Mara on the zig-zag Oloololo escarpment, as the Maasai call it, dominates the infinity of the African plains that I love. This view fills me with deep joy.

We discovered the place and the view — breathtaking
Here I am, this view often seen on Instagram, here I am, here I am…

Josephat welcomed us and explained straight away at the bar you can help yourself, simple, and there — sirop de grenadine! All of my childhood is coming back, served into a glass exactly like in my parents’ home (I am French, born and bred).
 
We are offered a light meal — delicious, with the view— and cutlery from Laguiole in the Aveyron region in France, very well known. It is a fantastic place where I took Louis 40 years ago for one of his first randonnée (mountain trekking) deep in France. Louis was born and bred in Congo, so he knows Africa better than France. I wanted to show him our country when we met; so using Laguiole knives — all the memories came back.

I was very excited to go and see Angama Safari Camp along the Mara River. I had with me my own red throw and discovered it on the bed in camp, overlooking the river where there was a crocodile lying in the sun — oh my word. I felt proud to have created something that fits so well in that environment, a place I never knew on earth before.

In matching throws
The cooking fire on the river

One of the highlights was breakfast in the bush, under a tree, overlooking the plains, just at the foot of the escarpment. I loved it. It was like playing dinette, with the check red and white table cloth, so French, all the tin boxes that you open and discover perfectly wrapped delicious sandwiches with red and blue string. Imagine in the middle of nowhere, a red and blue string just to make it look nice. The quietness, the food, the scenery — I was out of Africa. We went to visit Steve Fitzgerald’s fig tree that he loved; it was a way to pay our respects to him. Such a beautiful tree.

A little bit of France in the Mara
Paying our respects at Steve's tree

Back at the tents, I admired the details on the door to the bag hanging in the entrance with our African Jacquard fabric lined in it. I love going behind the scenes, that is where you see more of the deep spirit. I was so well received, I could discuss fabric quality, how to remove a stain and how to maintain great linen quality. It was a pleasure to see that our oversized tablecloths were totally immaculate!

The African Jacquard tablecloths at Angama Safari Camp
A bathroom built like a cathedral! What a treat!
Reading glasses for one who may have lost theirs. Isn’t that incredible?
In the Map Room discussing the Maasai Mara, the Triangle, the Serengeti, Amboseli, Maasai and Kenyan history
Reading my favorite author who wrote so well about Kenya, Joseph Kessel
And we come back to the view, to the light, at night, early in the morning.

Thank you, Nicky; thank you, Alison; thank you to the wonderful Angama Mara team for spoiling us and receiving us like a king and queen!

A big thank you for an unforgettable time of our lives
After leaving, we camped on the banks of the Sand River, bordering Tanzania
I’m not afraid of the contrast after being spoilt – back to Robinson Crusoe life

Notes from the Editor:

Christine is one of our fabulous suppliers and is responsible for many of our favourite textiles. You can find her collection of South-African designed, weaved and produced textiles here.

Filed under: Inside Angama

Tagged with:

Angama Design , Angama Mara , Angama Safari Camp , Picnic

About: Christine Daron

Christine is the founder and creative director of African Jacquard. If you have slept in one of our beds, you will be familiar with their beautiful textiles.

Browse all articles by Christine Daron Meet the angama team

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