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Celebrating 30 Years of Out of Africa

Angama Mara celebrates 30 years since the movie Out of Africa swept the oscars by sharing some of our favourite moments from the movie and the story
The crest of the Out of Africa kopje featured on the movie’s poster

Thirty years ago Sydney Pollack’s beautiful movie Out of Africa swept the boards at the 1986 Oscars with 11 nominations and 7 wins: Best Picture, Cinematography, Sound, Music (Original Score), Writing, Art Direction and, of course, Directing. We love this great Kenyan story, part of which was filmed on Angama Mara’s property, and to celebrate this 30th anniversary we chose our thirty favourite moments many of which we share with our guests when they come and stay with us.

We chose our favourite quotes from both the book and the movie:

“He even took the gramophone on safari. Three rifles, supplies for a month, and Mozart.”

“You know you are truly alive when you are living among lions”

“If I know a song of Africa, of the giraffe and the African new moon lying on her back, of the plows in the fields and the sweaty faces of the coffee pickers, does Africa know a song of me?”

We shared our favourite nods to the story that are scattered about our lodge. The bath, inspired by the one in Nairobi’s Karen Blixen Museum, set the story for the interiors of the lodge: the lovely John Vogel screens, the Rampel chair, the single red rose; the books in all the guest tents and of course not forgetting Denys Finch Hatton’s yellow Gypsy Moth.

We researched stories from the film set. When Meryl Streep heard that Sydney Pollack thought she wasn’t ‘sexy enough’ to play Karen Blixen, in a televised interview she countered: “So I went to my audition wearing something very low cut, cheap – but it worked” Karen Blixen’s house that is today a lovely museum was not used for the filming of Out of Africa.

It was filmed in her first farmhouse, Mbagathi, where Blixen lived between 1914 and 1917 And just down the hill from Angama Mara is the charming sole-use villa Mara Enkipai, located on the banks of the Mara River where ’that’ hair-washing moment was captured on film.

And finally, tucked in between the Pavilion and South Camp at Angama Mara is DFH’s film gravesite where Meryl so sorrowfully reflected:

“Now take back the soul of Denys George Finch Hatton, whom you have shared with us. He brought us joy, we loved him well. He was not ours. He was not mine.”

The beautiful moth tree from his grave site in the movie

Filed under: Inside Angama

Tagged with:

Denys Finch Hatton , Karen Blixen , Out of Africa

About: Nicky Fitzgerald

After more than 30 years in hospitality, starting with a small hotel at the foot of Africa and followed by a further couple of Cape hotels, most notably The Bay, and sixty plus safari lodges across Africa and India, Nicky has served more meals, puffed more cushions, filled more beds, trained more staff and opened more properties than she cares to remember. Her driving force is ‘will our guests love this?’ She has come full circle and is happily puffing, cooking, training and filling to her heart’s content high up on the edge of Kenya’s Great Rift Valley at Angama Mara.

Browse all articles by Nicky Fitzgerald Meet the angama team

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Join the Conversation (2 comments)

Comments (2):

Christian Caldara

3 March 2016

Kudos Nicky, i was French and came to Kenya when 19 years of age in 1974,opened a restaurant in the then French Cultural Center,did a lot of tourism as coordinator for French incentives,and ended up as partner in Alan Bobbe's bistro where all the crew of Out of Africa dinned,i am kenyan now and try to open my own little lodge.you can find it on Facebook at olpopogni MASAI BOMA LODGE.Welcome to our world!

    Nicky Fitzgerald

    4 March 2016

    Many thanks Christian and delighted to be part of the Kenyan tourism family

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