Farewell Seattle and Hello the Mara

Farewell Seattle and Hello the Mara

25 November 2014 | Inside Angama |

Leaving baseball and buffalo wings behind, Shannon Davis tells the story of her and Tyler's giant leap from Seattle to the Mara and how they became Angama Mara's first Regional Directors

We have been dreaming of it for years. Having been together for nearly a decade, Tyler and I were determined to make our dream a reality and embark on a grand adventure abroad together – specifically, Africa. We’ve done our share of traveling all over the world, together and independently, and both felt a deep connection to Africa. With itchy feet and a loose plan, we handed in our notices at our current jobs, ready to face the world head on and see what came our way.

It wasn’t easy saying goodbye to a job I loved, working as a pediatric nurse at Seattle Children’s Hospital. Tyler was in the middle of a flourishing career as a guide and destination specialist for Evergreen Escapes, a Pacific Northwest-based adventure travel company. But we knew if we didn’t take the leap now, we may never. Adventure was calling and our eyes were wide open. Our first step – (besides cleaning out our condo, renting it, selling most of our furniture, and finally buying a 1980 VW Vanagon named Sophi that we thought would blaze the trail ahead and possibly become our new home) was exploring our own backyard in the Pacific Northwest.


We enjoyed our first phase of adventure, which we jokingly referred to as “early retirement.” With no schedule to keep, we spent as much time as we could outdoors, climbing mountains, sipping hot cocoa under the stars, and drinking local microbrews with friends when we were back in Seattle in between road trips. It was somewhere between Stehekin, Washington, and Banff, Alberta, that Nicky and Steve got the crazy idea that we should come to Kenya and visit the Maasai Mara.

The dull parts of exploring various other jobs far and wide I’ll omit, because we were immediately drawn to the idea of returning to the African bush, this time indefinitely, to join the Angama Mara dream. Upon our arrival, we witnessed the progress being made as construction was underway, and smelled the sweet earthy air that only Africa can offer. Where the veranda of the guest lodge is soon to be laid, Nicky invited us to step out upon the precipice and take in the view, because as she said, “You only get one first look.”

Spanning far and wide, with blues and greens framing the scene, herds of buffalo in the distance, and clouds at eye level decorating the Mara floor with shadowy blotches, I knew life couldn’t get much better. Suddenly the fact of never using my brand new skis in the Rocky Mountains mattered very little. We knew we’d found our new home, and new adventure. But it wasn’t only the view that had us convinced. During our stay in Kenya with the Angama Mara team, we knew we were among family. One large, loud, wacky family, all too similar to my own and only making me love it all the more. Through the chaos, we were inspired by the vision that Nicky and Steve have. Jumping in with both feet, leaving baseball and buffalo wings behind, our safari is soon to begin and we can’t wait to be a part of this amazing journey.

Though you only get one first look over the Rift Valley from the top of the escarpment where Angama Mara lays, the view is still magical each and every time. We can’t wait to call it home.

Shannon and Tyler


FILED UNDER: Inside Angama

AUTHOR: Shannon Davis

Shannon is one half of the Regional Director team here at the lodge (Tyler is the other). Shan has not, as far as I know, acquired a taste for chai, mbuzi or ugali. But her addiction for Kenyan coffee and Farmer Oseko’s avos has no bounds. She is banned from Bush BBQ.

Charles Kingori
November 25, 2014

Welcome home Shannon &Tyler, though am far but I believe a big team for Angama Mara is reckoning come 2015. Passionately looking forward to a working alongside the new team and do what I know most in camps logistics and supply chain. Thanks and God bless Angama and mind behind it!

    Sara de Maine Kearns
    June 8, 2016

    Can hardly wait to see The Angama team for the second time. I too have been completely spoiled by the Angama Magic..see you on the 21st. Lucky guests.

pierre grimes
December 15, 2014

Good luck and God speed! Bev and I are envious of your great adventure! God knows when we will be traveling to South Africa again. We hope it won’t be too long.

Obadiah Munema
January 16, 2015

Welcome to Mara and we hope to be your good neighbors.

Obadiah Munema
January 16, 2015

Welcome to Transmara.

James kirisia
May 4, 2015

good job guys all the best in Angama mara was very good meeting you guys

This Week At Anagma #118 - Angama Mara
May 8, 2020

[…] has always been one of my favourite photographs taken by Tyler Davis. It is rather simple, but the colours and the framing are perfect. This time each year, the Cornell […]

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