It’s a Dog’s Life…

19 August 2015 | Inside Angama |

Many people may wonder what it is that keeps the Johannesburg team with one foot in Johannesburg and the other in our beautiful new lodge with killer views?

Well, the answer is simple really: none of us could move to the Mara without our beloved dogs and the Reserve might just have one too many leopards, eagles and the odd snake for our comfort. In the Johannesburg office, we have three fury team members who are regular visitors – not a bad ratio for only 6 staff.

Meet Charlie Fitzgerald

Charlie Fitzgerald


Meet Charlie Fitzgerald, belonging to Nicky and Steve. Weighing in at all of 3kgs, Charlie is the office’s most regular visitor, who happily positions herself on her Maasai shuka throughout the day, peering out of the corner of her eye watching the (sometimes) organised chaos that comes with the running of a brand new lodge. Charlie’s older ‘sister’ Ella, prefers mostly to stay at home, but is still very much part of the Angama Mara family.

Knox Mitchell

Knox Mitchell


Third in the Jozi office is the joyful and hugely enthusiastic Knox Mitchell, belonging to Steve and Ali. If Knox is not visiting the Angama Mara offices, he can often be found hanging with Ella, waiting for his parents to fetch him after work. We also have two extended Californian members of the Angama Mara canine clan, both handsome Bernese mountain dogs – Sedona and Shasta – who belong to Ellen Freschauf of Selected Escapes, who represents us in North America.

Ellen's dogs

Sedona and Shasta


As you may have gathered, we are slightly dog-crazy, and so it was to mine and Nicky’s joy that while we were telling the Angama Mara story (and what a story it is to tell) far and wide, we met more delightful ‘dogs in travel’.

Allow me to take you to Her Majesty’s Kingdom and introduce you to ‘Marty the Puggle’ from Journey’s By Design, and lurchers Jodie, Sally and Dinka from Steppes Travel.

From Left to Right: Marty, Jodie, Sally and Dinka

From Left to Right: Marty, Jodie, Sally and Dinka


When we flew west from the continent we so lovingly call home and the dogs we cherish, we came across Masin in New York City (In the Know Travel Service), Fiddler in San Francisco (Fugazi Travel), Arabella (Great Safaris) and Pumpkin (Anastasia’s Africa) in Los Angeles.

From Left to Right: Masin, Fiddler, Arabella and Pumpkin

From Left to Right: Masin, Fiddler, Pumpkin and Arabella.


The only real difficulty that comes with meeting these engaging dogs in travel, is that Nicky and I get completely homesick for Ella, Charlie and Knox, and end up smooching the pooches and telling them all about Angama Mara in embarrassing puppy-talk-voices rather than professionally presenting to their owners the lovely lodge we have just opened on the edge of the Great Rift Valley…

Ellen once said ‘In my next life, I am coming back as my dogs!’ These words echo as I sit and watch Charlie on her red shuka being indulged by every passing Angama Marian.


FILED UNDER: Inside Angama

AUTHOR: Kate Fitzgerald Boyd

Kate was born in a chafing dish – well almost. The date she was due to arrive was perilously close to Christmas and her mother wasn’t taking any chances so out she came just in time for a decent Christmas dinner to be served to the guests at the hotel of her childhood. Back-of-house babies, they call them. And she has never looked back and now logs more air miles than she knows what to do with sharing the Angama Mara story far and wide.

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