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Then & Now: A Year of Miracles

12 April 2016 | Inside Angama |

Who would have thought just twelve months ago, in April 2015, our lovely lodge would make such an extraordinary recovery from Construction Catastrophe to this?

North Camp guest area

THEN & NOW: NORTH CAMP GUEST AREA

 

These ‘then’ pictures were snapped during a site visit between 6 – 10 April 2015. The fact we were just 10 weeks to opening hadn’t really dawned on us – the thought was too terrifying to contemplate.

North Camp Armoire - then

THEN & NOW: NORTH CAMP ARMOIRE

North Camp Armoire - now

All we knew was that the rains were about to begin – which they did with a vengeance right through to well past our opening date – and the 500 builders on site had to pull off a miracle.

Pool Pavilion Deck

THEN & NOW: POOL PAVILION DECK

 

We tried our darndest to minimise the havoc that this project caused with the site – not one significant tree was felled but the grass and small shrubs took a hammering. And we despaired.

Angama Pool Pavilion - then

THEN & NOW: POOL PAVILION

Angama Pool Pavilion - now

The rehabilitation of the site started just days before our first guests arrived on 23 June 2015 and continued at a furious pace for four months mostly using locally gathered grasses, crotons and leleshwa bushes.

South Camp tents

THEN & NOW: SOUTH CAMP TENTS

 

The sheer determination of Cyrus, our maintenance wizard, and his team of garden fundis paid dividends beyond our wildest imaginings. When the rains didn’t fall each patch of garden, if you could call it that, was lovingly watered by hand – all 10 acres of it.

North Camp Library - then

THEN & NOW: NORTH CAMP LIBRARY

North Camp Library - now

And the rain gods played their part … and some. We could practically see the plants, grasses and trees growing. We should have kept faith that the bush surrounding our lodge would simply regenerate itself.

South Camp Guest Area

THEN & NOW: SOUTH CAMP GUEST AREA

 

On 6 April 2016 our photographer-in-residence, Tyler Davis, took my iPhone shots from a year earlier and using a proper camera took exactly the same photographs. They say it all.

 

AUTHOR: 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.

COMMENTS (8)
Jesse Fincher Jr.
April 12, 2016

You guys are amazing .
So much positive work in today’s world is so rare and refreshing.

REPLY
glenn oltmanns
April 14, 2016

Nicky and Steve – definitely celebration time for what you have achieved!

REPLY
    Nicky Fitzgerald
    April 14, 2016

    Thank you Glen – you saw Angama Mara in its infancy – we are all grown up now … in the botanical sense of the word

    REPLY
michael crosby
May 3, 2016

What a splendid realization of a dream!
We remember the old Keekorok lodge from over 23 years ago when Kenya opened up to SA!! Angama is on our list.
PS. Good friends of Will and Brandy Taylor and Rhys!!
Best,
Michael & Hilary Crosby, Dallas, TX.

REPLY
    Nicky Fitzgerald
    May 5, 2016

    Hi Michael and Hilary
    So good to hear from you and delighted you are following our blog – thank you!
    I saw Brandy and Will recently when they were in the Mara – so good to catch up with them both again.
    And as for master Rhys … no words to describe that cuteness.
    We look forward to welcoming you back to the Mara soon
    warm regards
    Nicky Fitzgerald

    REPLY
Nature's Way —
April 25, 2017

[…] 500 builders scurrying about by the end of that same year. It was such a remarkable change, that we wrote a blog about it exactly one year […]

REPLY
Going Going and so nearly Gone - Angama Mara
April 24, 2018

[…] from the Editor: For any doubting Thomases please read our  2016 and 2017 stories. FILED UNDER: Inside Angama TAGGED WITH: About, AngamaMara, Architecture, […]

REPLY
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