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Seasons of Love

As we celebrate Angama’s birthday, Nicky wonders – how do you begin to measure the love that has been poured into our lodge over the past six years?
Above: Three million one hundred fifty-six thousand six hundred minutes and still smiling

Three million one hundred fifty-six thousand six hundred minutes
Three million one hundred fifty-six thousand six hundred minutes so dear
How do you measure? Measure six years?
In daybreaks, in sunsets, in game drives, in cups of coffee, in inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife
Three million one hundred fifty-six thousand six hundred minutes
How do you measure the life of a lodge?
How about love? Measure in love…Seasons of love…
Three million one hundred fifty-six thousand six hundred minutes
Three million one hundred fifty-six thousand six hundred minutes to plan, How do you measure all that love?

With abject apologies to Jonathan Larsen – Seasons of Love: RENT

Nicky and Steve poured their hearts into Angama Mara and we feel it every day

Flicking back through our gazillions of weekly stories (well, that is what it feels like anyway) one jumped out and grabbed at my heart – Angama of 1000 Days. Written by Steve just as we had survived our first two traumatic, rollercoaster, hilarious and heartbreaking in equal measure years, I felt I could not let our 6th birthday go past unsung. Yes, I am counting 2020 as a year in our beloved lodge’s life because it was a year when we grew up, grew stronger, grew more determined and grew even braver than before. The calculator on my phone swiftly informed me that we had loved our guests for three million one hundred fifty-six thousand six hundred minutes and of course that beautiful opening chorus from the musical RENT popped straight into my head and wouldn’t go away.

Smiles are infectious around Terry and Sadera

How do you measure all the love that has been poured into our lovely lodge’s six years? It’s easy. Simply look into the smiling eyes of 140 members of our Angama family and there you will see the love: the love of delighting guests; the love of being of service; the love of running a good business; the love of the wildlife; the love of giving back; and above all the love for each other.

Leshan and the rest of the Maasai are such an important part of our family–– and, of course, guest delight
We couldn't leave out our chefs who delight our guests at every meal with the love they put into every chop, whisk and peel

The past six years have tested us on every level but we rose to face the challenges and together found a way through them, under them, around them and over them. Our greatest test was the loss of Steve in October 2017 but together we took the first scary step without him and found that if we followed the path he had forged of ‘how’ we do things rather than ‘what’ we do it all made perfect sense. In his story of Angama of 1000 Days he wrote: ‘In 1969 I met my wife Nicky, an unmanageable whirling dervish, driven beyond comprehension, a creative and managerial whirlpool for whom ‘no’ and ‘we can’t’ are simply not acceptable.’ 

Unmanageable? Hmmm ….

Love coming from the shamba to the beading studio and everywhere in-between

Back to how do you measure love? I once saw this on the shirts of the wait staff in a restaurant: ‘Service Is Love Made Visible’. Three million one hundred fifty-six thousand six hundred minutes so dear and so wonderful and each one only made possible by the Angama family. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. Asanteni. Ashe Oleng. What we have achieved together would not have been possible with the love we share for what we do each day and that is delight our guests.

Happy 6th birthday. Pamoja tutashinda. Together we win.

Filed under: Inside Angama

Tagged with:

Angama Team , Celebration , Inside Angama , The Angama Way

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. Nicky retired as Angama's CEO in July of 2022 and remains an advisor and delightfully opinionated member of the Board.

Browse all articles by Nicky Fitzgerald Meet the angama team

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Join the Conversation (2 comments)

Comments (2):

Jeanne Nagy

15 June 2021

Happy Birthday, Angama! Here's to millions more minutes to come. All the Best SafariJeanne

    Charlotte Ross Stewart

    18 June 2021

    Thank you for the wishes SafariJeanne, I'll pass them on to the whole Angama family.

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