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Roughing it, Armani-style

When it comes to mapping out and executing the creation of a new camp - and a completely movable camp at that - Nicky discovers the devil really is in the detail
The brand new Angama Safari Camp Tents

I know it’s a bit of a stretch using Signor Armani when describing a camping experience in Africa but I am certain he wouldn’t mind. He may even be flattered? We don’t have sequins, hand spun fabrics, glass beads and exquisite lace adorning our drop dead gorgeous addition to the family, Angama Safari Camp, but we do have a heap of tiny, sometimes impractical and often humorous details throughout the camp which I felt needed a story all of their own. So no images here of anything other than the detail that our guests will love when they come to stay.

Hangers, headboards and brass buckles

The talented and some might say somewhat whacky team (not you, Ali) hunted down every item to reflect the perfect story of what it means to rough it in Africa. The spectrum of ‘roughing it’ is indeed wide but Angama’s guests rough it in Armani style. No shortcuts, no "it’s too much bother" and certainly no skimping. Spoiling our guests rotten is what we love doing best and delighting them with unexpected details is such fun for them and us. Kenya’s king of canvas, Jan Allan, lovingly detailed every square inch of the tents and I won’t bore you with the detailing that went into the padded quilted canvas covers for the solar panels. Africa’s design diva Annemarie Meintjes, patiently guided by Ali Mitchell, queen of details, insisted that every guest touchpoint had to be ‘on brand’. No ifs, no buts.

Wood, copper and a pop of red; textures abound

Needless to say planning, executing, shipping from all four corners and installing these delightful guest touches in the middle of nowhere was nothing short of miraculous in The Time of Covid.

But happily it all came together in time and in the middle of nowhere for the hugely talented Paris Brummer to photograph the camp last month. I know she will shoot me – and not photographically – but I have to add that she is Annemarie’s daughter and watching this family duo work their magic was a joy.

Surrounded by such beauty, you'll never want to leave your tent

It’s a problem when the mother ship is so wonderfully detailed in the simplest of ways. Angama Mara is all about the design of the tents, the architecture of the guest area buildings, the design of the John Vogel furniture, and the brass touches, or jewellery as Annemarie describes it. So why should the baby be any different? Well, of course there is the ever so small challenge of packing it all up and moving it every couple of weeks which thankfully is not something needing to be tackled at Angama Mara.

Board games, of course!

Maestro Armani would certainly approve that the detail when camping is not to be contained indoors but also to be scattered across the rolling plains of the Maasai Mara. And liberally so.

And then of course, there's the writing desk, the food and the camp fire

Enough said. Pack your bags and come. You will be so glad you did.

Note From The Editor:

Just in case you are worried that the camp doesn’t really exist please check please view all the details here and check out the images on the gallery page here

Filed under: Safari Style

Tagged with:

Angama Design , Angama Mara , Angama Safari Camp , Design , Kenyan Design

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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