At the age of 96, I was sure that my days of long-distance travel and bumpy rides were far behind me.
But that was before my family suggested a once-in-a-lifetime reunion at Angama Mara, where my grandson Steve is the chief executive. I had visited previously, briefly, way back in 2015 when it had just opened — but never thought I would have the opportunity to return.
I could not have wished for a more heart-warming and memorable experience. Twenty-six of us from Australia, Canada, South Africa and the USA, ranging in age from 2 to 96, enjoyed five days of exceptional hospitality.
As I relaxed on the deck of my tented suite overlooking the vast expanse of the Masai Mara, I felt as if I was looking into heaven. I didn’t know views like this existed anymore. I needed no prompting to go on a couple of game drives, highlighted by sightings of lions and countless elephants, not to mention herds of impala, zebra, buffalo, and many beautiful birds. The younger generation saw even more: two leopard sightings at close range, a cheetah killing a Thomson’s gazelle, a black rhino mother and calf… and much more. Our expert guides, Sophie, Alice and Robert, helped bring it all to life and were excellent company for all ages — very young, very old, as well as those in the middle.
The meals were exceptional; it was hard to decide what to choose from the extensive menus. Not only was the food delicious, with many of the vegetables and herbs grown in the "Shamba" or garden, but dinner was served in a different location every night. One evening, the staff put on a BBQ in the forest, and my grandchildren and great-grandchildren kindly entertained me at their table, before James regaled us with a story about an umbrella and a lion, growing up as a Maasai. One picnic-style lunch was served outdoors at the Shamba, under the big Moth tree, which was my favourite.
Thank you for such a wonderful experience that brought four generations of my family together, including all seven of my great-grandchildren. It was an experience that will be cherished always. Perhaps we'll be back for my 100th birthday celebration!
(Written with a little help from my son, Bernard.)
Filed under: Stories from Angama
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