To say I was excited to visit Angama Safari Camp is an understatement — I was counting down the days the way children anticipate their birthdays. What excited me most? The idea of spending four days surrounded by only animals and nature, with no WiFi or contact with the outside world.
A new member of the Angama marketing team, this was my first trip to Kenya and the Mara — it’s not lost on me that this is an introduction that most people only dream of. Believe me, I’m still pinching myself as I write this. Travelling with my colleague Charlotte (a regular contributor to the Angama blog) and travel photographer Teagan, we set out to experience and capture the essence of the camp.
Arriving at the Kampi ya Mungu Campsite, a 45-minute drive from the lodge, the first thing you notice is how much space there is around you. Each of the guest tents is generously tucked away with enough privacy and uninterrupted views of the landscape around it. We were welcomed by the waving hands and welcoming smiles of Camp Manager Ibrahim and his team.
We started the trip excitedly shaking hands and making small talk, but by the end of our stay, we were hugging each person as if they had become family. Which, in a way, they had — Angama Safari Camp is an exclusive-use mobile camp with four tents sleeping eight people, so you will only be sharing the space with your group and these fantastic hosts.
Ibrahim led us into the guest area (the most luxurious setup you can imagine in the wild, complete with a red leather couch) for our brief introduction to our next few days. First things first — there are no boundaries between us and the animals so we must be vigilant. Not to fear, however, the askari (security guards) in the form of Joshua during the day and rangers from the Mara Conservancy at night, are there to patrol and walk with us as needed. The only thing we needed to worry about was the ‘siafu’, the infamous biting ants that are not afraid to bite anything and everything. A few days later, I caught two chewing on my leather boots.
Introductions over, we were taken to our individual tents to unpack and explore our homes for the next few days. As a lover of history and literature, I felt like I had taken a step back in time. My over-active imagination ignored the subtle modern additions such as lights and (solar-powered) charging stations. Instead, it focused on the canvas tent, the lanterns gently hanging in the corners and the nostalgic enamel bucket and jugs acting as my wash basin. The act of pouring water from the jugs to wash up before lunch made me feel transported to an era when you simply couldn’t rush things.
Every day, as I walked from my tent to the beautiful meals set up either under the gazebo, around the fire, or in the guest area, I took a moment to really slow down, look and listen. There were insects flying around in the grass as I walked, birds chirping in every tree and, as if in a movie, I could hear the breeze all around me. All the meals were served family-style, which meant each of us could taste everything — you simply have to when everything looks so mouthwateringly good. With no other distractions, we spent each meal at a leisurely pace, sharing stories.
One afternoon we were watching the elephants roam a small distance away from us. As Charlotte was watching the baby elephants through her binos she suddenly called me to confirm whether she had indeed spotted a lion. I grabbed my binoculars and joined her, and right there we locked eyes with a pride of 6 lionesses in front of us. Our first thought was whether there was enough distance between us and them, we felt there was but told Joshua about the lions just to be safe. Then we spent the afternoon waiting for an interaction between the lions and elephants. Once the elephants started moving closer to the lions they just kept a watchful eye, until one elephant got a bit too close for comfort and a big male lion decided to rather get up and move than risk an altercation with an elephant.
Every night I fell asleep to the sounds of hyenas calling to each other in the distance. The lions did not treat us to some roaring but perhaps they’ll make an appearance next time. My favourite sound is that of rain tapping on a canvas tent like a drum. One night, the heavens opened and we had a downpour and I fell asleep to my symphony.
Filed under: Stories from Angama
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