Everything you ever needed to know about a trip to Angama Mara:
how to get there, what to pack, and what to expect at the lodge
Kenya has extremely strict laws and regulations when it comes to bringing drones into the country. In order to operate a drone, a permit needs to be acquired from the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority – this is a rather lengthy process and a permit is not guaranteed. Furthermore, drones are not permitted to fly in or over the Maasai Mara Reserve and for the privacy of our guests we do not allow drones to be flown at the lodge. For further information, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Gratuities are not included and are entirely at guests’ discretion. We are often asked for advice and the following may act as a guideline:
- Guests tip their safari guide and butler separately: US$ 40 and US$ 20 (per room per day) respectively
- Gratuities for the lodge team are pooled and distributed amongst the entire staff: US$ 15 (per room per day)
Gratuities may be paid in cash or credit card and can be added to a guest’s account for settlement on departure.
HOW TO GET THERE
Angama Mara is easily accessed by plane from Nairobi’s Wilson Airport, and there are several scheduled daily flights that land at the lodge’s private airfield, located just a few minutes away. To book your scheduled or private chartered flights to Angama Mara please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Angama Mara’s airfield is 1,260m long with GPS co-ordinates 1° 16′ 17.7” S; 34° 57′38.7”E, and suitable for almost all turbo-prop planes. (For more about the orientation, PCN etc, please download the Aerodrome licence.)
Nairobi is well serviced by all major international airlines, including the national carrier Kenya Airways. For popular flight routes from all over the world, please view this interactive map. Other airlines currently flying directly to Kenya’s capital include British Airways, KLM/AirFrance, Lufthansa, Turkish Airways, Etihad, Emirates, Qatar Airways, and South African Airways, with numerous code-share options available. For the booking of international flights, please consult your preferred travel agent or online resource (we love HipMunk).
Another popular route to Angama Mara is to connect via the Serengeti and cross the Tanzania/Kenya border west of the Mara. Both Kilimanjaro and Dar es Salaam airports are well connected, and from there a network of flights connect to the Serengeti safari lodges and camps. From the Serengeti, it’s a short hop to Tarime, a quick road transfer across the border to the Migori airstrip in Kenya, and another short hop into the Mara. All in all, if you left a Serengeti camp in the morning, you could be in the Mara in time for lunch. Once again we would be delighted to book these flights for you.
Angama Safaris offers a dedicated concierge service in Nairobi to assist with airport meet & greet, chauffeured transfers around the city and all flights to Angama Mara. Please contact us for further information.
MEDICAL ADVICE: MALARIA & YELLOW FEVER
Many countries require travellers to have a Yellow Fever certificate prior to returning from a visit to Kenya, including children from the age of 9 months. For updated advice, we recommend consulting the WHO’s international travel & health department, and checking their list of specific country requirements.
Angama Mara is located at an altitude of 1900m and in a low-risk malarial area, and each Tented Suite is equipped with mosquito and bug repellent. In both instances, and for any other inoculations, it is recommended that guests consult a specialist travel physician or travel clinic prior to travelling.
MEDICAL EMERGENCIES & EVACUATION
All guests at Angama Mara are covered by an insurance policy for evacuation due to a medical emergency, of up to US$25,000 – which would typically include evacuation by fixed-wing plane directly from Angama Mara Airfield to Wilson Airport in Nairobi, and transfer to the renowned Nairobi Private Hospital.
For your peace of mind, AMREF are the subcontracted transport providers.
Trained paramedics and nurses are available over the phone 24 hours a day 7 days a week, and can assist with any diagnosis or treatment advice, these services provided by Africa Assist.
At the lodge, each safari vehicle is also equipped with a first aid kit, and over 20 staff are trained in basic First Aid, including all guides and camp managers. The lodge’s medical kit is compliant with the Interhealth Worldwide base kit, and of course the new Angama Clinic with its resident medical officer is always available to attend to any guest ailment, and Shannon Davis, the Regional Director based at the lodge, is a US-qualified paediatric nurse with experience in these matters.
Park fees are charged by the Mara Conservancy in order to enter into the Mara Triangle, where Angama Mara conducts open air game drives.
- For non-residents, park fees are currently US$80 per person per 24 hour period and US$ 45 for children under 18
- For residents of Burundi, Rwanda, Tanzania & Uganda, Burundi, park fees are currently KSh 1,200 for adults and KSh 500 for children
- For Kenyan residents, park fees of KSh 1,000 and KSh 300 apply
PASSPORT & VISA REQUIREMENTS
Many nationalities, including the US and the UK, require a visa to enter Kenya. These cost US$51 and are obtainable through the new online portal as of 1st of September 2015, although manual applications on arrival are still accepted. The online process is recommended in order to avoid any queues and potential issues on arrival.
Please make sure your passport is valid for a minimum of 6 months after arrival in Kenya, with a minimum of three consecutive blank pages.
In an effort to reduce the impact on the environment, Kenya has recently made the use and importation of all plastic bags illegal. The ban applies to carrier bags, flat bags, zip lock bags etc, with extremely severe consequences if not complied with. Plastic bags (includes those from duty-free shopping) are known to be confiscated upon arrival in Nairobi. In line with this base, Angama Mara is a plastic-bag-free lodge, and a recent proud partner of TAP – Travelers Against Plastic
All game drives have a maximum of six guests per vehicle other than families or groups where we can accommodate up to nine guests per vehicle. Should you prefer, private safari vehicles can be booked in advance. Please request rates when making an enquiry.
SAFARIS WITH CHILDREN
Angama Mara welcomes children aged 6 years and older, and we believe that children should be connected to the world’s beautiful wild places from a young age. It is a life changing family holiday – not only seeing the animals but meeting the people who call Africa home. Looking after children in a safari lodge is a joy and, more often than not, the children settle in much more quickly than their parents. Our approach is to keep young guests busy and happy and to give their parents some time out too – travelling those long distances can be exhausting. Looking after children is a mindset – either you love it and do it well or you simply don’t allow children to stay at all. We do – and we relish it.
While mum and dad are having a nap, taking in the view and generally catching their breath, we have a jam-packed list of fun things for Angama Mara’s young guests to enjoy:
- Fishing, frogging and tadpoling in the dam
- Bugging and tracking on nature walks with Maasai guides
- Beading with the Maasai ladies in Angama Mara’s craft studio
- Learning the art of spear throwing from a Maasai warrior
- Baking bread or making ice-cream in the kitchen
- Learning about nuts and bolts in the workshop
- Visiting local schools and making new friends
- Snuggling up in the library with curated African books, DVD’s and board games on rainy days
- Star gazing at night with toasted marshmallows and s’mores
Or simply just being together as a family.
The safety of our guests is paramount and our primary concern, as the Mara Triangle is a wilderness area and home to the Big 5 and many other dangerous predators and animals. The lodge is unfenced and entirely open to its surroundings, and wild animals are known to roam freely around the lodge. We urge guests to take utmost care when walking around the lodge, and at all times to be accompanied by an askari after dark. (An askari is a Maasai warrior, and in East Africa has come to mean a night watchman, or security guard.) Members of the 20-strong askari team are on duty all through the night.
SERVICES, FACILITIES & AMENITIES
- In-tent massages
- Same-day laundry and shoeshine
- Complimentary high-speed WiFi
- In the Tented Suites and library in the guest areas
- Guests are encouraged not to use the WiFi in the communal guest areas out of respect for others
- Fitness centre including elliptical, treadmill, exercise bikes, free weights
- Heated swimming pool (12m x 6m)
- Checkout cloakroom for late departures
- TV in the library, along with a wonderful collection of Africana films and books
- Small, stand-alone Kosher kitchen with facilities to cater for up to 12 guests
- Wheelchair friendly: one Tented Suite is specially equipped to handle travellers with disabilities
SOFT BAGS & WEIGHT RESTRICTIONS
Please note that scheduled flights to the Mara carry a luggage restriction of 15 kg per person in soft bags, including carry-ons. The carriage of excess baggage is at the sole discretion of the airline and may be subject to additional charges. Should it be required at Wilson Airport, there is a storage facility available for large bags, and soft bags can be hired.
Angama Mara offers both traditional wedding and Maasai Blessing ceremonies:
- This is a wonderful occasion for both newly weds or couples wanting to renew their vows
- The blessing is held in the traditional brush-packed Maasai boma at sunset, and is a low-key and authentic occasion
- The groom is presented with a Maasai shirt, cape and walking stick, and the bride receives a beaded Maasai skirt, top, cape and traditional wedding jewelry
- The couple will arrive at the boma in the company of Maasai warriors and maidens, and after a traditional performance of song and dance, the local Maasai elder blesses the couple before the warriors depart
- There will be a surcharge for the Maasai clothing and other items depending on requirements
- Ceremonies are typically held on the guest area deck overlooking the Maasai Mara 1,000ft below, and can be led by a local priest if required
- For a private affair with just a few guests, ceremonies are held on the crest of the Out of Africa kopje
- The wedding will be followed by a dinner feast at the lodge – or a bush BBQ in the forest – and we would be delighted to make other arrangements as required: music, flowers, wedding cake etc
- The morning after the wedding, we highly recommend a private brunch for the newlyweds on the Out of Africa Kopje (or elsewhere on the property)
- There is no additional venue charge for hosting wedding ceremonies, though certain extras (like flowers) will be quoted for separately
For guaranteed run of house, one full camp will need to be booked, and to avoid the sheer volume of paperwork, we recommend that all religious and civil formalities are completed at home prior to arriving in the Mara.
WHAT TO PACK
- Comfortable cotton clothing
- A light jacket and/or warm fleece
- Comfortable walking shoes
- Sunhat, sunglasses, sun block
- Bathing suit
- An extra pair of reading glasses (if you need ‘em)
- Camera, binoculars, extra memory cards, charging equipment
(and make sure to use the complimentary same-day laundry and shoeshine service at the lodge)