There are few places on the African continent that are so picturesque, let alone iconic, but the picnic site at Angama Mara overlooking the Masai Mara grasslands has to be top of the list.
Imagine gazing down over somewhere in the region of a million herbivores, from the very same spot that Robert Redford and Meryl Streep picnicked in Out of Africa; hot air balloons floating in the still Kenyan air beneath you, swallows swooping all around, and the stillness of the magnificent continent stretched out to the hazy horizon.
As fancifully romantic as this sounds, it really is an experience you can live. Angama Mara offers intimate picnics for two at the little koppie (rocky outcrop) next to their southern camp, right where Out of Africa was filmed, or at least that scene from it.
But it is far more than a simple picnic that has guests travelling from all over the world to this stunning camp, perched literally on the rim of Africa. The wildlife, the staff, the views that take one’s breath away… take your pick of any one of multiple reasons that have made Angama the award-winning camp that it is today.
The first time you walk out on to the deck of the main lodge will be a moment you won’t forget in a hurry. You truly feel as if you are gazing out over the rest of the world.
Perched up on top of the Oolololo Escarpment, Angama Mara sits above the Mara Triangle, an incredibly wildlife-rich area best known for the wildebeest crossings that take place there every year as the migrating herds thunder across the Mara River, braving crocodiles, often raging water levels, and often marauding lion prides waiting on the riverbank.
Yet it’s not only about the migration: year round the wildlife viewing is stunning, with black rhino, elephant, leopards, cheetahs and many more being constant features of the terrain, even when the wildebeest herds (that get funnelled into the triangle by the steep walls of the escarpment itself) have turned back south.
Photography plays a key role in the safari experience at Angama, and their dedicated photographic studio is at the core of their media offerings.
Guests can learn the fundamentals of photography, hire a private photographic guide, and even print their own photographs on canvas as a special memento to take home. Few destinations in Africa lend themselves so well to wildlife photography as the Masai Mara and its sweeping plains.
The Angama experience is ultimately as well-rounded as one can find, with activities ranging from traditional game drives to balloon flights to cultural immersions. This is a place where the true meaning of safari can be understood, in the very place where the word originated.
To stand on Angama’s deck and gaze out over endless horizons is to gaze out at limitless, beautiful possibility…