An outlook at Angama Amboseli, Kimana Sanctuary, Kenya

Angama Amboseli:
Safari supreme


Exhilaration, elan and conservation effortlessly coalesce in one of the most dizzyingly beautiful backdrops of Kenya. Not content with already having an uber-lodge in the entrancing shadows of Mount Kilimanjaro, the Angama Mara, the folks behind it have worked wonders again to create the elephant-inspired Angama Amboseli. Having opened just last month, and situated in the wildlife haven that’s Kimana Sanctuary, it’s set to offer the ultimate experience, with an ecologically-minded ‘slow safari’ adventure.

When it comes to East Africa, some might say there isn’t a more spectacular region than Kenya‘s 5,700-acre Kimana Sanctuary. Why? Because the sun-drenched, lush landscape, which is in the heart of the Amboseli Ecosystem, is practically populated with a Noah’s-Ark-like smorgasbord of species. And guess what des res has managed to secure a prime spot in the middle of this extraordinary biodiversity extravaganza? Yep, the Angama Amboseli, accessible via daily flights from Wilson Airport, by private charter, or a 3.5-hour car ride from Nairobi.

Its innovative design is actually influenced by an animal that shouldn’t be underestimated, as it regularly fends off lions: elephants. Mind you, we’re not just talking about any old Nellie; the variety in question is the ‘super tusker’ (their ultra-extended incisors are so long, they almost touch the ground). After studying the character and physical traits – boldness and playfulness, roundness and skin respectively – of the up-to-seven-tonne creature, architect Jan Allan imbued as much of its quintessence into Angama Amboseli (the shape, feel, and texture, etc).

But he didn’t just stop there when it came to paying homage to the largest mammal on terra firma: a specially crafted drinking trough was put underneath the raised-rim pool to entice tuskers, meaning they could rock up at any moment. Another cool and quirky element entailed making the exterior of the lodge from the aforementioned big-eared jumbo’s dung (if only our pet Chihuahua’s mini by-products could be utilised in such an economical fashion!). Other materials employed that help to give this place a stylish, one-off appeal are canvas, concrete and rattan. Meanwhile, a neutral colour scheme is the order of the day, as it engenders a striking contrast with the palette of blues, greens and reds that enliven the breathtaking terrain.

As for the inside of this remarkable rustic property located in a fever forest, it consists of ten sizable suites, with some interconnecting to accommodate families and groups of friends. And refreshingly, each one is purposed as a private sanctuary. Ergo, they contain a butler’s lobby and an individualised drinks armoire, and a dressing area links the sleeping quarters to a bathroom. Furthermore, there are floor-to-ceiling screened doors that lead to a patio with a lounge space, with a key concept of the edifice being uninterrupted views of the gorgeous scenery. And nothing is more ever-present than the icon that dominates these environs as if a sumo wrestler squatting over an ant, the snow-capped volcano that’s Mount Kilimanjaro (Kili).

In our opinion, this new venture is the perfect complement to Angama Mara’s safari, particularly as it provides a milder, cosier exploration. And, as it happens, aided by exclusive traversing rights visitors can enjoy several exciting, relaxing excursions including a pyjama trek or one that involves finding the glorious super tuskers at sundown. Other fauna you’re likely to see on game drives number cheetahs, flamingos, hippos and hyenas. Kids will be so enthralled they might even catch the naturalist bug. If you ask us, it’s vital the younger generation become aware of just how vulnerable many of the earth’s habitats are: something so relevant here, the lodge has partnered with the Big Life Foundation, a non-profit enterprise committed to protecting the Greater Amboseli Ecosystem. The people behind this trailblazing project are the best ones to sum up what their home away from home is all about: ’Angama Amboseli invites travellers to experience the splendour of East Africa’s wildlife and landscapes while contributing to conservation and community empowerment’. Now that’s something worthy of support.

Photography by Brian Siambi, Sammy Njoroge and courtesy of Angama

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