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Kenya / Angama Mara

Described as a ‘game-changer’ by Victoria Mather, Travel Editor of Vanity Fair, this one-of-a-kind safari lodge on the Oloololo Escarpment (home to many a scene from Out of Africa) is heading for every hotel hot list out there.

Whether your preference is for full-on game drives or the more sedate pleasure of ‘rocking chair safaris’ where game is viewed effortlessly from the comfort of the camp, Angama Mara makes an excellent choice. Owned by safari stalwarts Nicky and Steve Fitzgerald, it comprises two small camps perched high on the edge of an escarpment and seems to float above the Great Rift Valley – very apt as it is named after the Swahili word for ‘suspended in mid-air’. Each tented suite is beautifully furnished with splashes of Maasai colour and 180 degree views across the magnificent Mara from their floor-to-ceiling windows.

Between the camps is the Pavilion, with fitness room and infinity pool. A ten minute drive takes guests into the reserve for daily game drives, or head off with a picnic basket for a guided walk along the escarpment, returning to Angama Mara for sundowners and a display of local dance by beaded Maasai warriors. This safari lodge is true to Kenya, and there is no place like East Africa for viewing creatures great and small.

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Contemporary glass-fronted accommodation

Unusual for camps in the Mara, the style at Angama Mara is contemporary and sleek, with homage paid to the surrounding landscape through the use of earthy tones and textiles. But the real showstoppers are the end to end glass fronts (an industry first) providing the most sensational views of wildlife - the perfect place for a "rocking chair safari."

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Float over the Mara

Take to the skies in a hot air balloon and appreciate the wonder of the Mara from above. The early start is made more palatable by the much-appreciated, fresh coffee delivered to your tent before dawn. After the ride, you are brought gently back down to earth with a delicious Champagne breakfast served under a shady tree.

Out of Africa picnic

Follow in the footsteps of Robert Redford and Meryl Streep and enjoy a picnic where the iconic Out of Africa movie was filmed. Unique to Angama Mara, a Masai guide will take you up to the camp's third kopje, recognisable as the shot used in the film's poster. Here you can sink into comfy cushions atop a checked blanket and sip some fizz at sunrise or sunset, taking in the spectacular views across the Masai Mara.

When to visit Kenya

January to March is hot and dry with the long rains usually falling from April to early June. Between June and October it is warm and dry during the day but cold at night. The migration usually arrives in the Mara from July with river crossings from Tanzania generally taking place between July and September. The herds rest in Kenya before crossing back to Tanzania in October/November. Kenya’s coast enjoys a tropical climate – April to June can be humid, tempered by monsoon winds. Nairobi is pleasant year round due to its altitude.

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