News & Reviews Africa Kenya Angama Amboseli opens

Our good friends at Angama Mara have launched their new lodge, Angama Amboseli, nestled in Kimana Sanctuary, Kenya’s first community-owned conservancy.

In the Kenyan safari scene, apart from the stunning private residences like Arijiju, Ol Jogi, and Lengishu House, the only camps worth considering are Great Plains and Angama.  Angama Mara is far from my favourite safari lodge, but the owners take great glee in my abusive write-ups, and for that they get my eternal thanks and extended coverage.  Whilst some lodges outright ban me or aren’t keen on visiting, Angama wants to see how low I’ll go.  Those savages.

Back to Ambolesi, which is placed against the famed backdrop, Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest peak in Africa, and is home to elephants sporting tusks so grand they sweep the earth as they roam.  Not much in the way of seeing lions murdering everything in sight, but you can’t have everything.

Angama Amboseli keeps things more intimate than Mara, with just ten suites, including two sets of interconnected suites perfect for families. The exterior’s distinct, rough texture comes from an innovative mix of elephant dung and concrete.  You are literally sleeping in a shit hole.  Designed for an immersive experience, the suites boast floor-to-ceiling doors that offer unobstructed views of Kilimanjaro, allowing guests to gaze upon the mountain from nearly every corner of the suite, be it from the bed, shower or vanity mirror – perfect for someone like me to see if I’m actually paler than the snow-capped peak of a mountain.

Escaping the madness of the Mara comes with its benefits.  Guests have the exclusive privilege of traversing, providing access to either night drives or relaxed early morning safaris – assuming you consider getting up at 5:30 am relaxing. Why can’t the animals be more hospitable and get up at 9 am?  For those keen to look at birds, and I’m not judging, but I am, Amboseli National Park is just a 45-minute drive away and is home to over 400 bird species and a diverse range of other wildlife.

At the lodge, there’s a Safari Shop (gift shop), Games Room, Art Gallery, Weaving Studio, and a Photographic Studio.  A purpose-built viewing tower offers a chance to observe the local elephants and other wildlife as they frequent the surrounding marsh. This vantage point provides panoramic views – perfect for a picnic, a tranquil afternoon with a book, or getting absolutely trashed on all the free booze.  If the food is as good as Mara, the picnic combined with getting shitfaced would be a real treat.  Even better, combine all that with a trip to the swimming pool, just don’t consult your doctor first.  It features a unique drinking trough for the resident elephant herds, allowing you to fill Instagram with content that I may actually enjoy.

Getting there is easy: can either take a Safarilink flight or decide you hate yourself and drive for three and a half hours from Nairobi.
Their website kindly suggests a five-day stay.  Why stop there, guys?  Be brave.  Suggest the best stay is nine years, but you’ll throw in free WiFi and breakfast.  I hope to visit toward the end of next year.  Maybe only for a few days, not unless the elephants turn cannibal and start hunting the other guests – I need a bit more blood with my safari.

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Tom Cahalan

Written by Tom Cahalan on 4th Dec '23

Dorsia Travel’s co-founder Tom Cahalan’s take on travel is reliably candid. Here’s his take on what’s good, bad, and luxurious.

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