10 Standout Design Objects at Angama Mara

Steve and Nicky Fitzgerald are done with the steamer trunks and mosquito nets. At Angama Mara, a property overlooking the grassy plains of Kenya’s Great Rift Valley, the husband-and-wife team has abandoned the copy-and-paste safari aesthetic. In its place might be Africa’s most compelling and well-edited hotel design scheme. “The goal was to find a balance between creative madness and a fresh approach to luxury lodge design—all while staying true to what guests expect when going on safari,” Nicky says. The couple, who ran andBeyond until 2009, came out of retirement when a prized location on the Maasai Mara—made famous in the Meryl Streep film Out of Africa—became available, working with architects Silvio Rech and Lesley Carstens, and their friend Annemarie Meintjes on the interiors. “Design influences were drawn for the most part from our location in the heart of Maasailand, the early pioneers of photographic safaris in East Africa, and the beautiful Karen Blixen account of her years in Africa.” Ahead, ten standout design objects.
“Africology guest amenities in bottles designed for us to reflect a colonial elegance. Proudly African,” says Nicky Fitzgerald.
“Fermob classical outdoor furniture from France. We love the red rocking chairs.”
“John Vogel, South Africa’s foremost furniture designer, ingeniously designed this bedside table for the tents to accommodate the standing lamp.”
“These striking Maasai-inspired woven screens by Vogel separate the tub from the sleeping area in the tents.”
“The door handles to the guest tents were wrapped in colorful twine by local Maasai women trained by Vogel.”
“These antique cameras in the lodge library hark back to the early days of photographic safaris in the Maasai Mara.”
“Copper hanging lamps from Zimbabwe (the little yellow airplane echoes the lovely Out of Africa story filmed here).”
“Angama Mara interiors reflect subtle humor everywhere. The original name of the property was Olkuruk, which in the language of the Maasai means ‘crow.’ This handsome bird was sourced from France and is made out of cardboard pieces that slot together.”
“Meryl Streep’s chair from the movie, designed by Nairobi’s talented Marc Van Rampelberg.”
“Wooden Shingles, a classical colonial Kenyan finish, were installed by local canvas maestro Jan Allen.”

Next Article

The Anti-Airport Lounge
All Stories