The Best New Hotels in the World: 2021 Hot List

Why book? For anyone who wants to get up close to the migration, Angama Safari Camp offers just that. Wherever the zebra and wildebeest go, the camp will follow. Beyond witnessing the migration, it’s a great way to rediscover an authentic safari–before lodges offered tasting menus and private plunge pools, when the experience was only about being in the bush.

Set the scene: While we’d be quick to use the word “glamping” over “camping,” Angama Safari Camp is for the more adventurous traveler. It has all the bells and whistles of a five-star hotel–hands-on service, slick rooms—there’s no getting around the fact that it’s still a collection of (fancy) tents in the middle of the bush. While many safety precautions are in place and expert guides are on-hand (so guests really needn’t worry), those who stay should be aware that this is meant to be an adventure, albeit a glamorous one.

The backstory: The camp is an extension of the sister lodge Angama Mara, which has attracted many guests thanks to it’s slick design and superb location perched above the Mara. Owner Nicky Fitzgerald wanted to offer guests an opportunity to get deeper into nature. In true Angama style, Fitzgerald and her team have created a seamless, design-centric experience that doesn’t skimp on luxury. Just because you’re in the middle of the Mara doesn’t mean you can’t have extra king-length beds, quilted canvas covers and furnishings by South African designer, John Vogel.

The Best New Hotels in the World: 2021 Hot List

The rooms: The four contemporary tents by tent aficionado Jan Allan of byDesign have bright and playful interiors by Annemarie Meintjie (who also did the lodge)–a far cry from the dark green and beige safari tents we’ve come to know. Despite being temporary, everything inside them feels permanent, from the wood and brass writing desk to the colorful diamond-patterned headboard. Best of all are the red rocking chairs which sit outside the tent, a perfect place to watch the sunrise with a freshly brewed cup of coffee.

Food and drink: The team at Angama Mara has long embraced local cuisine, adding Kenyan cheeses to their cheeseboard and warming Swahili curries to the menu. The new camp is no exception, with hearty wholesome meals like lamb cooked with apricots, homemade bread, and steak grilled over the firepit. Nothing is fussy and everything is good. Especially the desert jaffles, toasted sandwiches with chocolate and marshmallows—safari’s answer to the beloved S’more.

The service: Friendly and welcoming. Karibu! (“You are welcome” in Swahili). Would you expect anything less from Kenyan hospitality?

For families: As an exclusive-use camp, the safari camp is ideal for family getaways–kids will love toasting their own jaffles at night.

Eco effort: As light a footprint can be–the lodge is entirely off-the-grid.

Anything left to mention? End your trip with a few nights at Angama Mara—the lodge will be a treat after “roughing it” for a few days.