Whenever one is picking out camps and lodges for their next safari in Kenya, Nairobi as a destination barely comes to mind. Never mind the fact that Nairobi is the only city in the world to host a national park, many travelers hitherto only view the city safari experience merely as a transit option to the real bush experience.
What if we told you though that the much sought out Hemingway bush and tent experience is right here at your doorstep? That you don’t have to go the extra mile, leave Nairobi, that what stands between you and your much desired safari is a mere 20 minutes or so?
Because many safari lovers only use Nairobi as transit, not much effort has been put into establishing accommodations that offer these enthusiasts a full safari experience right within the city. One family is however trying to re-write this script. Launched early this year, Anga Afrika, a family owned and run establishment, seeks to ensure that you don’t have to leave for upcountry into the back of beyond in order to experience life under the sun and the stars, to experience the story of Africa in the wild that is much told.
Sidney Trompell, one of the owners of Anga Afrika introduces us to the whole idea behind the establishment and fills us in on why it would be such a shame if you missed out on the experience offered.
- How long have you been open and what was the inspiration behind owning Anga Afrika?
We opened in the beginning of the year, although it was already years in the planning. The special thing about Anga Afrika is that every little detail was very thought through. We took our time.
My family and I always liked Karen because we are generally people who prefer peace and nature over the noisy turmoil that is often Nairobi. After we had finished building our home we wanted to share our little ‘island’ with people who share our mindset and philosophy. That is how Anga Afrika came to be. We feel that luxurious tented camps embody the Kenyan holiday experience the best and we wanted to provide our guests with the most authentic “out of Africa” experience.
- Why the name Anga Afrika and what should people expect when they get here?
Our place in Karen is 1850 m above sea level; therefore relatively close to the stars, hence the name Anga Afrika. Also, since our tented suites are made up of canvas, which really gives our guests the feeling that they are truly sleeping under African skies. The view of the stars on a clear night is breathtaking.
- The sort of experience you offer is rarely found in Nairobi, why set up away from major safari destinations, why Nairobi? What is unique about Anga Afrika’s location?
The special thing about our location is that it feels like you’re 100’s of miles away from Nairobi, but really you can be in the city centre within 20 minutes. It’s ideal for people who want to be immersed in nature as well as for Kenya first timers who want to experience Kenya in the most authentic way before embarking on major safaris to Masai Mara, Amboseli etc. Also, since our home is literally next door we try to connect with our customers on a personal level, build relationships and make sure that if they need anything that there’s always someone they can talk to. We also enjoy meeting new people from all around the world and exchange experiences and stories with them.
- What authentic local experiences will guests have access to here and what types of guests do you expect to attract?
First off, the experience of living in a tented camp as opposed to a hotel. This is a huge deal. I remember the first time I went glamping in the Masai Mara with the family and it was an unforgettable experience. Therefore we think that this type of accommodation will be very memorable for a lot of people. We also organize tours for our guests to local attractions such as the Giraffe Centre, Nairobi National Park, David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust and the Karen Blixen Museum.
To maintain a certain standard of exclusivity, we hope to attract people who have a strong appreciation of nature, peace, and the love for Kenya. Profit maximization isn’t our first priority, but maintaining a certain standard, living by our values and providing the best possible African experience is. We truly enjoy what we do here!
- If you could describe your property or the glamping experience you offer in three words, what would they be?
Modern. Authentic. Africa.
- What makes Anga Afrika a destination in itself?
Definitely the altitude…The cool temperatures in the morning, the fresh air, jogging in the morning fog, enjoying a cosy campfire in the evening…it literally gives you the feeling that you’re living in the African mountains such as Mount Kenya or Aberdares.
- A stand out meal in your restaurant, what would you recommend?
We have a lot of outstanding dishes at our restaurant, but George, our chef makes sweet potato bread that is to die for. A lot of our guests go home with the recipe because it is simply that good!
- Any other experiences you can recommend in the area for a combined trip when staying at Anga Afrika?
David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust is a must. Seeing orphaned elephants taken care for and interacting with them gives you such a fulfilling experience. You can even adopt one if you are committed to support it for a long amount of time. Otherwise Karen Blixen Museum is a great place to learn about the history of Karen and how it came into existence, Giraffe Centre, where you can ‘kiss’ Giraffes on the mouth. Literally. There’s quite a lot you can do in our area and we are always more than happy to provide our guests with help and guidance to make this experience as memorable as possible.
Location: Karen Area
Establishment Type: Luxury Tented Camp
Contact for Bookings: http://www.angaafrika.com/
Attractions around: David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, Karen Blixen Museum, Giraffe Centre, Nairobi National Park, Nairobi Animal Orphanage.