Amani Mara: A peaceful eco-conscious lodge

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Sunrise at Amani Mara photographed by Susan Wong (August 2011, Kenya) All rights reserved.

It’s daybreak and it’s time to make your way to the main pavilion for a hardy breakfast before your morning game drive in the world famous Maasai Mara National Reserve.   After leisurely waking up to an inspiring sunrise, unzipping your canvas windows to welcome the refreshing breeze whilst being entertained by hippos playing in the winding river, and opening your door to find a herd of striking zebras at your doorstep to greet you; you finally make your way to a steaming cup of Kenyan tea accompanied by a delicious breakfast.  Sounds like a dream or a scene from a Disney flick doesn’t it?  Well, at Amani Mara that’s reality.

Situated in the Greater Mara just outside of the Maasai Mara National Reserve nestled in between the “Double Crossing” in Olare Orok, Amani Mara calls one of the most pristine locations in the Reserve – home.

With absolutely no fences or barriers that limit your bush experience, Amani Mara offers the most authentic Mara experience possible surrounded by an abundance of wildlife.

 

Taking ‘Eco-Friendly’ To Another Level

Though Amani Mara is surrounded with green lush plains and is the home to diverse wildlife, it wasn’t always as picturesque.

When the team behind Amani Mara first purchased the 50 acres that their luxurious lodge is now situated on, the land was absolutely barren.

“It was so rocky it was like Mars,” remembers Ashif Suleman, one of the founders of Amani Mara.

The river bed was completely dried-up, the soil was infertile and trees were minimal.

Over 5 years, the Amani Mara team has revived the region’s ecosystem.  Over 300 truck-loads of manure and soil collected from the surrounding community were brought in, rocks were collected from the soil and used in the construction of the lodge, and a small dam was built so that the dried-up river could be revived naturally through collection of rain water.

Now Amani Mara and its visitors are reaping the rewards.  Many hippos and crocodiles now call the river home and indigenous trees that have been planted are now maturing.

But Amani Mara is not finished yet with their eco-friendly initiatives.  Guests are invited and encouraged to plant indigenous trees during their stay at the lodge.  Next year, the entire lodge will be powered by 100% wind-power. The lodge is expanding into phase two of their waste water management system via the wetland system.

To add to Amani Mara’s long list of eco-friendly initiatives, the lodge will be investing in technology and creating machinery that will produce income-generating opportunities for locals through selling brickettes from compressed repurposed biomass instead of cutting trees for firewood.

 

PHOTOBLOG: Amani Mara

Photo Credits Susan Wong © All rights reserved.

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Luxury By Nature

With outdoor baths, an infinite pool carved out of a cliff overlooking a river full of hippos, delicious food and attentive staff; Amani Mara ensures that you’ll have the bush experience you’ve always dreamt about.

Amani Mara’s cabins and architecture is inspired by the natural state of its surroundings, ensuring that the lodge is as in-tune with nature as possible.  Beautiful olive wood is used throughout the lodge, from the weight-bearing beams to the over-sized King-sized beds, and even to the bookshelves that hold titles such as those authored by Ernest Hemingway.

 

Dining In The Mara

From the staple continental breakfasts with omelettes made to order, to the lunch buffet in the bush, and to the classic African dishes in the evening; dining in the Mara has never been as delicious.

Perhaps one of the reasons why everything tasted so delicious was because the majority of the produce was grown on the property in an organic garden.  With no pesticides or any chemical additives, the produce grown in the garden tastes as Nature had planned them exactly to taste like.

Some of Capital Lifestyle’s favourites were the Chocolate Mousse and the Guacamole – basic dishes, but there was nothing basic about the combination of flavours.

 

FOODBLOG: Amani Mara

Photo Credits Susan Wong © All rights reserved.

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SUSAN WONG

Susan Wong is the Editor of Capital Lifestyle, a resident photographer, an award-winning journalist, radio presenter, full-time adventurer, long-time admirer of anything edible, and a spicy food athlete at Capital FM.

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