Where it all began

Our story

It was then that our owner, Ashif Suleman, tentatively agreed to view a property in the Mara that a local Maasai was struggling to sell, and struggling for good reason. Upon arrival, Ashif stared out at the vast property—too rocky, too open, and no source of water. In all of his better judgment, Ashif would have passed on the opportunity as many had before him; however, there was another element at play—this gentleman aspired to sell the land to send his daughter to school. Persuaded by this need of his Maasai friend, Ashif found himself the reluctant owner of 50 acres in present day Olare

Barren land

Investors who surveyed the property described the landscape akin to “Mars” and said nothing could be done with it. Ashif then began to visit numerous camps and soon realised a common flaw—all camps were located within thick forests with beautiful cover, but with this they had taken over the habitat, compromising its former wildlife. As his property lay barren, infested with tsetse flies, Ashif made the decision to build his camp above the river, adopting a unique design amenable to wildlife inhabitants as they evolved over time and space. 

Unique construction

This was truly an exercise in building something out of nothing, and the first and most critical element? Water. By building a water catchment, the river no longer dried up once the dry season came, making way for our current home to over 70 hippos, 4 crocodiles, multiple lion prides, a resident leopard, a multitude of plains game and a variety of bird species. In a grand display of commitment and sacrifice, Ashif then sent his wife and two children, Sully and Sam, to Australia to complete their education; next, he settled into a tent on the rocky property, where he resided alone for 7 years, as he oversaw each bit of Amani Mara’s eco-conscious development. 

A dream come true

Although the land was full of rocks and other natural materials for construction, this became a very labor-intensive project. Stones were retrieved from the river and the surrounding property, many of them now adorning the main lounge area and reinforcing the locally crafted wood of the African olive tree. These beams were salvaged from deforestation sites and instead used in the construction. Designing his dream bush camp as he went along, Ashif carefully selected and placed local stones, beams and pieces of driftwood in his evolving structures, one by one. Every detail of Amani Mara today has a story behind it. The artful and original mix of concrete roofs, resembling the traditional mud and dung roofs of the Maasai homes, and great wooden trunks and beams of African olive trees was a sight no visitor the the camp forgot.  

Amani was born

One day Ashif and his contractor were sitting on a beam looking over the barren landscape. “Do you hear that?”, the contractor asked Ashif.”What? I cant hear anything”, Ashif replied. “Exactly” the contractor said. “You cant hear anything. Iko na amani (it is so peaceful) and there is nobody around”. “Amani”, Ashif replied. “Hmm. Don’t worry if we build it they will come!”. And come they have. 

Today Amani is a haven for wildlife, from the bugs to birds and big game.

Tree planting

Our African-style cabins were crafted with help of local Maasai women, who plaster their traditional houses with a mixture of cow dung and mud. The river is now perennial, meaning it always flows, even during times of drought. The planting of indigenous trees was one of our first steps to rejuvenate our land; and, to date, we have planted over 50,000 trees. As indigenous trees take much longer than exotic species to mature, we are only now, ten years later, enjoying the fruits of our labour with a variety of species that continue to greatly enhance our landscape and its wildlife. Wanting to involve our guests in this special practice, we invite each guest to plant and name their tree before they depart.

A new Amani

In 2022 Amani Mara underwent a huge renovation in which our concrete roofs were demolished, making way for new cooling thatched roofs. To this day, Amani Mara holds fast to an unwavering commitment to ecosystem sustainability and wildlife conservation. Our tree planting, water catchment and other efforts have transformed a barren rocky landscape into a green, varied and wildlife-rich ecosystem. It is our hope that every living being finds their amani in our camp in the splendid Maasai Mara. And we very much look forward to awakening that which is yours. Welcome home.

We very much look forward to awakening that which is yours
Welcome home

Testimonials​

  • star rating  Most precious experience of multi country safari was Amani Mara, Kenya – Amani Mara – ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️
    I will never be eloquent enough to describe it properly. This land is a magical space for all animals. This oasis has been… read more

    ShellSpell
    March 1, 2023

    star rating  Absolutely Perfect! – Our five days at Amani Mara were beyond superb. We had been to the Maasai Mara 10 years before and were worried that nothing could compare. But we… read more

    avatar thumb FarAway120947
    August 27, 2023

    star rating  Absolutely unforgettable time at Amani Mara. Sam, William, and the entire staff made us feel so welcome and shared their beautiful home wit my wife and I, and our… read more

    avatar thumb ParadiseKim170035
    September 9, 2023

    star rating  We had mixed experiences here. On the first night, we were not provided with a mosquito net. There were many mosquitos in the room at night. The quality of the… read more

    avatar thumb chaktatha
    June 19, 2023
  • star rating  Wonderful experience! – We were only there for a day, but wished we could have stayed longer. Sulley and Sam were wonderful hosts. George and the rest of the staff, very nice and… read more

    avatar thumb Joe E
    October 22, 2023

    star rating  Great lodge – Nice lodge on a very nice location. All staff are very friendly and helpful. Also food was excellent.
    I was sleeping in a family lodge with 3 double beds. Nice… read more

    Jp7966
    November 4, 2022

    star rating  BEST PLACE IN MAASAI MARA – YOU ROCK – A wonderful place. We stayed two nights and the hotel exceeded our expectations. The symbiosis with nature was total. The owners and all the staff were 100% committed to making… read more

    avatar thumb Cathy R
    August 6, 2023

    star rating  why I will go back to Amani Mara – I have been to the Masi Mara twice before. This boutique lodge is new since covid and I will not go any where else on my future visits. The vision… read more

    avatar thumb L9518GYmarianneb
    August 19, 2023
  • star rating  Both an amazing experience, and an amazing story – The camp and individual tents are beautiful, with an amazing view of Maasai Mara which includes a steady stream of animals throughout the day. The food is exceptional, we… read more

    avatar thumb collinr739
    August 23, 2023

    star rating  The Jewel In Maasai Mara’s Crown – I stayed at Amani Mara for 3 weeks solo with the intention of healing and finding peace in nature and it was truly transformative. As I was there for a… read more

    msamandab
    March 1, 2023

    star rating  Unique experience! – Hello everyone!!!
    We stayed here from October 10-13 and we have no words to describe the wonder of this facility….
    First of all we arrived late in the evening and… read more

    avatar thumb Elenatale10
    October 25, 2023

    star rating  THE place to stay! – The best place to stay in the Maasai Mara! I love the history of this camp and how it has developed over the years. Super rooms, so comfy… read more

    avatar thumb sarabB7677DZ
    July 29, 2023
  • star rating  Once in a Life – Thanks our manager Geroge & his crews. Price worth. They upgraded us to a luxury Suite, no complaints. Thanks for all your works & tailor made meals… read more

    avatar thumb elizapao
    October 21, 2023

    star rating  A once in a lifetime experience! – All we can say is wow! This place is a must stay! My husband and I really loved all of the staff here. The camp is located right on a… read more

    FMing0112
    November 29, 2022

    star rating  Amani Mara – a superb African experience – The most authentic experience on theMasai Mara, on the northern end of he Serengeti plains, with superb service, deluxe accommodation and spectacular scenery. One can enjoy a coffee or… read more

    avatar thumb Fraser H
    August 13, 2023

    star rating  Exceed our expectations – Our recent stay with “the Amani family” was one of the most humbling experiences we have had.
    This camp has been created with the utmost respect for the Mara… read more

    Sheena F
    March 7, 2023

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