Often referred to as ‘one of the most beautiful films of the 20th century’, Out of Africa- an adaptation of Karen Blixen’s 1937 memoir of the same name celebrates its 30th anniversary this month. The film evokes the romance and glamour of life in the Maasai Mara and, over a quarter or a century later, still entices travellers from all over the world to visit the Kenya they fell in love with back in 1985.
A round up of five of the best places to experience Kenya are:
Angama Mara, Maasai Mara: For those with fond memories of the film’s opening line, “I had a farm in Africa at the foot of the Ngong Hills”, there is probably no greater lodge when visiting Kenya than Angama Mara. Guests staying in the lodge’s South Camp will have the film poster’s iconic kopje at the foot of their bed.
The lodge has a mini replica of Gypsy Moth aircraft, just like the one in the film. The expert team can arrange an intimate 1902’s picnic for two on the crest of the kopje – allowing guests to recreate their own ‘Robert and Meryl’ moments.
Karen Blixen Museum, Nairobi: To learn more about the Blixen and French-Hatton lovestory, Out of Africa fans can incorporate a trip to Karen’s former home, the Karen Blixen Museum, in Nairobi when visiting Kenya. Since gaining international fame with the release of the film in 1985, the farmhouse is open to public and offers guided tours of its well preserved rooms, many decorated with props from the 1985 film. Visitors can also tour the grounds, which feature original equipment from the coffee farm, are also available for touring, surrounded by a garden and forest, with a view of Ngong Hills.
Mara Enkipai: While playing homage to Out of Africa on their trip to Kenya, travellers can visit Mara Enkipai, private home of Vanessa and Georges Roumeguere. Situated right on the Mara River in the gorge, next to Sanctuary Olonana Lodge, the homestead is available for sole use bookings and is located for a safari experience.
Denys Finch Hatton’s grave in the Ngong Hills: Just 13 miles from The Karen Blixen Museum is Finch Hatton’s grave. Tended by local farming family, the grave sits 300 metres higher than the house, and is available to view by appointment only. A plaque on the tomb reads, “He prayeth well, who loveth well – both man and bird and beast,” lines from Coleridge’s “The Rime of the Ancient Marnier,” which were recited by Redford in the famous hair-washing scene in Out of Africa.
Segera Retreat in Laikipia: The 1929 De Havilland Gipsy Moth bi-plane, flown by Redford’s character Denys Finch Hatton in Out of Africa was sold in 2012 to Jochen Zeitz. The actual plane, The DH-60 Moth – complete with its registration G-AAMY – is still in new condition and comes with a permit to fly. It is currently situated just north of Nairobi, at the Segera Retreat. Guests visiting Segera will also have the opportunity to watch Out of Africa in the Retreat’s Explorer Lounge.