Meet the Owners
Renowned in the industry for their involvement in some of the world’s finest safari lodges, husband and wife Steve & Nicky Fitzgerald have kept their best for last. After delighting top-end travellers for over 30 years – building and operating over 60 luxury lodges across Africa and India for &Beyond – the beauty of the Angama Mara site has drawn them out of retirement.
Born and educated in South Africa, Steve has spent the past 35 years building two substantial hospitality businesses:
- First, he founded Halcyon Hotels in 1981, a group which included Cape Town’s Bay Hotel and Blues Restaurant, among others
- Thereafter he joined &Beyond, then known as CC Africa, and from 1994 served as the Managing Director / CEO until his departure 15 years later in 2009
- At &Beyond, he was instrumental in growing the business from three safari lodges in South Africa to over 50 lodges across all of sub-Saharan Africa and India, as well as travel management and property development divisions
- During his tenure, &Beyond became the first lodge company to acquire a tour operating business and realize the value in vertical integration up the supply chain
- A couple of Steve’s most notable achievements at &Beyond include negotiating lease agreements with communities across Africa; expansion initiatives into India; and the conclusion of a groundbreaking land claim settlement in South Africa
After his departure from &Beyond, Steve explored several lodge opportunities in Central and South America.
He credits his achievements to inspiring a common vision, never wavering from core values and the total empowerment of staff. Angama Mara is the fulfilment of a long-held dream to build a lodge on this beautiful piece of land.
Nicky has spent the past 35 years developing numerous hotels, restaurants and over 50 luxury safari lodges across both sub-Saharan Africa and India. After qualifying from the University of Cape Town with an arts degree in English and History, she quickly discovered that her calling lay in taking care of guests. Together with Steve, she co-founded Halcyon Hotels in South Africa’s Cape and in 1994 joined &Beyond.
At &Beyond, Nicky spent her first eight years at the coal-face of lodge operations, one of her proudest achievements being the development of the Ngorongoro Crater Lodge in Tanzania at the height of El Niño. From 2002, Nicky took full responsibility for sales and marketing for the group, and spent the next seven years aboard airplanes: telling the company’s remarkable story far and wide, and directing a team that developed &Beyond into one of the world’s leading experiential travel brands. It is this network of long-standing relationships across the globe which Nicky prizes above all.
Her responsibilities at Angama Mara include being fully hands-on with planning how guests will spend their day, what they will eat, training staff, and of course, telling the story. Nicky has been consistently recognized by her peers for her contribution to the industry: as an advisory board member, a judge in various capacities, and an international Relais & Chateaux Woman of the Year.