Amboseli Sopa Lodge Review
The facilities of the Amboseli Sopa Lodge are more than adequate. They have nice villas, restaurants and a swimming pool for guests. Unfortunately, we had some pretty profound experiences with the staff.
The employees here are predominantly Maasai. However, there is a very noticeable difference between the Maasai tribe at Amboseli and the Maasai tribe at Maasai Mara. I will sum up our experiences at Amboseli below and I will cover the other Maasai tribe more extensively in a separate post.
In summary, we had money extorted from us by security at Amboseli Sopa Lodge. After dinner, our first night at the lodge we asked the security guard for walking directions back to our villa. However, guard insisted on accompanying us. Upon arrival at the villa he did not leave after we opened the door and instead he proceeded to enter the villa. I said thank you and asked him to leave but he stood fast. I must point out, this guard was physically big and was well armed with a gun and club. Similar to equipment that a legitimate police officer would carry.
I would not give him money and he still refused to leave the villa. My female friend broke the impasse by giving him a few schillings and he left. This was very sleazy behavior and I have never encountered something this blatant during my extensive travels in Africa.
My female friend also had issues with the local Maasai following her around and I also noticed some rather strange behavior by the Maasai employees at the Amboseli lodge. I should clarify that the behavior of the Amboseli Maasai is the polar opposite of the Maasai we became acquainted with when we visited the village at Maasai Mara.
On one occasion, a local Maasai tribal member had the audacity to follow us back to the lodge and invited my female friend to his village. We decided to skip lunch and left the lodge shortly after this to return to Nairobi. Of note, is the fact that the Maasai at Amboseli are very large. Much bigger than the Maasai at Maasai Mara. This gentleman in particular was 6 feet 8 inches tall. His photo is below: