We traveled on road to this place and though it was a long journey, I enjoyed every bit of it. Serena Mountain Lodge is located within the Mount Kenya National Park about 193 kilometers from Nairobi. It is said that Mount Kenya, which is 5,199 m, is Kenya’s highest mountain, and has been named as a UNESCO Natural World Heritage site and a wildlife stronghold. Its park too is one of the world’s highest National Parks, an extinct volcano for over some three and a half million years old. The place is also regarded as the sacred home of Ngai, God of the Kikuyu people.
We arrived at the lodge late afternoon and after paying the park fees, we were received warmly by the hotel manager, Mr .Mburugu. Beware of the tsetse flies that may land on you though. They cause a severe irritation and it would be advisable to carry an insect repellant if you desire to enjoy your stay in this place. The first view upon arrival was the wooden cabin that resembles the Noah’s ark, raised on stilts in the midst of a thick forest. On the inside, the décor, which echoes the Kikuyu culture, features hand-woven wall hangings, soft lighting and cosily-warm soft furnishings. We were first given keys to our rooms and were led through the winding stairs leading to a selection of snugly rooms. Each timber-built, cabin-styled room has its own luxury ensuite bathroom and a private balcony overlooking the water hole. The atmosphere is tranquil and relaxed best suited for a couple who love such. The rooms have huge windows looking out to the waterhole and salt lick where one can sit for hours observing the animals. It was a pleasure to be greeted by bush buck on arrival. I can call this place, a little heaven for couples who love tranquility and wouldn’t mind being in the middle of the cold jungle just the two of them!
We had an entertaining lecturer on the history of Mt. Kenya and the Mau Mau war. It was too cold and one must carry very heavy clothing if you desire to have an enjoyable holiday. The dinner was lovely and I would categorize it as world class. A very nice touch for us was as the temperature drops on an evening on retiring to bed the maids had been in and a hot water bottle was placed in our bed. In addition, we could be able to request to be alerted if any animals that you wish to see arrive at the watering hole during the night. Smoking is not permitted within the lodge, due to the fact that it is of timber construction but a smoker’s area is provided on the roof-top terrace.
I was woken up early to have breathtaking views of the mountain. I was told, the climate change has really made the snow to melt and that previously once could be able to view the mountain clearly. I had to prepare myself for a safari walk, and was given green rain coats and gum boots to assist us navigate the thick forest. The naturalist was before us, while the game ranger was behind us, armed with a gun just in case a buffalo appears to stall our visit. He made various stops teaching us extensively on the history of Mau Mau and how the warriors hid and fought in the jungle. I saw bomb holes and hiding caves of these warriors which made me appreciate history. We also saw various animals like the colubus monkey, which as I learnt, are the only primates that lack thumbs. Colobus comes from the Greek kolobus which means “maimed,” a reference to their hands. They are also given a nickname, “Messenger of the gods,” comes from the monkey’s habit of climbing high in trees and facing the sun at dawn and dusk.
It was a great experience and its climax was being served a sumptuous breakfast in the bush. This is another feature that the couple on honeymoon can enjoy after a long safari walk.
Since it was a one night stay, we hurried up to freshen up, take our final photos and head to our next destination.