I’ve always heard of the tree top lodge but never imagined that my first experience to this place would be this delightful. It’s situated at the heart of the Aberdare National Park and it rises straight out of the ground on stilts with four decks and a rooftop viewing platform. The view of animals in this lodge is spectacular and I guess this is the only thing that I admired in this place. As we were told, it is for this reason children under the age of 5 are not permitted in this lodge. This is both for their safety and to maintain the quiet of the environment. That’s why it’s a perfect romantic gateway! As a couple, you’ll have the peace and quiet required to bond and relax. As we were told, the lodge lies in the path of an ancient Elephant migratory route between the Aberdare Ranges and Mt Kenya National park, and is strategically placed right in front of a natural watering hole and salt lick. This means that the animals of the forest come to you as they are lured by a natural salt lick. I had the chance of seeing elephant, buffalo and bushbuck, which regularly visit the place.
There are several comfortable observation lounges where guests can photograph at close quarters a protective elephant matriarch protecting its calf or even the graceful bonding of a bush buck doe. The weather over here is as cold as ice, so ensure that you carry warm clothes.
After freshening up in our rooms, we were invited for a lecture on the history of the lodge where I learnt that this was the place where Princess Elizabeth acceded to the Throne in 1952 during her visit to Kenya on the death of her father George VI. Overnight, this made it become the world’s most famous tree house, and up to this present day, a royal love affair with Africa has continued.
I also learnt this oldest lodge in Kenya was first opened in 1932 by Eric Sherbrooke Walker and that it was literally constructed on top of trees in the Aberdare National Park. This offered the guests a close view of the local wildlife in completely safe environment. However, in 1954, the original structure was burned down by African guerrillas during the Mau Mau uprising as the Aberdare forest was a refuge to many Mau Mau rebels. It was a protest after a shoot-on-sight order and repeated military action in the forest by the British soldiers. Nevertheless, the hotel was rebuilt near the same waterhole and has become fashionable for many rich and famous people.
The staff was pleasant, the food was awesome, and my one night in this place was an experience I will never forget!
Published on people’s daily