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Treetops Hotel, a timeless gem

Harriet Owalla

I’d always heard of the Treetops lodge, but never imagined that my experience at this gem would be so delightful. It’s situated at the heart of the Aberdare National Park and 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, something I really enjoyed about being here. As we were informed, it is for this reason that children under the age of five are not permitted at the hotel. 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. 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 in front of a natural watering hole and salt lick.

This means that you see many animals, lured by a natural salt lick. I had the chance of seeing elephants, buffalo and bushbucks, 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 bushbuck doe.

The weather here is as cold as ice, so ensure you carry warm clothes. In a lecture on the history of the lodge, I learnt that this was the place where Princess Elizabeth acceded to the United Kingdom’s throne in 1952 during her visit to Kenya, when her father George VI, died.

Overnight, the lodge become the world’s most famous tree house. It is also the oldest lodge in Kenya, opened in 1932 by military officer and hotelier Eric Sherbrooke Walker. However, in 1954, the original structure was burned down by African guerrillas during the Mau Mau Uprising in protest of a shoot-on-sight order and repeated military action in the forest by 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 awesome. My one night was an experience I will never forget! .

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