Royal Retreat: Treetops Hotel

A feeling of nostalgia engulfed me as we drove past the Nyeri Scouts Centre near the ACK Church. I reminisced my Primary School days when I was a girl guild and the ultimate ‘pilgrimage’ of being a guide was visiting the Lord Baden Powell grave site at the compound of St. Peter’s Church.

Source: Wikipedia

As I was immersed in my own thoughts, we suddenly made a left turn and within minutes we were at the main entrance of Outspan hotel. We were ushered in by one of the butlers into the main reception, after explaining to the front office manager that we were headed for an overnight stay at treetops hotel; we were directed to the restaurant. We secured a twin bench outside the patio as we enjoyed the fresh air, kids ran up and down as they played and sunbirds fly from flower to flower as they took the much needed nectar while pollinating them as well.

Buffet lunch has been prepared and we started with soup and graduated to the main meal and dessert and coffee. The coffee provided the much needed kick for our tour to the Paxtu Museum that is within the Outspan compound.

Lord Baden-Powell spent the last years of his life (1938 to 1941) at the Outspan in a special cottage called Paxtu. “Pax” was the name of his home in England and “Tu” was a corruption of the word “too” in English. The Paxtu Museum is dedicated to the life of Lord Baden-Powell; the founder of the Scouts Movement and receives many scouts and guides from across the globe. After the museum visit we departed for treetops.

We drove to the main Aberdares Headquarters to pay park entrance fees to facilitate us gain entry into Aberdares through the Treetops Gate.

As we drove in towards treetops, we saw variable and bronze sunbirds, streaky seed-eaters, warthogs and bushbucks. After a gradual ascend, we arrived at a rustic, majestic apartment like building that had tree-bark finishing on its walls.

We were ushered to the reception as we walked on a flight of old-creaky wooden stairs to the first floor. The lady gave us a short briefing on the lodge and their housekeeping rules and later ushered to our rooms.

All the rooms overlook a watering-hole and when we entered our room we could already spot some black-smith plovers, buffaloes and bushbucks.

We rested for a while and later headed to the top floor to gaze and spot animals at the watering hole.

We stayed at the lounge chatting, and reliving the history of Queen Elizabeth II and the sightings recorded at the watering hole in the past. My eye caught a story recorded in May 1969 of Bongos fighting at treetops.

The story of the hunter on duty read, “At 11p.m a herd of bongo consisting of two male and eight female arrived, the two males walked to the middle of the lick and about eight yards away a fight started’ one male charging and the other immediately wounding it in the chest and stomach and knocked it to the ground. The attack continued at varying intervals until 2am next morning when the bongo died. You will see in photograph No.6 a hyena arrived as the bongo died”. My mind was unraveled at the population of the bongo then and now as they draw near very close to extinction.

There were numerous newspaper cuttings and photos of Queen Elizabeth II of how this famous lodge entered into the history books as a lady ascend the lodge as a prince and descended as a queen following the death of her father King George VI.

We later went for an evening nature walk as our guide interpreted the significant and benefits of some of the plants found in the area. Being in a group, birding became a bit challenging though we managed to see a pair of Egyptian Geese and a grey-backed camaropetera disappeared into the bush upon spotting it. We headed back to our rooms to freshen up and later have dinner.

We walked past Suite 18, ‘Princess Elizabeth Suite’ where Queen Elizabeth slept while staying at the lodge.

As we walked along the corridor we couldn’t help but notice the integration of nature into the lodge architectural design as there tree trunks cutting cross the pathways and branches growing on the corridor.

After dinner, we sat by the window and there was a huge herd of elephants at the watering hole. The lodge and watering hole is located an ancient Elephant Migratory route between Mt. Kenya and Aberdare Ranges and makes it the perfect and magical place to view wildlife. We admired the elephants take turn and make gentle whispers and later turned into the warm comfortable cotton sheets for a much deserved rest.

In the morning, Mt. Kenya was towering against the backdrop of the watering hole and there was a hyena quenching his thirst as we departed for breakfast. At the table we narrated stories of waking up in the middle to watch animals at the watering hole following the lodge’s buzzer system. Thereafter, we bid farewell to the amazing and ever smiling staff at the lodge, after having a royal retreat at Treetops.

Treetops is small, intimate and personal and is ideal for people looking for a weekend getaway that’s about 3 hours from Nairobi. Contact us today for bookings for a romantic weekend getaway to Treetops and other amazing destinations and accommodation facilities via