10 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
the best night of my holiday
"i stayed here for 1 night as soon as i arrived there was a herd of elephants & buffalo at the watering hole. my room was the lowest level on the corner so it looked out onto the watering hole (when i was going to bed and elephants head was about 1metre away from my window) the rooms are small and you share a bathroom but that is over looked by the rest of the hotel which was amazing and you shouldnt complain its only for one night and i only went in my room twice. there are loads of viewing places i saw elephants, buffalo, waterbucks, impala, waterhog and really late at night i saw a black rhino (the only one i saw my whole holiday) the food was a 6 course meal you had a choice of 3 of the courses. It was all very nice. The hotel actually has real trees goin through it some braches are covered so you dont hit your head. there was a sense of excitement everywhere because there were only 100 people and everyone chatted because we were all in it together. i would go back to kenya just to stay there you get so close to the animals its once in a life time experience people who say its a bad hotel cant see its not about how big the rooms are or communial bathrooms its about watching animals in the natural habitat in a historic place where many world leaders have visited and queen elizabeth II found out she was queen."
- Travel date: Thu 30th of August 2007
Accomodation is very outdated - otherwise OK
"We stayed at Treetops in Aberdare for one night. The accomodation is very outdated with guests sharing toilet and shower facilities. No proper facilities for disabled guests. Too steep and narrow stairs for the elderly. Food is not very good. Little choice for vegeterians.
The hotel has waterholes on each side where large numbers of animals gather during night and day. We saw herds of buffallos, baboons, elephants, one rhino, antelops, etc. Leopards and Cheetahs rarely come.
It is definitely exciting for children. They allow children from 7 years. We went to Treetops for our daughter. She had a great time, so it was worth it in the end.
If you do not include Treetops in your safari itenary, you will not miss much. There are lots of nicer and modern lodges in other national parks in Kenya."
- Travel date: Thu 16th of August 2007
"had a wonderful stay at the famous Treetops Lodge during a week safari.
The accommodation is on the small size and caters two single beds with no place for drawers or cupboards, however you are well advised of this prior to arriving.
There are two showers within the shared bathrooms and are more than adequate for an overnight stay.
The food is excellent however be prepared to be disturbed during eating as there will be unexpected visitors to the water hole outside.
The one thing that did surprise during my stay was how cold it was in the evening. The Lodge is high above sea level (I can't remeber how high but I think it was over 8.000mtrs) and there are blankets on the bed for you to wrap around whilst observing the visitors to the water hole.
The only criticisn that I have of the Lodge is the cost of drinks. I purchased 2 gin and tonics it cost well over Â£12!
Other than that it was truly a remarkable stay at a memorable peice of British history"
- Travel date: Thu 22nd of March 2007
"Despite having read the reviews on TA before I went, it still came as a total surprise to see the ugly but totally fascinating bulk of Treetops rising out of the ground. We were a bit surprised that we had to enter by a spiral staircase but once inside it was exactly like a small river cruise ship (as someone else mentioned in a previous review). I particularly liked the tree branches poking through the structure of the hotel!
The food was not great but given the difficulties of catering here, it was perfectly acceptable. This is, after all, a 'night watch lodge' and not a fully fledged hotel. Anyway, we were there to see animals and boy did we see animals.
Almost from the moment we arrived we saw something interesting - starting with warthogs, a couple of elephant, cape buffalo, impala, baboon, elland and later jackals and hyenas. We did not go on the afternoon game drive, choosing to look out from either the lovely viewing lounge area or from the roof terrace. By late afternoon/early evening the elephant were out in force. It is mating season and we saw some incredible sights - we went down to the ground level 'hide' where we watched elephant from a distance of about 2 metres away - awesome. I sat for a long time on a sofa facing a big picture window and watched these huge creatures walk right past me. It was kind of like having a plasma screen tv showing wildlife programme.
I found it difficult to sleep because I was so excited and so I went out onto the roof terrace at about 2.00am. I counted 56 elephant! The guide on duty said it was because two herds had come together and thus this number is a bit unusual. Sadly I could not get a photograph because of the lack of available light so no-one in our party believed me the next morning!
This review is more about what Treetops is about than about it's function as a hotel. I think one's experience here has to be seen in this context."
- Travel date: Sat 10th of February 2007
Treetops is an unforgettable experience!
"We stayed at Treetops for 1 night whilst on the Cheetah Safari booked through Kuoni. We arrived at Outspan around midday and after checking in luggage had lunch in the gardens. Food was buffet style and was okay, not as nice as some of the other lodges we had ate at and drinks were overpriced. After lunch we were transferred by bus to Treetops. The journey isn't long, but if you're claustophobic make sure you sit at the front of the bus or climb onto a bus which isn't full as they have extra fold down seats taking up the aisle way to squeeze everyone in!
I wasn't too sure how much I was going to like Treetops, as I am a bit of a girly who likes her comforts and when you see the outside of the place you imagine prison style rooms with lots of creepy crawlies. I was pleasantly surprised however, the rooms were cosy and warm with two single beds in and extra blankets for you to snuggle up in. Facilities are communal and few, so be prepared to rough it a bit. There was no power points in our room so dont bother packing your hairdryer!
Upon arrival animals were already gathering around the salt licks in their masses, at least hundred buffalo, warthogs, waterbucks, baboons, and various antelope. We were very fortunate during our stay as a herd of around 18 elephants arrived mid afternoon for a drink and play around at the salt lick and stayed for hours! It was fascinating to watch them so close up and had some great photo opportunities.
Dinner is served at long benches and you are usually placed with members from your tour bus/group. Food was lovely, although was served on a sliding tray in the middle of the table so portion sizes were a bit small due to sharing (so pack some things to munch on later).
After dinner we got our blankets and binoculars (which are a must for any safari) and sat on the viewing deck in anticipation. I guess I'm a bit slushy so found snuggling up in the cold quite romantic! As mentioned in other reviews they have a buzzer system for the different animals 1 for hyena 2 for leopard 3 for rhino and 4 for elephant. Around 10pm my hubby spotted some eyes coming over the hill and 3 hyenas visited the salt lick. Just after midnight I climbed into bed and moments later the buzzer went off three times and a black rhino was in the area. With the adrenaline and excitement I nearly dislocated my arm putting my clothes back on (so maybe it's best to sleep with them on!) He stayed for hours and was beautiful to watch. Around 1.30pm went back to bed and had an undisturbed sleep until 6.30am when we were woken for morning tea before transferring back to Outspan.
The experience is a must and is truly unforgettable, I would love to go back there again one day."
- Travel date: Sat 30th of September 2006
A great experience
"Had an overnight stop here while on a week's safari. We arrived first at the Outspan hotel where we had to drop off our large cases as only an overnight bag is allowed due to space. We had a buffet lunch then paid to watch the Kikuyu tribe and visit their village which is in the grounds of the hotel. We were then transported by mini-bus to Treetops where a game drive was on offer. We decided to stay and enjoyed the many sightings of game arriving at the waterhole - buffalo, warthog, elephant, rhino and numerous colourful birds fed from a bird table. We realised we had only been allocated a double room for a family of four but they were very helpful and gave us a suite which meant we had a balcony and our own bathroom facilities. Our tour party sat at long tables for the evening meal in the restaurant. There are many viewing platforms here so affording good opportunities for photos of animals. In the morning we were transported back to the Outspan hotel for breakfast and to collect our other cases."
- Travel date: Fri 8th of September 2006
"Treetops was a first stop on an incredible week of Safari in January 2006. It is no longer on the site of the famous treetops and you have to ask a guide to show you the "stump" that is left of the original place where Elizabeth became Queen. You are offered the chance for a safari through the park and, like others on this site, we heard from those who went that it wasn't really value for money. If you are moving onto Samburu and/or Masi Mara then you will see much more there.
The rooms are very small and you can only take a small piece of hand luggage with you but you only need a change of clothes and a sweater for the evening if you go at this time of year.
We were very lucky to have just 6 other guests staying at the same time as us so got undivided attention from the staff who are all so knowledgeable about the area and the animals - they really do make you feel welcome and also very humble when you realise how little we know about our own wildlife! Treetops is magical, not just for it's history but for the ambiance, the structure and the staff. We saw a whole family of elephants, hyena, buffalo and loads of birds and warthogs. Enjoy it - we certainly did!"
- Travel date: Wed 16th of August 2006
Great place to go...
"Fantastic experience, and would recommend it, but didnât see much wildlife! We only saw 3 hyenas after dark & lots of antelope & waterhogs! No elephants, but I think we were quite unlucky, the previous days, others had seen a few (there is a book visitors list the animals they have spotted). We didnt even get a call in the night (there is an alarm system when animals come to the lake). The food was good, everyone sits at long tables - bit like school - but good fun! The rooms are very very small and you do have to share the bathrooms - would recommend having a shower quite soon after you get there, so you donât have to queue. You can upgrade to a suite, the room itself isnât particularly big, but you get your own viewing deck and bathroom."
- Travel date: Sat 22nd of July 2006
Overnight Stay at Treetops
"I still have mixed feelings about my stay at Treetops. I was really looking forward to staying there even though it was only for one night and it's great to now be able to say to people "yes, I've been there", but I don't think it quite met my expectations.
I think some of the reason for this is because of the Royal connection, because after all that is how Treetops became so famous all those years ago.
When we checked into the Outspan we were told that our main safari bags had to stay with them in their storeroom and we were only allowed to take a small overnight bag onto Treetops lodge. We then had lunch at the Outspan, which was ok. You are then transferred from the Outspan to Treetops in a variety of vehicles ranging from a couple of buses; mini vans and 4x4's depending on how many are going. The transfer is about 17km and you stop at a drop off point about 250 meters from the Treetops lodge and you are given the choice to either walk up over the small ridge to the lodge or stay on the transport and get taken to the door. Just about everyone opted to get off and do the short walk. You are met by one of the Treetops Naturalists, we had Stephen, and he gave a short talk and then we walked over the ridge to the lodge past the main salt lick. This was done with the protection of one armed guard and two safety enclosures that you were supposed to run into in the event of an animal approaching!!
Once at the lodge you were directed to your room we were in room 40 on the 1st floor, there are three floors of rooms and the set up reminds you of a small cruising ship. The corridors leading to the rooms are very narrow and the rooms themselves are very much like ship's cabins. They are all small and compact and contain two single beds a small cabinet and a small picture window, that's it. The bathrooms are communal (1 for the ladies, 1 for the gents) and there is one bathroom area on each floor consisting of 1 toilet and 2 showers. Unless of course you book one of the two suites that they have. These two rooms are much bigger having en-suite facilities and their own private viewing balcony, which overlooks the main Salt Lick. All rooms do have towels provided and there are also complimentary toiletries; a single use soap, shower gel and shampoo. On each bed there is also a very thick blanket for those that want to sit out all night on the open viewing deck on the roof. One point that may be worth noting is that not all rooms have power points in them.
Upon arrival at the lodge you are offered the opportunity to go on a game drive round some of the Aberdare National Park but places are limited to 12 as only the 4x4 vehicles can go. The cost was 2500KSH for 2 hours. Those that went when we were there said that they spent most of time driving through really thick forest so viewing was limited, although they did almost drive straight into a huge bull elephant! Other than that, all they saw was some monkeys.
The food is very good (vegetarian choice is limited) yet get a six course meal, portions are small but you can ask for more. The dining room consists of about 5 or 6 long bench style tables that seat about 20 people to each one and they have these weird sliding pieces of wood in the middle that you use as a tray to pass the food up and down the table.
Whilst we were there the weather was quite cold and it had rained on and off a few days beforehand so there was lots of other ground water around, which meant the animals did not have to travel to the Salt Licks to drink. As a result we did not see any of the big five. At night there is a buzzer system in operation, which you control in your room so if you want to be woken when one of the big five arrives you switch it on. 1 buzz is for a Spotted Hyena, 2 for a Leopard, 3 for a Black Rhino and 4 for an Elephant. A Spotted Hyena did arrive at about 11pm but as soon as the buzzer was sounded it ran off and by about 3am the Treetops enclosure had been consumed by fog and visibility was down to about 50 yards.
The only other things we saw were the resident water buffalo and warthogs, water bucks small rodent type wildlife and lots of birds. Although we could make out eyes glinting in the night hidden in the nearby bushes. A pair of night vision binoculars would have been very handy indeed, as would a camera that can cope with proper nighttime photography shots!
The communal areas inside the lodge are comfy and the viewing windows in the lounge area are very big. At night after dinner the lights do get switched down to aid with viewing and the bar stays open for as long as there are people around. They also have a small gift shop and in the early evening the resident naturalist also gives an interesting talk on the Aberdare region and it's wildlife telling you many interesting facts about their habitats and behaviours. The very intriguingly titled book "What is that that they do and why do they do what they do" (it had a few of us laughing anyway) is in fact quite a good read and was actually written and published by Stephen, one of Treetops resident naturalists.
In the morning Treetops provides you with tea & coffee then you return to the vehicles, travel back to the Outspan hotel and have breakfast there before collecting your Safari bags and heading off to your next destination.
All in all I did enjoy the trip to Treetops, it was just disappointing that we didn't get to see very much."
- Travel date: Fri 11th of November 2005
My land is Kenya !!
I was born in Kenya but have lived in the States "forever" and even though I try to go home every year this Feb 2005, is the first time I had the time and resources to do tourist type stuff and it was amazing.... Please be sure to check out the pictures!! Before going on I would like to make a disclaimer NOT everyone in Kenya lives in a hut!! I had to say that because some people think that Africa is one big jungle. On to the details now
1. Nyeri is a huge tourist place and one of the most famous hotels Treetops is located there. Treetops Hotel is so popular that a book by a famous British author is based on it. The name of the book is "Treetops, story of a World Famous Hotel by R J Prickett". The amazing thing about the hotel is the scenery and the food!! Yep the food is the absolute best. While in Nyeri I also drove around Mt. Nyeri!! Wish i could say i hiked it but that would be a lie!! Nyeri is always comfortable meaning it does not get super hot and that is which makes it popular with the Europeans. The natives are also really nice and super friendly. I also bought some tourist type stuff, like craved animals for really reasonable prices.
2. Isolo is the place one should go to experience the tribal thing that so many tourists enjoy!! You get to see the "Turkana" in all their glory!! Meaning the tribal gear and some women topless. Its super hot and one will need tons of water and patience. Its beautiful to see though and if you have the "guts" to eat the goat meat, its awesome and you wouldn't ever taste anything like it.
3. Nakuru is where lake Nakuru is and the most beautiful Pink Flamingo, they are so beautiful and look super clean. While in Nakuru you have to check out the restrants and hotels. The food is really good and the good thing about Nakuru is that its just like being in Nairobi meaning you can find all the modern conviences and you can shop to your hearts content!! Tourist type gagets were a little pricey but if you can bargain you wouldn't be totally ripped off.
There you have it..........three tourist type places in Kenya!! The rest of my time was spent with my family. Enjoy and please let me know what you think!!"
- Travel date: Mon 23rd of May 2005