11 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Amazing views, lots of animals, calm and beautiful lodge
"Stayed in Kenya for 10 days, 5 of which I was at Amboseli. Ol Tukai Lodge is like the Oasis of this amazingly beautiful and wildlife infested park, (Amboseli National Park). Amboseli is the second best park in Kenya second to the Mara. It has fewer visitors so you get to enjoy the views and the animals without much conflict. The views are awesome, breathtaking, the mountain view, everything is just amazing. Kenya is really a beautiful country.
We recommend Ol Tukai. It is truly an amazing place, tranquil, beautiful, really ince people and really nice food...Karibu sana is good good. "
- Travel date: Fri 2nd of October 2009
"Just got back from Kenya and what an experience. The Old Tukai lodge is a Magnificent place set in the heart of Amboseli national park. Stayed there for 1 night only, but didnt want to leave.The views were amazing and to see the animals in there own habitat was awesome.
Kilamanjaro was a sight in itself as it slowly emerged from behind the clouds just before sunset.
The lodge itself was different class to the lodges we stayed in at Tsavo East and West and the Kenyan people were very hospitable as usual. The rooms were clean and the food was very good with plenty of choice.
To wake up in the morning and step out into a different world to the one we are used to was unforgetable. I will be personally be revisiting this place."
- Travel date: Thu 5th of July 2007
Great location and views
"We booked a 5 night safari (Thomsonâs âKenya Classic Aâ) starting in Nairobi and moving on to Masai Mara, Lake Nakuru & Amboseli. After reading various reviews of all the safari lodges, I was still a little confused as to what to expect.
So before putting my comments down about individual lodges, I would like to summarise a few things about the whole safari experience. Firstly, it is just that â an experience!! Unlike anything you are likely to have done before, so I defy anyone not to have a good time! Be prepared for lots of early mornings (best time for game drives), although you wonât even notice how tired you are until itâs all over. But you also need to remember that Kenya is still a Third World country, so you are not going to get all the service and facilities that you would do at an International Hotel chain, as it is just not possible! Anyone who thinks differently really may need to evaluate what they want from a safari holiday before embarkingâ¦.
Yes, the roads (if you can call them that!) are awful â but you get used to spending 5 hours bumping around in a safari van! The good news is that the current government of Kenya does seem a lot less corrupt than the one that had reigned for previous 25 years, so you can see improvements happening all over the place â a lot of which is paid for by the tourist Â£Â£s and $$s. And the people who work for the tour companies and hotels do appreciate this, and they are incredibly friendly and helpful.
If youâre combining a safari with a beach trip, definitely do the safari 1st!!! We needed a few days afterwards to just relax and catch up with some sleep! Our tour rep through Thomson was Pollmans (based in Nairobi) â if you need to book your safari/game drives separately, I can highly recommend them.
Ol Tukai Lodge was the 3rd and last stop on our safari, and was a most pleasing sight following a 10-hour day driving down from Lake Nakuru!
It has a great location, set right in the heart of Amboseli National Park, so we saw a great range of animals just driving in. And the Lodge is set on quite a big plot, so itâs well worth just wandering around the grounds and seeing what you can find â we found numerous monkeys, ibis and a woodpecker within a 2 min walk of our room!
We were in an Elephant View room (other side is Mountain View) which was great. Basically there was a fence about 20 metres away from all the rooms and beyond that was the Park, so we could sit outside our door and watch the zebra, wildebeest and elephants wandering around. Our room was quite small, but clean and tidy with good mosquito nets. Our only complaint was that we had twin beds instead of a double.
I donât think there was any difference in standard between the Elephant & Mountain View rooms â and you would need to be lucky to get a brilliant view of Kilimanjiro from anywhere anyway, due to the haze that seems to sit around it for most of the day.
The restaurant/bar area was large and airy â the bar in particular was very inviting, arranged over 2 floors. The system of having part set-menu/part buffet dinner was a bit odd â you ordered your main meal from a choice of 3 on the menu, but fruit/puddings/bread etc. were all served buffet-style! Not the most logical system, but it did mean that the main meals were served to your table fresh and piping hot. No real complaints about the food at all. Was also the only one of the Lodges we stayed at that offered good quality, reasonably priced wine by the glass (instead of having to buy the whole bottle).
Ol Tukai also has a swimming pool which we did take advantage of one lunchtime â itâs not heated, so is pretty cold!
As for the park itself, itâs very dusty (watch out for the Dust Devils spiraling up from the horizon!) with sections of swampland. So you get an enormous amount of birdlife and elephants here. On our very last game drive of our safari, we were lucky enough to see a group of 5 cheetahs â very rare to see such a large group, but great for us!
One tip we found useful â when you get to the gates of the parks, your safari van will be swamped by Massai trying to sell you necklaces/trinkets etc. Fair enough, they need to make a living. But if your windows are open they will be right in your face, thrusting their hands /goods right inside the car â I found this a little off-putting! So after that, we shut the windows as we approached the gates â they will still approach the car, but a polite âNo thanksâ from behind the glass tended to work.
All in all, a brilliant time!"
- Travel date: Mon 2nd of July 2007
Cosy cottages with a magnificent view
"We stayed at Ol Tukai in Amboseli during our second safari holiday to Kenya in June 2007 and we really enjoyed our stay.
We were located in a cosy little cottage with a a terrace from which we had a magnificent view of the grassplains where lots of wildbeests and zebras were grazing and with the snowcovered Kilimanjaro at the horizon.
There were a lot of vervet monkeys and birds on the hotelgrounds which were huge and we enjoyed walking around, discovering the "neighbourhood".
Food was excellent at Ol Tukai Lodge. There were many different choices for both breakfast, lunch and dinner and everything was beautifully decorated. The service was great, too and the staff was very helpful.
During our game drives in Amboseli, we saw large elephant herds with many small ones, wildbeests, zebras, two cheetahs in the distance in the swamps, lion, hippos, bee-eaters and other colourful birds, hares, hyenas, jackals and so on. There were many baby animals in the park while we were there in June.
We also experienced some of the most amazing sunset and sunrises in Amboseli that we have ever seen! Truly amazingly beautiful!
We also did the birdwatching walk through the hotel`s Masaai guide and it was really worth it! We saw Kingfisher, Woodpeckers, Paradise Flycatchers, Hoopoes and Little bee-eaters on this walk (among other birds) through the gardens and hotelgrounds and it was really interesting!
They also offer many other activities, among others visits to a Masaai village which we didn`t try though as we have already been to one in the Masai Mara two years ago, but there are also a lot of other activities on offer, if you want to do other things except from game drives.
Ol Tukai is a very nice lodge and we enjoyed our stay in Amboseli very much. The cottages are very cosy and the view from the lodge is stunning, excellent food, friendly staff, interesting activities and game drives were rewarding in this beautiful park! We hope to return some day!
Annika&Peter from Sweden"
- Travel date: Thu 28th of June 2007
Great location !
"This lodge was recommended for its great view of Mt.Kilimanjaro but the great mountain was mostly covered by clouds throughout our stay except for the evenings when we could get a glimpse of the snow peak. The location of the lodge is excellent and one can see herds of elephants right outside the electric fence of the resort - visible from every room.
The buffet meals were average and one of the evening meals was quite bad - not enough choice from a fixed menu and what was available was BAD. Breakfasts were reasonably good.
Although the park is quite big, the vans are not allowed to go off the main tracks at all - as a result one really can't get up close to the animals unlike at Masai Mara. As a result, could see the big cats only from a distance - felt quite cheated about that ! Saw plenty of elephants, zebras and hyenas though. But if one had a choice I would definitely recommend Masai Mara Game Sanctuary over Amboseli - go there in August during the migration season - the amount of game you can see is unbelievable !!!!"
- Travel date: Thu 26th of April 2007
Nice family property...
"We stayed here for two nights on our honeymoon. This wasn't our first pick for accommodations but the other ones were fully booked. We arrived here with our own tour guide. This seemed to be the same for most guests there as there were a variety of vehicles here (mini bus, land cruiser, land rovers) with different company names.
- beautiful view of animals just outside your room
- enjoyed our porch with chairs to admire the view
- within the national park
- nice view of Kili
- pool area was quite nice
- music in the lobby in the evening was a nice touch
- drinks were not included in our package. when you factor in the cost for drinks for your stay, I think it might be better to stay at other accommodations which would include this.
- food and drink (coffee/tea) were average. Lots of selection on the buffet front, but somewhat repetitive. Breakfasts were alright. For dinner, they provide you with a menu, but most of it ends up being buffet anyways. It seemed like they were trying to be something that they are not up to par with.
- bedding/towels were faded and old.
- bathrooms though with running water/showers were pretty basic
We were told that Oltukai is the newest of the properties within the national park, however, we definitely found it to be old. Also our tour operator indicated that we should pay tips at the end in the general box, however, the gentleman who cleaned our room came to find us on the porch on the last day and seemed to wait there until we paid him a tip. We found Amboseli team with game, however, unlike private conservancies or in the Mara, you were limited on your game drives to be restricted to the roads available.
Overall, I feel fairly neutral about this property. Definitely was not blown away, but being the first stop on our safari, we didn't know any better. I would probably try a different property if I was to go again tp Amboseli."
- Travel date: Tue 31st of October 2006
My most favorite lodge on safari
"The property is in the middle of the Amboseli National Park which is filled with all kinds of animals, most notably elephants. The lodge is relatively new- built in the late 1990-'s- and is beautiful: outdoor bars, restaurants, patios with firepits, open air lobby, swimming pool. Every view is of the park and so watching a wide variety of animals as you dine/swim/relay is a given. An absolutely beautiful lodge with spectacular views. The rooms are fine but not luxurious. Everything was clean and what you need is provided. The massages are $30 an hour and were excellent! Food was only fair but it was buffet style so the choices were plentiful. This was my favorite lodge of the 6 in which we stayed while on safari with Micato."
- Travel date: Fri 29th of September 2006
"I have stayed at Ol Tukai Lodge on nine different occasions and love it. It is the newest lodge in the park, and the one closest to the wildlife. The reception desk is at the center of the complex. You may choose Kilimanjo view (if the clouds aren't too low your see Kili) or elephant view room (overlooking the Longinye Swamp). You can sit on your veranda and watch the wildlife at the swamps. The rooms are in chalet-style buildings - four rooms to a building. The rooms are of good size and bright and airy. Food is usually served buffet style (if they have a full house). During the quieter season you may order from a menu. The food is excellent with an abundance of choices. The landscaping around the lodge is beautiful and well kept. There is a pool for swimming and sun bathing after lunch. The staff go out of their way to make your stay enjoyable. Several nights a week there is the usual Maasai dance to enjoy and photograph.
One warning - they have been having a problem with several large babboons (despite having "monkey chasers" chase them away all day). It is not advisable to take food to your room. The babboons know how to open the doors. When I was there the end of January one huge male babboon ripped the screen off
my window to check it out and see if there was any food there (there wasn't). However, as I approached my room after lunch I saw the babboon in my room staring out at me!!
Many safari-goers say (since Amboseli is such a small park) that one day in Amboseli is enough. I can't disagree more. I stay at Ol Tukai one week at a time, twice a year and I never get tired of it. I go on two game drives a day and yes, I do see a lot of the same. However, on every single game drive there is something different to see and learn. It took me eight stays before seeing a pythong killing a gazelle.
Try it, you'll love it!"
- Travel date: Sat 25th of March 2006
2 nights of heaven
"stayed here as part of a 5 day safari. Our guide Azize said it was the best for food and he was certainly not wrong. The setting of the accomadation is fantastic, mind blowingly good. Desperatly want to go back."
- Travel date: Sat 11th of June 2005
The best lodge by far
"I went on a 14 night safari with Kuoni (the leopard safari) and this by far was the best lodge we stayed out.
The rooms were beautiful and the food was superb we stayed for two nights and also enjoyed entertainment which was a guy sat in the bar with his guitar. The pool was nice and clean but watch out for the Monkeys they will nick your towel if you let them.
Our room had a view straight across the savannah / marsh it was lovely to sit outside first thing in the morning with a cup of tea watching the elephants feed in the distant.
There is an electric fence round the hotel so you know you are safe. Unfortunately the animals are not so we did have one casulty whilst we were there. A Gnu had been running from Hyenas in the night and got himself tangled up in the wires as one of the staff said big head, no brains.
I can guarantee you will have a fab time here."
- Travel date: Tue 8th of February 2005
Great safari lodge
"The Ol Tukai was easily the nicest safari lodge we stayed at. It was built in 1996 and is therefore still pretty modern, and -the rooms are divine. The food was great - as was the swimming pool. It is located smack in the middle of Amboseli with a great view of Mt Kilamanjaro.
- Travel date: Wed 29th of December 2004