We are driven to the Outspan hotel at the edge of Aberdares national park, which is colonial and nice looking. Queen Elizabeth was staying there as a princess when the news reached her that her mother had died, so that was in fact the place she became queen. After lunch there is a cultural outing where some natives do some song and dance. We pass, and take a stroll through the grounds. Two small busses full of people are then driven from there to Treetops, which was billed as a place where the animals would come to us, instead of the other way around.
It turns out to be a beautiful three story wooden building, built at the edge of a watering hole where many species congregate, especially at the end of the day and in the night. As we walk up to Treetops (safely behind a fence) there are a number of buffalos, hogs, gazelles and birds at the edge of the water. It looks amazing. The water normally spans 50 meters or so, but with the current drought it is more like a number of large puddles.
The building is somewhat cramped, with rooms that barely fit two beds – we could only bring an overnight bag – very narrow stairs, and a dining room that has windows more suited to portholes of a ship. The observation lounge on the other hand, has large windows and we sit there for quite a while observing all the action, the buffalos chasing the hogs from the water, and later the elephants chasing the buffalo from the water. The couple of waterbuck keep themselves where they don’t bother anyone. In the evening the watering hole is lit, so we can observe everything that goes on. In our room, the switch that indicates “please notify us if cool animals show up” is lit, but apart from a single alert for some jackalls nothing happens. No leopard or rhino. According to a sheet in the lounge, only a single leopard was seen in the month of May.