THE COUNTRY FEEL AT MOUNTAIN LODGE
Mountain Lodge’s visit presented a number of firsts for me. Born in the city, I had never been to an actual jungle forest before. The furthest to the wildlife for me was the dry savannah grasslands of Masai Mara National Reserve. The second ‘first’ for me was going deep into the Mt Kenya region, the birthplace of Agikuyu culture and literature.
Green vegetation lining up the road and a breeze of fresh air as you navigate through the meanders of the mountain Kenya region corridors, best describes the road trip down to Serena Mountain Lodge, a luxury treetop lodge inside Mt Kenya National Park.
From outside the parking lot, the lodge looks pretty much like every other lodge; gravel ground and overwhelmingly kind valets. However, no one really prepares you for the breathtaking tree-house design lodge camouflaged in surrounding green, with a stunning view of Mount Kenya and a water hole right in front of the lodge.
We came in just in time to see a gang of buffaloes grazing around the water hole. The elephants and a pack of hyenas would come in to take a sip at different times of the night. Nibbling and roaring sounds would be heard from the water hole throughout the stealth, silent jungle night.
The Lodge’s reception porch with a cubicle-like view of the water hole through a glass-wall offers an even more scenic view of this. Downstairs on the tree-house structure, there is an underground tunnel that leads to a small window buried on the ground next to the water hole where the animals come to graze.
The lodge itself has a country feel with everything wooden from the floor to the walls to the ceilings. Not much glass or contemporary-shiny furniture. A continuous flow of fresh air combined with the chill forest weather all around the lodge made you feel as one with the wild jungle outside.
All the rooms face the water hole. Our visit happened to be on a full-moon weekend. I must have stayed for hours that night and early morning, staring at nothing specific, just gazing out at the little the moonlight could illuminate. It was calming.
Taking a walk and drive through the Mt Kenya forest is even more exciting. We didn’t have to wait for long as our evening tea was going to be after a nature walk into the forest that led to a clearing with logs as table settings. Oh the country…a true beauty.
The walk was led by a coherent guide who made sure to pronounce every English word correctly and further emphasizing it with his fingers. In the forest there is shade with a number of traditional items used in the day to day life of the Agikuyu.
The snow peaks of Mt Kenya have a lot to do with the general interest in Kenya by the missionaries. As documented, ‘no one would believe there was a mountain with snow right in the middle of the equator’. Just one of many wonders of Africa.
The following morning’s breakfast was at another forest clearing after which we put our gumboots on to go fishing in a river stream from the mountain that feeds River Ewaso Nyiro, which is an important source of living for livestock and wildlife in the drier Samburu and Isiolo areas and larger portion of the Rift Valley region.
As you start planning your own visit, check out more photos from the splendid Mountain Lodge – here.
By KEVIN OGUOKO
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