Major Eric Sherbrooke Walker built the Treetops Lodge Kenya on a “Mugumo” (Fig)Tree for his wife Lady Bettie. Initially, only open on Wednesday nights to overnight guests as a night-viewing platform, it was purposely built beside a waterhole where animals would come for refreshment and natural salt lick. Treetops opened to the public on 6th November with 2 Beds selling at ₤10 per person!
Her Majesty Descends
“For the first time in the history of the world, a young girl climbed into a tree one day a princess and after having what she described as her most thrilling experience she climbed down from the tree next day a queen” ~ Jim Corbertt. The Treetops Lodge Kenya had grown to a 3 bedroom (8 Bed) Lodge when Princess Elizabeth climbed on 5th February to decend the next day as Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
A Sad Year
The Mau Mau uprising of the 1950s against the British colonialists, was fought in the Aberdare forest and hence the Treetops Lodge Kenya was closed. As a protest against the shoot-on-sight order made against them, Mau Mau rebels burnt down the Treetops Lodge (which acted as a lookout for the King’s African Rifles)
Rising from the Ashes
The Treetops Lodge Kenya was rebuilt in July with 14 Beds on a nearby chest nut tree on the opposite side of the same waterhole and salt lick near the elephant migration pathway to Mount Kenya
A New Chapter
The Treetops Lodge Kenya’s current owners, Aberdare Safari Hotels Limited, purchased the Lodge together with sister Outspan Hotel in Nyeri. Prior to that ownership had changed from Shebrooke Walker to Sir Malin Sorsbie in 1961 and to Block Hotels Limited in 1966. Treetops was continuously developed to 40 Rooms in 1983 and 50 Rooms in 1996
A Royal Return
On 13th November Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II returned to The Treetops Lodge Kenya (+30 years after 1st visit) and noticed the “retreat of the forest”. Aberdare Safari Hotels and Kenya Wildlife Services has since initiated “Return the Bush” programme with a vision is to rehabilitate the 152km² (125Ha) Salient area of the Aberdare National Park including 10Ha around the Lodge.
Treetops was completely upgraded in 2012 after a 6-month closure for a major refurbishment that resulted in 36 En-suite Rooms. The Lodge Character was perfectly preserved while guest comfort, game viewing and dining experience was enhanced.