Accommodation in Mount Kenya
First opened in 1969, the Ark Kenya offers guests a truly rare experience to observe wildlife since it is situated inside the Aberdare National Park. What distinguishes this gaming lodge from the competition is the conceptual reversal of safari tours and game drives. The hotel overlooks the Yasabara waterhole with saltlicks to attract local wildlife so they can be observed throughout the day from the comfort of the hotel.
Reminiscent of the biblical ark, the building has numerous decks, balconies, and lounges from which guests can watch the continuous comings and goings of animals around the waterhole. The floodlight also allows viewing throughout the night. Guests can observe the behaviors and individual personalities of the elephants, rhinoceroses, buffalo, monkeys, leopards, bushbucks, bongos, and plethora of birds that frequent the site. The rare vantage point, especially in the bunker on the ground floor, provides excellent photo opportunities. So that you don’t miss any animal sightings, the night guard will buzz your room when special animals come to the waterhole
The Ark Kenya offers a complete immersion into the African plains, even restricting vehicle access to protect the environment. The location ensures that you won’t miss a thing during your stay.
The Ark Kenya Room Types
The hotel provides 60 guestrooms with single, twin, double, and triple-bedded cabins that are comfortably furnished.
All “cabins” have an en-suite shower and bathroom. Accommodation in The Ark is in the form of cabins that are self-contained with a shower and toilet. The rooms are on three levels – Deck A, Deck B and Deck C.
Deck C is the main deck where all the main lodge facilities are located, including the restaurant, cloakrooms and bar. There is also access for wheel chairs, for those who require it.
From the safety and comfort of all the four decks, one can watch the wild animals visiting the water hole in front of The Ark.
- Six single bedded rooms
- Thirty seven twin rooms with two single beds in each room
- Ten double rooms with one queen bed in each room
- Seven triple rooms with three single beds in each room
* Please note: The triple-bed cabins are the best rooms for families.
Food and Drinks in The Ark Kenya
The restaurant offers excellent cuisine for dinner and breakfast, either as a buffet or set menu, depending on the number of guests. Lunch is served at the Aberdare Country Club. However, on advance request the same can be organized at The Ark.
The food is very fresh with organic vegetables and spices picked from the Aberdare Country Club gardens accompanied by fruit are brought in daily from the village. The Chef is always on hand to cater for special dietary requirements. A collection of fine wines is available from The Ark cellar.
Activities at The Ark Kenya
Wildlife at The Ark Kenya
Visitors can observe different animals, such as elephants, leopards, buffalo, rhinos in the park. These animals come to the waterhole and can be seen from the comfort and secure decks.
Elephants dominantly rule the waterholes and salt licks. There are other animals that come to drink water such as hyenas, which have to contend with elephants chasing them off at great speed. Some animals such as leopards are shy. However, the leopards are often seen in the morning and evening during safari drives.
While on game drives or walks through the forest, you may chance upon various monkeys, such as the Colobus and Vervet monkeys, for whom the Aberdare National Park is an ideal habitat. Many birds are also found here. In the forest there are many animals like the Red Duiker, Suni, Bushbuck, elephants, buffaloes, leopards etc. The moorland thickets are the home of Bush Duicker and Black-fronted Duicker and also the Black Rhino.
Safari Drive at The Ark Kenya
Half or full day safari drive to The Salient and The Moorlands in Aberdare National Park. Search the forest for a plethora of animal activity, and capture that perfect photograph to take back home.
Game drives to the Solio Sanctuary, a private game reserve that extends between the spurs of Aberdare Mountains and Mt. Kenya are possible too. This 25,000 hectare reserve became famous because of its unique success in the rearing of the White and Black Rhino. Lions, leopards, cheetahs, buffaloes and zebras can also be spotted in large numbers.
Guided Bush / Nature Walk at The Ark Kenya
Enjoy various guided bush walks through the well-developed trails in the park. Our guides have in-depth knowledge of the local flora, fauna and wildlife. The KWS rangers will be happy to answer any questions you have about animals or the history of the area. It is mandatory to have a ranger for the walks in the park.
Bird Watching at The Ark Kenya
Bird life found in the forest is abundant and varied with over 250 species of bird recorded. The most conspicuous group is the Sunbird, with four abundant species: Tacazze Sunbird, Golden-winged Sunbird, the emerald-green Malachite Sunbird and the tiny, double collared Sunbird.
Birds can be watched whilst on a safari drive or on an organized nature walk.
Visit to the Moorlands at The Ark Kenya
At the moorlands you will see the magnificent waterfalls of River Magura, River Karuru and River Chania.
Trout Fishing at The Ark Kenya
Up in the moorlands, trout fishing can be done in the moorland’s small rivers, the major one being the River Chania, within Aberdare National Park.