“ Location: Amboseli National Park / Kenya / Africa „
After a very long drive from Lake Nakuru, including a bone trembling journey across the Amboseli plains (and our vehicle breaking down temporarily at the entrance to the Amboseli National Park) we arrived at Ol Tukai Lodge in the middle of the National Park.
Each room is semi-detached to another room making them look like small houses. They have all been positioned with either a view over the plains and underground river where many animals roam, or towards Mount Kilimanjaro (when the clouds weren't covering it!)! Even though we made it known during our original booking that we were on honeymoon, Ol Tukai Lodge was the first hotel to acknowledge it! (This was night 5 of our safari!) Above the entrance to our room was a lovely floral and palm leaf arrangement, which was unique to our room and symbolised we were on honeymoon. A lovely touch.
Whereas breakfast was the usual buffet affair that you find in Kenya, the evening meal was a rare a la carte sit down 3 course meal! It was a lovely change from the buffets we'd been having on previous days (in previous lodges), and whereas the buffets were nothing but lovely, it was nice to be served our meal. The candle light made the whole evening very romantic, and the food was delicious.
The grounds were a bit sparse 'garden' wise - but this was to be expected when you consider the environment of Amboseli itself. Amboseli basically means salty dust and the whole area is VERY dry and inhospitable for creatures and plant life, with the exception of the massive underground river which runs nearish to Ol Tukai lodge - attracting wildlife from miles around. However, the grounds men had obviously worked hard to sustain lawns around the grounds, and lush foliage and trees near the well kept pool. Due to the quite open design of the lodge and its grounds (excellent views of the plains or Mount Kilimanjaro), there was a fence erected around the circumference, which provided some reassurance against any possible wandering animals!
Monkeys! Everywhere! You're advised not to feed them as they can be pests! Feed them near your room and they start trying to get in - they've been known to steal! However, stick to the rules, don't feed them, and they are wonderful to watch as they gallivant around the grounds in their family units (we saw many baby monkeys!).
Amboseli itself is famous for its elephants - who love the underground river. We had one of our most memorable experiences whilst on a game drive in Amboseli - a herd of over 30 elephants of all ages, shapes and sizes, walking past our vehicle - literally within feet of us (our driver had his hand poised on the engine key the whole time in case we needed to make a quick getaway!)! Because of the lack of water in the surrounding area, it's also incredible to see the wide range of different animals all wading and drinking together. Ol Tukai Lodge is the perfect base to explore Amboseli National Park - it's already right in the centre of it!
Ol Tukai was a lovely lodge, and highly recommended for its food, location, rooms and attention to detail.