April 5th, 2013
After breakfast we unfortunately have to leave the Mount Kenya safari club. On route we receive a call from G4S security and our bag is indeed at their Nyeri office and we pick it up on our way. I have to say I am impressed as I did not think we would see the bag back anytime during our holidays. We can finally give our Arsenal shirts and caps to our friend Jackson. The chocolates have not melted and we enjoy some delayed Easter chocolates.
We arrive in the Outspan hotel just before lunch where we have to do the check-in for the Treetops mountain lodge. It appears that we have to leave in group on a bus at 2.30pm. It is the place where Baden Powell, the founder of the scouts has died and there is a small museum in the hotel.
The lunch is the worse meal we had and I really do not like the bureaucracy of this place. My youngest daughter is feeling sick and has clearly fever and I ask if there is any way that we can go separate with our own car and guide the 17km so that I can put her too bed they indicate that it is not possible and we have to wait to leave with the bus at 2.30 pm. They open a lounge area where she can sit until the bus leaves.
There are 10 people in the bus to the Aberdares mountains national park. The staff keeps on saying that my youngest daughter has malaria and I keep on repeating that this is impossible as the incubation time is at least seven days and we are not yet seven days in Kenay. In the lodge we have to push to get the key before listening to the full introduction so that we can finally put her to bed. It seems their programme is written in stone and allows no derogation whatsoever.
In Treetops Queen Elizabeth II of England was staying the night her father died and she became queen. While the location is nice overlooking an artificial water hole this place clearly has seen its best days and the staff is completely unflexible.
In the afternoon at 4.30 there is a possibility for a game drive. It is 55 USD for an adult and half price for children under 12 years old. I keep on telling the guy at the bar three times that my daughter is 14 years and that it should be 110USD and he continues to indicate that the total price is 87,50 USD. I give him 100 USD and he will return the balance in shillings at diner time.
My husband and my middle daughter stay with my sick youngest daughter in the lodge.
The other guests stay behind in the lodge and it is just me and my eldest daughter in the safari vehicle. Smoke is appearing each time when the guide hits the breaks . On a positive note, the safari guide is defintely the best of Treetops staff we met.
The Aberdares mountains are beautiful and we have a very nice view of Mount Kenya so it is worthwhile for the scenery.
At the waterhole, there is buffalo and elephants.
During diner I even spot a leopard.
The next morning another member of staff tells me in an unpolite way that I underpaid the game drive and that I have to pay the balance acting as if I had done something wrong while I had indicated the age of my daughter three times the day before. He gives me a receipt indicating "short paying of safari" . He told me they thought that I was going with the youngest one ( ....remember....the daughter that was with high fever in bed....)
At 8.00 sharp the bus will be leaving. In the bus they ask us where the room key is and we tell them on the room door. The guy tells me that it is not there and that people sometimes put it accidently in their pockets and that I should check. We tell him that a door has two sides and that they should check again. He comes back and confirms that it is indeed at the door and tells me that they had checked in the morning when we were at breakfast and then the key was not there (how logical.... we still had to take out our belongings after breakfast).
I am lost with so much stupidity and inflexibility and I am happy when the bus finally arrives at the Outspan and we see our friend Jackson again. I refuse to give any tips for the worst service I received on all our African trips. I seldom give that negative criticism on places but the way we were treated here is totally unacceptable.
There is another lodge (the "Ark") in the Aberdares mountains so if you plan on going, check out the other lodge. It has to be better.