The Ark is an unusually shaped lodge in the Aberdere National Park in Kenya built to look like Noah’s Ark. It overlooks the Yasabara waterhole, considered the largest animal salt lick and responsible for attracting a variety of forest animal visitors. There are 60 guest rooms with a suite each snug and welcoming and equipped with views of the forest or waterhole. Restaurants offer excellent cuisine, with both Kenyan local spices and vegetables to European essentials. Activities include game viewing hot spots such as one of the numerous decks from which animals can we watched. Glassed-off viewing lounges make for almost eye-to-eye contact with wildlife.
Opened in November 1969 The Ark overlooks the Yasabara waterhole, perhaps the largest salt-lick in the Aberdare Mountains and the haunt of a variety of forest game unequalled in Africa. This tree-lodge is uniquely shaped to resemble the actual Ark, designed with decks from which numerous balconies and lounges provide superb vantage points for viewing the animals visiting the salt-lick and waterhole. A ground-level bunker provides excellent photographic opportunities, and the Yasabara waterhole is floodlit by night to enable all-night viewing of game. A 'Resident Hunter' is always on hand to elucidate on the wildlife and landscape.
The 60 guest rooms are all en-suite. 8 of these are triple-bedded state cabins, there are 38 twin-bedded state cabins, 8 double-bedded state cabins, 5 single-bedded state cabins and 1 single-bedded courier cabin which is not en-suite. All cabins offer amenities such as bedside lamps and carpeted floors to ward off the evening and morning chill. Cabins also offer small luggage racks and views of the forest or waterhole revealing game in the proximity, water flasks and glasses and hot water bottles and extra blankets. Bathroom Amenities include 115/240v shaving socket, shower stall, washbasin and flush toilets.
Located on 'C' Deck, the main dining room is set off from the bar. Long tables are softly lit, and the far side of the split-level room has a glass wall, enabling a superb view of the dense forest. The menu is a cosmopolitan combination of European and Kenyan dishes, made from an abundance of fresh Kenyan produce. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are Table d'hôte. Lunch is only served to guests staying for more than one night, or on special prior request. Seating capacity is 140 people, and it is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Located on `C' Deck, the lounge has a fireplace lit from the afternoon to late at night. Comfortable leather settees surround the fireplace and the glass walls, while the bar sports leather-padded stools. The walls are graced with paintings of wildlife. Above the fireplace in the lounge hangs the preserved head of a black rhino, the creature having been trampled to death by an irked elephant at the waterhole.
The Yasabara waterhole and salt-lick is frequented by great numbers of animals, elephant, rhino, buffalo, lion, leopard, bushbuck, besides other rare creatures such as the suni, and genet cat. To enable guests to continue watching late into the night, the waterhole is floodlit from 1800 hours to dawn. Spare blankets are available for guests' use in the lounges. Children under the age of 7 are not permitted at the Ark unless on special "Children's nights". Photographic flashlights are not permitted as some animals are startled by flashlights and will be scared away at once. Located on the 'A' Deck is the lounge which has a glassed-off viewing lounge, overlooking the waterhole. Settees enable you to view the game in comfort. Decorated in warm earth tones, the lounge affords guests a modicum of privacy in their viewing experience. Capacity is 10 seated.
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