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Ol Tukai Lodge - Amboseli, Kenya

Amboseli National Park, Kenya - Kilimanjaro's Kingdom

Built in 1996 and one of Amboseli's best-known lodges Ol Tukai Lodge lies at the very centre of the park, close to the main swamp area and enjoys stunning views of Africa's highest mountain - the legendary 'Snows of Mount Kilimanjaro'. Once part of the Great Southern Game Reserve, Amboseli National Park is one of Kenya's earliest game sanctuaries; it is also one of her most popular attracting over 200,000 tourists per year.

Location
The lodge lies 250 km south (four hours drive, 50minutes flight time) of Nairobi and close to the Tanzanian border and Mount Kilimanjaro.

Kenya hotels and accommodation
Amongst the wide range of Kenya hotels, some make the ideal Kenya safari destination. Choose a safari lodge, safari hotel, bush camp, luxury lodge, safari camp, tented camp or bush lodge. National park accommodation usually takes the form of a traditional safari lodge or tented camp, but numerous other options exist on the park boundaries. Luxury lodges and luxury camp options are also offered in the private wildlife conservancies.

The Background
Amboseli National Park, Kilimanjaro's kingdom
Towered over by the magnificent bulk of Mount Kilimanjaro (5,896 m), Africa's highest mountain, Amboseli is one of Kenya's oldest, famous and most-visited parks. Endlessly panoramic, yet comparatively compact, it is dotted with emerald green swamps in which great herds of elephant wallow; half submerged in the papyrus grasses.

The permanent marshlands also provide a potent draw to hippos and buffaloes, while offering a haven for the abundant water birds. An International Biosphere Reserve, the park largely constitutes the usually dried-out lakebed of Lake Amboseli, which is surrounded by flat grasslands relieved by very few trees. On the plains are numerous antelopes, spotted hyenas, jackals, warthogs, olive baboons and vervet monkeys. Lions are rare. Observation Hill, a conical peak, which is easily climbed, offers stunning views of Mount Kilimanjaro.

Accommodation
The Ol Tukai Lodge offers 80 chalet-style twin rooms, all with uninterrupted views of either the famous swamps of Amboseli, or Mount Kilimanjaro. Built from local eucalyptus wood, river stone and slate, the chalets are comfortably furnished with ensuite bathrooms and individual terraces. Two rooms have been designed according to EU standards for wheelchair users. The exclusive Kibo Villa is a self-contained log cabin with three luxurious ensuite rooms, roof terrace and Jacuzzi.

Dining and bars
The lodge offers a large dining area, which features sisal tapestries by local artists. There is also a panoramic veranda, where lunch is served. The open-air Elephant Bar offers spectacular views of the swamps, the favourite haunt of the parks many elephant herds. Drinks and snacks are also served on the pool deck.

Child-friendly
The lodge welcomes children. Most rooms will accommodate additional beds, children's mealtimes are offered and baby-sitting services.

What to see and do
Amboseli is world-famous for its populations of large mammals. The swamps are a centre of activity for elephants, hippos, buffaloes and abundant water birds. The surrounding flat grasslands are home to grazing antelopes. Spotted hyenas are plentiful, as are jackals, warthogs, olive baboons and vervet monkeys. No longer present in their original numbers, lions can still be found in Amboseli though the famous black-maned lions have long since disappeared, as have the black rhinos that were once so plentiful.

Wildlife highlights: lion, cheetah, leopard, elephant, zebra, hippo, spotted and striped hyena, giraffe, oryx, wildebeest, gerenuk, impala and Grant's gazelle. Birds: 425 recorded species.

Conference facilities
The lodge offers its own conference facility, which will accommodate up to 200 guests and is provided with full audio-visual and catering services.

Other attractions
The lodge offers a swimming pool and sun-lounger deck, two bars, wildlife library, Maasai dancing (after dinner on alternate evenings), lectures on elephant research, Forex and communications, chapel and clinic. Board games available from reception.

Highlights and special features
Game Drives
Experience the real safari - morning and afternoon game drives through the park with our trained driver-guides. Picnic lunches and sundowners can be provided.

Guided nature walks and ornithology
The Lodge is home to over 150 species of birds.

Visits to Observation Hill
One of the high points of the park, Observation Hill towers above a small car park and its summit is accessed by a winding stone stairway. Once at the top the views are tremendous, the photo opportunities countless and, as the sun begins its descent, it provides one of East Africa's finest sundowner venues.

Campfire cocktails
The camp stages nightly safari campfire cocktails.

Maasai dance
The camp offers authentic Maasai dance displays.

Champagne breakfast
Served within the lodge's private wilderness area, home of the Ol Tukai herd of elephants.

 

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