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The Ark
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Reviews (513)
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All reviewsbird feedingsalt lickrooms are smallwatering holewater holeone nightaberdare country clubcape buffalohot waterforest hogsunique experiencegenet catsanimal viewingview animalsone of a kindbush babyviewing area
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Reviewed 12 March 2014 via mobile

It was a magical experience. Bumpy journey but worth it. Fantastic view from room. Everything and more that I thought it would be. Glad I had my fleece and hot water bottle was a lovely surprise. Good food. Everybody must go and experience it.

  • Stayed: March 2014
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1  Thank Helen R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 March 2014

The first night of our JT Safaris of Mombasa private safari having transferred after lunch at the Aberdare Country Club.
What an amazing building and position. Yes in terms of wildlife you are completely dependent on the animals coming to you at the waterhole/salt lick and if they don't and I don't know how often that happens, I guess it could be disappointing. But for us it wasn't. Plenty of variety to view. No buzzers during the night, but then we didnt leave the viewing galleries until gone midnight having been watching the antics of a heard of 20+ elephant including them chasing away a Black Rhino.
The welcome and service were all first class. The buffet food both for dinner & breakfast really good. The rooms and bed comfortable - yes not huge but with scenery like they have around I didn't want to be spending any time in a room.
Had a great night and would recommend to anyone.

Room Tip: It doesn't matter - don't spend any time in it. In the morning opening the blinds to ours on the 2nd floor showed gazelle and buffalo waking up just below.
  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank DevonRlc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 March 2014

Our experience at the Ark was slightly underwhelming. We had heard a lot of positive reviews, both on here and from our safari company but it didn't quite meet our expectations. Aside from the fact that we happened to be there on an extremely rainy day (in February!) and thus there were no buzzers during the night,(although this is obviously no fault of the Ark's) it all seemed a bit too "tourist package-holidayesque". You get fed at Aberdare Country Club with average food, and then squeezed into a van, and taken on a 30 minute "game drive" on the way to the Ark. In reality, this is just a path in between big bushes, with everyone taking photos at every opporuntity, and it's unlikely you will see anything of significance. Then you're given a quick brief before you depart to your rooms, but they say everything so quickly, it's impossible to remember the details!

Granted, the hotel is set in a beautiful location, it looks great, service and food is good, it is incredibly calm and peaceful, and you do feel close to the animals. It was just our luck, however, that there weren't any animals. Oh, and our showers were cold.

It's average, although probably worth the experience if animals actually come to the waterhole in the night. Don't spend more than 1 night here though.

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with family
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1  Thank Samuel M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 February 2014

We spent one incredible night at the Ark. One night was not nearly enough. The lodge is clean, comfortable, and beautiful. The staff very knowledgable and friendly. The lounges were comfortable and one could sit and enjoy viewing the animals coming to the watering hole while sipping tea! It was great to sit quietly and enjoy the natural interaction among the animals. We saw a family of elephants, including a very protective bull, a black rhino, water buffalo, to name a few. We had elephants and other animals walking in view while we enjoyed our dinner. The food was plentiful and delicious.

Room Tip: Either side is good.We had an A level, odd numbered room that had a view of the watering hole. The A floor is the top floor.
  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with family
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1  Thank Maureen M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 February 2014

Yes, it is an amazing place. Right above a waterhole with several decks to watch the animals coming to eat and drink. You are guaranteed to see buffaloes, elephants, wild african hogs and warthogs, antelopes and gazelles, hyenas and dozens of exotic birds.
The rooms are very small, only a little bit bigger than a cabin on a ferry boat and the whole place, indeed, looks like a ferry from the inside. Bathroom are also small but nicely designed with high quality finishing.
The food is great, typically for Kenya, it is not "all you can eat" but "more than you can eat".
The staff is very friendly and efficient. Nothing to complain about it.
A perfect place? Well, not exactly. With a little bit of (bad) luck, you will share it all with crowds of people. Then certain things become quite annoying. Noisy neighbours at 4:30 in the morning can spoil the rest of your day, spotting animals with 20-30 people standing next to you and taking pictures with their flashes, crowded bar...
We were relieved when we finally got off to a game drive. 500 meters from The Ark we met the leopard and that helped us forget about our earlier experience.
Having said that, 4 stars is probably generous. 3.5 would more appropriate.

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled with friends
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1  Thank otffin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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