Tree Top Hotel Kenya: A remote paradise where princess Elizabeth learned she will soon be queen of England

Treetops Hotel is a hotel in Aberdare National Park in Kenya near the township of Nyeri, 1,966 m (6,450 ft) above sea level on the Aberdare Range and in sight of Mount Kenya. First opened in 1932 by Eric Sherbrooke Walker, it was built into the tops of the trees of Aberdare National Park as a treehouse, offering the guests a close view of the local wildlife. The idea was to provide a machan (hunting platform on a tree during shikar in India) experience in relative safety and comfort.

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From the original modest two-room tree house, it has grown into a 35-room hotel. The original structure was burned down by The Kenya Land and Freedom Army (KLFA) during the 1954 Mau Mau Uprising, but the hotel was rebuilt near the same waterhole and has become fashionable for many of the rich and famous. It includes observation lounges and ground-level photographic hides from which guests can observe the local wildlife which comes to the nearby waterholes.

The hotel is the location where Princess Elizabeth was staying in 1952 when she acceded to the thrones of the United Kingdom, and the other Commonwealth realms, upon the death of her father, King George VI.

The initial idea of Major Eric Sherbrooke Walker, who owned land in the Aberdare Range, was to build a treehouse for his wife Lady Bettie. The idea grew, and in 1932 the couple oversaw the construction of a two-room treehouse in a huge 300-year-old fig tree as an adjunct facility to the Outspan Hotel in Nyeri, which they also built and owned. Initial construction was hampered by the presence of wild animals, as the treehouse was purposely built beside animal trails leading to a nearby waterhole. Labourers and supervisors were often chased away by wild animals, which led to increased labour costs.

Treetops Hotel could tell a story or two. Built in 1932 on an ancient elephant migratory route through Aberdare NP, this is the lodge where Queen Elizabeth II visited as a princess and left as queen. Since those days, however, Treetops has grown from a rustic platform in the branches of an ancient tree to a large stilted lodge, with 36 rooms – without losing the essence of that original treehouse style. In front of the lodge is a permanent waterhole and natural salt lick that are floodlit at night, attracting an incredible diversity of wildlife day and night.

Treetops is as much a part of nature as it has an ancient tree growing right through the hotel, with the lodge being built around it. It is the perfect fusion of nature and comfort sporting a rustic look that fits right into the Aberdares.


Step into any of our rooms and enter into a rustic world which fuses class and comfort. Our suites offer you the best relaxing atmosphere that strikes a balance between comfort and style making it the perfect home away from home in Nyeri. Treetops Lodge Nyeri has 32 standard rooms and 3 suites which make it one of the best accommodation lodges Nyeri has to offer. It also has a family room for our guests who would like to spend some time watching television.

Accommodation in Treetops Lodge Nyeri is a departure from the busy city life allowing you to unwind and truly enjoy the rustic scenery from the cosy rooms at the hotel


Experience fine dining Treetops has to offer with an intimate set up designed to help you savour the scenic views while enjoying sumptuous meals. Mini-chandeliers illuminate all the tables and restaurant furniture making mealtimes a truly unforgettable affair.

Meals are prepared with world-class precision by our experienced chefs who have mastered International recipes. All Meals (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner) are served at the Lodge except the first day’s lunch which is served at the Outspan Hotel after Check-in.


Treetops Lodge has an exquisite bar stocked with a fine array of cold and hot beverages. It is refreshing to view game over a glass of wine or beer at the lounge. Coffee lovers can enjoy a cup of specialty coffee while reading the animal sighting books (since the 1940’s) that are available at the Lounge Library.

Treetops lodge activities

Self drive to Treetops
Learn about the birds on Nature walk at the Jungle forest. With our Resident Naturalist .(Don’t forget your binoculars)
Tree planting at the Jubilee forest
Happy hour at the jungle bar around a bone fire
Game drive at Solio Rhino Sanctuary

Animal Waterhole.

This famous tree lodge has maintained its original charm and character. It overlooks a rehabilitated waterhole and salt lick, providing guests with un-hindered and close-up views of the wild animals.
Treetops became famous around the world when Princess Elizabeth, as she then was, stayed there at the time of the death of her father, King George VI. This occurred on the night of 5–6 February 1952. She learned of the king’s death, however, after having departed, while the couple were at Sagana Lodge. She was the first British monarch since King George I to be outside the country at the moment of succession, and also the first in modern times not to know the exact time of her accession because her father had died in his sleep at an unknown time. On the night her father died, before the event was known, Sir Horace Hearne, then Chief Justice of Kenya, had escorted the princess and her husband, Prince Philip, to a state dinner at the Treetops Hotel. After word of George VI’s death reached the new Queen the following day, she returned immediately to Britain.[2]

The famous hunter Jim Corbett, who was invited by the princess to accompany them during their stay there, wrote in the visitors’ log book:

“For the first time in the history of the world, a young girl climbed into a tree one day a Princess and after having what she described as her most thrilling experience she climbed down from the tree next day a Queen – God bless her.”

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