At the heart of the dense Mt Kenya Forest, under the lush indigenous vegetation, stands an ancient timber-built house. Little is known about the solitary and enigmatic structure roofed with scalps of bamboo trees. One may be forgiven for thinking it were ruins abandoned centuries ago. Located on the foothills of Mount Kenya, Castle Forest Lodge sits within the forest reserve itself. Elephants crash through the rain forest and trout flicker in its sparkling rivers and waterfalls. The lodge occupies a clearing from which the peak of Mount Kenya can be clearly seen.
Castle Forest Lodge was put up by England’s royal family. Occupying more than 50 acres of the once virgin forestland, it was set up as a hunting lodge for England’s King George VI in 1910. A good hunter who fell in love with much of what he had seen in the largely wild countryside, King George, the father of Queen Elizabeth II, ordered that a hunting base be put up at the foot of the East African mountain, where he would spend his time during expeditions. It was then that the royal authorities in set up the castle. The location could not have been in a better place than where it stands: near an old path leading to Mt Kenya, the second largest mountain in Africa.
Castle Forest Lodge comprises of Cottages for 1-2 people, Bungalows for 2 – 4 and chalets for 6 plus for camping. The 8 Cottages are round huts for one or two people with a double or two single beds. Each hut has its individual theme, a private en-suite shower and toilet and a fire place where a fire is lit at night. There are 3 Bungalows with 2 bedrooms each, a living room with fire place, a Verandah overlooking the fields, the forest and the valley in the distance. Each bungalow has a shower and toilet. There are two standard Bungalows, which are in the original style. And one “Luxury” Bungalow recently renovated which is a more spacious and has a hammock. There are two beautiful freestanding chalets available. Each with ample space, a fully equipped kitchen, a large living room and a splendid view of Mount Kenya. There are three rooms in the Main House, which was built in 1910, one double and two twins. They share shower and toilet and are above the kitchen, bar, and restaurant. A separate field offers ample camping space, clean toilets and hot showers and a large hall with tables and chairs to sit around in case it rains. Firewood is provided at a cost. Castle Lodge also has a surprisingly excellent pub/ restaurant. It has a feel of an old English country pub.
This is a place of quiet and calm. A place to ride horses, take walks, fish in the rivers or bath in the bush pool or waterfalls.