Doctor's Review: Medicine on the Move

September 26, 2021
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An MD Slept in Aberdare National Park, Kenya

Dr Natalie Shaffer slept in a suite but had hoped for a night in the treetops

Where was your night to remember? Treetops Lodge and the Outspan Hotel in Aberdare National Park, Kenya.

When was this? 1994.

Who were you with? A college friend.

What made this night memorable? We were with a McGill University group on a trip to see Kenya’s wildlife reserves and scheduled to sleep at the Treetops Lodge. This is where Queen Elizabeth had stayed on the night that her father King George VI had died. It is said that “she went up a princess and came down a queen.”

Unfortunately, the schedule was changed and we were told that we would miss Treetops entirely. I had chosen this particular trip specifically to stay at the lodge and be able to watch the comings and goings of the animals that congregate during the night. I am normally mild mannered, but I balked. Finally, the organizers agreed that we would visit Treetops in the evening.

While there, we were shown the accommodations and the narrow dining area with a table carved from a single tree. We stayed long enough to see some animals.

I was still disappointed that we weren’t staying the night. I suppose the organizers wanted to appease me — when we reached the Outspan Hotel, my friend and I were given a large suite.

When we inspected the sitting room, we learned that these had been the rooms of Lord Baden-Powell, the founder of the Boy Scout Movement. There was an interesting display filled with memorabilia, stretching the length of the room.

On a single night, I saw the nocturnal habits of African wildlife, visited a world-famous treetop lodge, rested my head in the room of a historical figure and viewed a private museum display. Truly a night to remember!

Where did you dine and what did you eat? We dined at the Outspan Hotel, but we were so excited about the private museum that dinner was an afterthought.

How much did it cost? There was no extra charge for the VIP accommodations. The cost for the two-week package was approximately $4000.

Would you do it again? I would most definitely return to Treetops. The opportunity to stay an entire night up in the trees viewing African wildlife holds so much fascination for me. The Baden-Powell memorabilia and suite were a nice “consolation prize,” but Treetops can’t be topped.


Dr Natalie Shaffer is a dermatologist from Hampstead, QC.

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