KAPCHORWA– If you have never travelled to Kapchorwa, you will be forgiven for assuming that good Hotels are only in Kampala.
With the name picked from the Biblical Noah’s ark; Genesis 6: 14-17, “Build a boat for yourself, out of good timber, make rooms in it and cover it with tar inside and out,”, this is what the director Mr. Simba Rotich says the hotel provides for all visitors.
Until recently when I had the opportunity to get to Noah’s Ark, behind the centre of Kapchorwa town, I was one of those who believed that Noah’s ark” only existed in the Bible and that good hotels were only in Kampala.
What welcomes you at this magnificent facility is the adjacent several ridges, with shimmering stony hills, like a white sheet, Sipi falls probably the highest waterfall around Mt Elgon area which many a newcomer would wonder about.
Although the exterior décor is often neglected by many a hotel, at Noah’s Ark it counts as much as the interior; it is a fine place for outdoor parties and good outdoor living room.
The director, Mr. Rotich says the green colour in the compound signifies nature and life while the sky blue for building stands for peace and the rocky and stony structures reflect the traditional art of local people which also provides a naturally air conditioned environment.
Although down in the outskirts of Kapchorwa Municipal Council, located on top of a hill in Kapchorwa, Noah’s Ark is an amazing wonder in the wilderness.
Little wonder one sees all roads for all classes of people, colour, race and religion daily leading to the hotel to get a drink, a bite and classy accommodation.
Noah’s Ark is intended to create a rendezvous that caters for both local people and foreigners who wish to meet in a setting that is both conducive to convivial social environment while at the same time attracting clientele from an upcountry setting.
“I hasten to add that Noah’s Ark is not discriminatory n any way. We welcome irrespective of age, colour, race etc “ At Noah’s ark all people come as visitors but leave as friends, that is our motto,” says Rotich.
The hotel has a resort a stone-throw away from the main hotel booked at Shs25,000 with 30 suites with a sports club; Mt Elgon sports centre for entertainment of all guests for music, games and sports.
Mr Rotich says besides hotel business, the tavern provides guide to visitors to Mt Elgon, a free tour of Sipi falls with transport provided by Noah’s Ark and free bites for all residents.
“On top of this, we also take out our visitors to view Shawuriyako escarpments, Karamoja hills, we also link our visitors to the Benet vulnerable Mt Elgon traditional forest settlers and Western Kenya via Bukwo,” says Mr Rotich.
The way the environment is naturally modeled and the way food is prepared and served, makes this place a new gastronome in Kapchorwa and indeed the Eastern region. It may be the first of its kind, probably that is how the name Noah’s Ark was arrived at.
For serious connoisseurs, there is a gift shop selling French wines, Brandy Vodka, Vintage champagne, St Clements, a refreshing mix sparkling bitter lemon and French orange, Ram, cherry brandy gin and special Mint julep plus all other spirits.
A couple of days ago we ventured into this fabled and idyllic place and sure enough the chef welcomed us with a Caribbean cocktail; banana, mango, lime and orange then Nairobi night cocktail- coffee, cream, ice cream and ice while other visitors enjoyed strawberry delight; straw berries, ice cream and soda with a sumptuous buffet which seemed underpriced.
The mushroom soup starter was very delicious. I tasted Noah’s Ark; strips of back bacon fish fillet and queen prawns in a white wine, cream and tomato sauce topped with cashew nuts and served with pasta twists at only Shs6000 and there was no regret about all this.
Being a place that attracts European tourists, Indians and Africans, there is abundance; different types of foods from which to choose including traditional English fish in chips served with real malt vinegar, Queen prawn cocktail served on a bed of lettuce and coated in sauce mani rose then Crockdile “Barcelona” marinated prawns cooked in herb butter and sesame seed oil with onions, garlic, tomato concasse then flamed in brandy and white wine and finished with cream and parsley.
Although not yet perfect, the main course has a selection of grills such as chicken, lamb chops, sticks and fish fillet.
Mr Rotich says desserts like mixed fruits, fresh fruits, desert of pineapple and fruit platter are also served. Other desserts include Bogoya, watermelon, paw paws and local traditional bananas ‘Bogoya’ served free.