Aberdare National Park is one of those rare wildlife destinations in Kenya that makes you overlook all about its wildlife, at least for the first few hours. The neighbouring scenery is so remarkable that you tend to miss yourself in those attractive waterfalls, mountain hills and thick rain forests. And once you realize that the intact reason you’re visiting the park is for its wildlife, you can serve your eyes to erratic sightings of black leopards, rhinos and bongo antelopes. The park is perfect for hikers as the temperature tends to be cooler than many other places in Africa, hence making Aberdara the best destination for those looking for genuine wild life experiences. The best time to visit Aberdara is between the months of May to October.
Aberdara National park is situated approximately 100 km north from Nairobi and it covers a wide variety of territories due to its altitudes from about 7,000 feet (2,100 m) to 14,000 feet (4,300 m) above sea level. The park was established in May 1950, the Aberdare National Park covers an area of 766 square kilometers and forms part of the Aberdare Mountain Range. The park contains a wide range of landscapes – from the mountain peaks that rise to 14,000 feet (4,300 m) above sea level, to their deep, v-shaped valleys intersected by streams, rivers, and waterfalls. Moorland, bamboo forests and rainforests are found at lower altitudes.
The park provides a home for elephants, black rhinos, leopards, spotted hyenas, olive baboons, black and white colobus monkeys, buffalos, warthogs and bushbucks among others. Rare sightings include those of the Giant Forest hog, bongo, golden cat, serval cat, African wild cat, African civet cat and the blue duiker. Visitors can indulge in picnics, trout fishing in the rivers and camping in the moorlands. Bird viewing is rewarding, with over 250 species of birds in the park, including the Jackson’s Francolin, Sparrow hawks, goshawks, eagles, sunbirds and plovers.
How to get there
- By Road: The Park is easily accessible on tarmac from Nyeri and Naro Moru on the Eastern side and its 150 Kms from Nairobi. A road crosses the park through the lower slopes up to the Moorlands to connect with another one from Naivasha on the western side. Naivasha is 87 Kms from Nairobi .The Park Headquarters from where you load your “Safari card” is 15 Kms from Nyeri town, along the Nyeri – Nyahururu road.
- By Air:The nearest airstrip is the Mweiga Airstrip on the opposite side from Park Headquarters s along Nyeri – Nyahururu road near Sasini Estate Farm.
- Very attractive decors of Aberdare include wonderful waterfalls with the main ones being Karuru waterfalls which fall in three steps, 1st step 117M, 2nd step 26M and 3rd 130M, making a total of 273M, Chania waterfalls and may other smaller ones.
- Tallying to the beauty of Aberdare are many ridges and river valleys which attract mountain scenery photographers.
- Game animals easily viewed in the park during game driving include; African Elephant, black rhino, leopard, spotted hyena, olive baboon, black and white colobus monkey, sykes monkey, Cape buffalo, warthog, common zebra (North Aberdare), bushbuck, and reedbuck. Rare sightings.
- Embrace those of Massive Forest hog, bongo, golden cat, serval cat, African wild cat, African civet cat, blue duiker.
- A current noticeable attraction in Aberdare is the 400Kms electric fence which was completed – final post on 28th August, 2009. The fence protects the whole Aberdare ecosystem from human pressures and contains wildlife, preventing human/wildlife conflict.
- Visitors can also take part in picnics, trout fishing (in the past the rivers were stocked with brown rainbow trout) in the rivers and camping in the Moorlands. Bird viewing is rewarding with about 290 recorded bird species, including the Aberdare Cisticola that is critically endangered and the Jackson’s francolin, which is regionally endemic, sparry hawk, goshawks, eagles, sunbirds and plovers.
- Fishing Lodge-Aberdare
- Sapper Hut
- Shimoni Cottages.
- Reedbuck (At the Moorlands)
- Honi Campsite
- Shamata Campsite
- Bill Woodley Campsite
- C Haji’s Campsite
- Muringato (M1)
- Bongo (M2)
- Nyati (M3)
- Queen Beatrix (M5)
- Kiguru (K1)
- Kifaru (K2)
- Prince Charles