Aberdare National Park
The Aberdare National Park is part of the Aberdare Mountain Range, a region of stunning and diverse landscape where jagged peaks soar up to 3,930m and deep ravines cut through the forested slopes. This Kenya game reserve is ideal for seeing wildlife, walking, picnics and trout fishing.
The rainforest is a vital water catchment area with attractive streams and rivers supporting a broad range of wildlife.
Animals that can be found on safari in Aberdare National Park include elephant, buffalo, the Black Rhino, leopard, baboon, black and white Colobus monkey and sykes monkey. Rarer sightings include those of lions, the golden cat and the bongo – an elusive antelope that lives in the bamboo forest. Eland and several cats can be found higher up in the moorlands.
Bird-watching is very good here with over 250 species of birds in the park, including the Jackson’s Francolin, sunbirds and plovers. The birds of prey are of particular interest with African Goshawks, Ayres’ Hawk Eagles, Rufous-breasted Sparrow Hawk and Mountain Buzzards.
Within the park, we offer Treetops Lodge and the Ark, the latter being a lodge built in the shape of Noah’s Ark. These provide day game drives and a choice of other activities as well as night game viewing in the Salient area of the Park with good sightings of elephant, buffalo, lion and rhino which are attracted to the saltlicks and waterholes each evening.
The Aberdares are the third highest range of mountains in Kenya, reaching a summit of just over 4000m. This massive range is well known for its thick salient forests, and their prolific game.These high altitude forests are broken by moorlands and plains, and through the abundant tree cover there are sensational views of the Rift Valley and the peak of Mt Kenya.The forest is a hidden world of wildlife. The thick vegetation provides perfect cover for countless species.Very large herds of Elephant and Buffalo move almost silently through the undergrowth, while overhead noisome birds and colobus monkeys dominate the canopy.
At night the forest comes alive, the cries of hyrax and the distinctive rasping growl of leopard echoing among the trees. The Aberdares has two ‘Tree Hotels’, unique safari lodges set high in the canopy above waterholes and natural salt licks.Night sees an unending procession of game emerge from the forests to visit these clearings.This is an ideal opportunity for guests to unobtrusively observe game at length. A night in the Aberdares is unforgettable. Elephant herds surround the waterholes, drink and then fade way into the forest.Buffalo bulls fight over territory in spectacular battles. Sleek Genet cats descend from the trees and slip through halls of the lodge. the Occasionally a Rhino or the elusive Bongo antelope appear and visit the waterhole.
The Aberdares can also be explored by vehicle, or on foot. There are trekking trails throughout the forests, and across the moorlands. A few days spent here is one of Kenya’s best forest treks.The foothills of the Aberdares are ideal for exploring on horseback and there are crystal clear mountain streams that abound with Trout. The Aberdares are a great place for waterfalls.There are a series of spectacular falls along the range, and at Nyahururu, Thompson’s Falls have became a popular rest stop for travellers.Getting Around – Main road access to the Aberdares is via Mweiga or Nyeri, both easily accessed from Nairobi by bus/matatu or private transport.
You’ll need your own transport, or to be part of a safari, to get to the forest. Many trekking companies can organize transfers from Nairobi to Mt Kenya. The forest lodges also have daily transfers.There are good roads within the park, though 4WD is needed during rain. The lodges and hotels here organize game drives. There are hiking trails through the Aberdares. A ranger guide is compulsory.