Aberdare National Park
Aberdare National Park is one of the various Kenya national parks that tourists get to visit when on a Kenya safari tour. The Park is located in the Nyandarua and Nyeri counties in Aberdare mountain range in central Kenya, east of the East African Rift Valley. Aberdare National Park, established in 1950, covers approximately 767 square kilometres and about 100km north of Nairobi. Aberdare has a wide range of landscapes with mountain peaks that rise up to 4000 meters above sea level. Aberdare National Park itself has an altitude range of 2000 to 4000 meters above sea level: expect chilly instances every now and then. Aberdare National Park has v-shaped valleys intersected by streams, rivers and waterfalls, with moorland, bamboo forests, as well as rainforests, are found at the lower altitudes.
The Park has fertile volcanic soils that favours the growth of the forest cover which is a great habitat for the wildlife species. Compared to other Kenya national parks, Aberdare National Park has a rather difficult terrain. It is in Aberdare National Park, at the Treetops hotel, that Queen Elizabeth found out the passing her father. Aberdare National Park derived its name from Lord Aberdare the president of the Royal Geographic Society. The locals however call the park “Nyandarua” in kikuyu which simply means “the drying hide” in English, perfectly describing the outlook of the slopes from a distance.
Aberdare National Park Attractions
The Park attractions are in plenty that tourists who visit while on a Kenya safari do enjoy their stay. Below are the attractions in Aberdare;
Wildlife. Aberdare abundant wildlife is probably what brings tourists to this park. Most common sightings include lions, leopards, elephants, East African wild dog, forest hogs, bushbuck, mountain reedbuck, cape buffaloes, suni, side-stripped jackal, elands, duiker, and olive baboon, among so many others. The rarely sighted Aberdare National Park wildlife include African golden cat and the bongo. Birds in Aberdare include the endangered Aberdare cisticola, Jackson’s spur fowl, sparrow hawk, African fish eagle, sunbirds and so much more.
Aberdare ranges. Aberdare ranges are stunning volcanic mountain ranges that form part of the eastern wall of the Great Rift Valley. Peaks include Kinangop and Oldoinyo Satima peak. The Aberdare ranges consist of rainforests, dense bamboo forest and moorland all of which inhabit various wildlife species like buffaloes, elephants, colobus monkeys among so many others. These ranges can also be climbed, by those curious and adventurous travellers.
Karuru falls. These are the highest waterfalls in Kenya, and are surrounded by tall green trees in the central moorlands of Aberdare. Hills like Ol donyo Lesatima, Kinangop, Elephant hill, Chebuswa hill and Twins hill surround Karuru falls, giving tourists a serene and tranquil atmosphere when visited.
Activities in Aberdare National Park
The Park offers wonderful game viewing opportunities to tourists who visit. Tourists who visit Aberdare National Park get an opportunity to see rarely seen animals like the giant forest hogs, bongo, serval cats, golden cats and others. Among other wildlife species tourists can see while game viewing in Aberdare include giraffes, buffaloes, hyenas, antelopes, waterbucks, elephants, and so much more.
With the abundant birdlife in Aberdare, bird watching is another activity that tourists can surely enjoy. The recommended time to enjoy bird watching in Aberdare is in the months of November through April when there are migratory birds increasing on the variety of bird species tourists can spot. Some of the bird species tourists can find in Aberdare include sunbirds, African bush, baglafecht weaver, crowned hornbill among others. Packing birding equipment like binoculars is advised, as well as making use of a bird guide.
There are available trekking trails that tourists can hike in the company of a ranger guide. These hiking trails take travellers through forests, across moorlands and towering bamboos. Travellers are rewarded with stunning views of various flora and fauna, as well as fresh air and tranquillity.
Horseback riding is done at the very foothills of the Aberdare ranges, giving travellers an opportunity to adventure and explore the park greatly and also get up close with wildlife.
When to go to Aberdare National Park
The Park can be visited throughout the year. The wet months which usually are October to early December and March through May usually have the roads very muddy and difficult to pass. 4WD vehicles should be used.
Getting to Aberdare National Park
Getting to Aberdare can be done by both road and air. By road, Aberdare is about 100km away from Nairobi and is accessed via Nyeri and Naro Moru. From Naivasha, Aberdare is about 87km. By air, there are scheduled flights and also travellers can charter flights from Wilson airport to either Nanyuki airstrip, Nyeri airstrip or Mweiga airstrip which are near Aberdare National Airport.
There are various accommodation facilities in Aberdare, catering for all kinds of travellers. Some accommodation facilities in the park actually have wildlife as residents sometimes, say The Ark, Treetops Lodge, Aberdare Country Club, West wood Hotel, Reedbuck camp, among so many others.
Get to experience the wonders and attractions of Aberdare, the stunning Aberdare ranges which give spectacular views, abundant wildlife and so much more. Reach out to a reputable tour operator knowledgeable and experienced to put together a perfect Kenya safari tour and get to experience Aberdare among other Kenya national parks.