Aberdare National Park
Aberdare National Park is a Kenya destination of a million mysteries located in Nyandarua County & Nyeri County in central Kenya, this spectacular protected area is situated in the ranges of mountain Aberdare found in central Kenya. Aberdare national park with Nyeri as the nearest city lies east of the East African rift valley covering the higher areas and the Aberdare Salient to the east Aberdare ranges are isolated volcanic ranges forming the eastern rift valley wall which runs 100 kilometers North-south between Nairobi and Thompsons falls, the park is located approximately 150 kilometers east of Nairobi and 87 kilometers from Naivasha.
Aberdare national park is a spectacular tourist destination made up of mountainous moorlands the spectacular mountainous terrain made up of three peaks that is Ol Doinyo Satima the highest peak situated on the northern edge of the volcano, Kinangop situated in the south edge of the volcano and kipiriri peak situated in the west side of the volcano adjust to happy valley. These three peaks are covered in thick tropical forest swathed in mist, this beautifully scenic region is cooler than the savannah receiving a reasonable good amount rain fall which is influenced by the two rivers kagura and Chania crossing the park. Rivers crossed Aberdare national park creates magnificent three waterfalls that is karura falls, Chania and Gura, among these three waterfalls karura falls is the deepest falls plunging at more than 300 meters with 2 viewing stations on either side. The beautiful mountain scenery, rivers, and picturesque waterfalls make the park a wonderful tourist destination.
Aberdare national park is covered with various vegetation types such as thick rainforest, deep ravines, bamboo forests and moorland forests especially at the lower altitudes of the volcano, these thick vegetation cover most especially forests are used are home to a variety of wildlife creatures such as forest Elephants, Buffalo, Lion, bongo Kenya’s rarest antelope, black rhino, rare suni, bushbuck, waterbuck, duiker, warthogs, leopards and spotted hyenas. Among these animals, there is rare Giant Forest hog, bongo, golden cat, serval cat, African wild cat, giraffes, African civet cat, and the blue duiker, Rare animals – Black Serval, Black Leopard (seldom seen) and the Eastern Bongo (a huge forest Antelope). There are also primates in the thick forests such as black and white colobus and sykes, vervet monkeys, olive baboons and many more.
Aberdare national park is a birding shelter for both forest and waterbird species harboring over 250 bird species which are seen in nests on the trees of the thick forests and on rivers banks, bird species in the park include Jackson’s Francolin, sparrow hawk, African goshawk, eagles, sunbirds, plovers and many more. Some of these bird species are endangered.
Aberdare national park covering an area of 767 square kilometers at the altitudes range of 7,000 feet to 14,000 above the sea level was established on May 1950 primarily to conserve the ecological system in this area. This park is historically significant, it was used as a hideout location for the Mau-Mau rebels during their struggle for an independent Kenya from their colonial rulers and also it is famous for being a place where Princess Elizabeth found out that she was the new queen of England upon the death of her father at Treetops Lodge and since then the lodge has been popular with tourists on safari to Kenya.
Activities in Aberdare National Park
In Aberdare national park there are prominent spots where you are guaranteed to spot animals like at water holes at the lodges and Aberdare Mountains and at salt licks. Aberdare national park is a wonderful tourist destination with countless mysteries differing many memorable safari experiences such as
Game drives: Game drives are one of the fascinating safari experiences in Aberdare national park taking place in varies of the park, on these game drives many wildlife is being seen such as Buffalo, Lion, bongo Kenya’s rarest antelope, black rhino, rare suni, bushbuck, waterbuck, duiker, warthogs, leopards and spotted hyenas. Among these animals, there is rare Giant Forest hog, bongo, golden cat, serval cat, African wild cat, giraffes. While on game drives you also get to enjoy the beautiful sights of the highlands of Aberdare volcano, the vegetation and the magnificent sights of waterfalls.
Bird watching: Aberdare national park is a bird haven harboring many bird species in the deep forests and on river banks where they are spotted, the park hosts approximately 290 species of beautiful birds such as Jackson’s francolin, which is regionally endemic, sparry hawk, goshawks, eagles, sunbirds, Aberdare Cisticola, plovers which are spotted.
Hiking to the top of the falls: Hiking in Aberdare national park is one of the amazing safari experiences as it takes you to the top of the falls, the park has three waterfalls that is karura, Chania and Gura with karura as the most magnificent one which is composed of three steps with the first step at 1st 117 meters, second step at 26meters and third step at 130 meters. On top of this fall, you get to enjoy the beautiful nature and water flowing, unfortunately, there are no routes leading to Gura falls but you can also visit the smaller Chania falls.
Nocturnal game viewing: Nocturnal game viewing safaris in Aberdare national park are offered by both Treetops and The Ark lodges where many nocturnal animals are seen such as elephants, Cape buffalo, rhino which flood water holes in these lodges.
Nature walks: Nature walks in Aberdare national park are amazing to take place in the beautiful landscape of the park filled with savannah vegetation, nature walks to take the tourists through the various mysteries of the park that is the rivers, waterfalls while enjoying the scenic views of the volcano and many wildlife.
Horseback riding: Horseback riding in Aberdare national park is one of the breath taking ways of touring the park offering tourists a chance to come closer to the wildlife in the park, horseback riding is managed and operated by Aberdare country club.
Trout fishing games: Trout fishing games in Aberdare national park is carried out in karura and Chania Rivers where many bird species are caught, fishing games is one of the ways of relaxing from game safaris and hiking.
Other activities offered by the Aberdare country club are picnic and Sundowner.
Aberdare national park is surrounded by an electric face protecting the ecosystem in the park from human invasion. The amazing tourist destination is accessed using four main gates of Wanderis, Kiandongoro, Shamata and the Rhino.
Aberdare national park can be accessed using both air and road, by road you can use Nyeri and Naro Moru routes on the Eastern side of Nairobi. From Nyeri town, he park’s headquarters are 15 kilometers apart while using Nyeri – Nyahururu road. By air, you can use two airstrips at Nyeri and Mweiga which are near the park’s headquarters.
The park receives rain fall throughout the year with two main rainy seasons in the months of March to May and October to December, the best time to go safaris in Aberdare national park is during the months of January to February and June to September which are less rainy and the routes are passable.