Aberdare National Park

Established in 1950, the Aberdare National Park features among the very few most remarkable safari destinations in Kenya that offers you a great opportunity to spot its stunning biodiversity within the shortest time possible. Aberdare national park covers an area of about 767 square kilometers making it one of the smallest protected areas in the magical Kenya. It was mainly formed to offer refuge to its fascinating wildlife species and the magical Aberdare mountain ranges which rank it among the most famous and excellent tourist destinations for visitors to spend their vacation while on safari in Africa. The park also features one of the most breathtaking terrains given its location in most of Kenya’s central highlands (2000 to 4300 meters above sea level) to the west of Mount Kenya. It covers part of the Aberdare Mountains ranges from the high moorland to the peaks of the Kinangop and Ol Donyo Lesatima which also feature a canyon like V-shaped valleys that make up the gentler valleys that are divided between steep hills and rocky outcrops. Rivers and streams also surge down via the stunning waterfalls. Aberdare National Park is significantly one of the most valuable catchment areas in Kenya providing water to River Tana and Athi as well as part of Central Rift and Northern drainage basins. To traditional Kikuyu folklore, Aberdare is a home of Ngai which means God! The Aberdare National Park entirely features 2 (two) zones-the western side which comes with the thick forest and the most spectacular Aberdare terrains  and then the eastern side of the park which also comes with two safari lodges, treetops and the Ark. This park stands as one of the best areas that reward visitors with lifetime hiking adventures and scenic views.

Aberdare National Park offers refuge to several distinct tourist attractions making it one of the most endowed safari destinations for you to get out of the usual surrounding. With exceptionally diverse tourist activities in offer, visitors on safari to Aberdare national park never left out choice. It is a home to second biggest number of black rhinos that are also the famous endangered species today. Besides, other incredible wildlife species for you to spot in this stunning national park include the leopards, African elephants, Cape buffalos, olive baboons, duikers, mountain reedbuck, water back, East African wild dog, bushbuck, golden cats, side stripped jackals, bongo antelope, elands, melanistic serval cats, Sykes monkey and black and white colobus monkeys. A side from game viewing, the park is also the best site for picnic tours, trout fishing especially in its spectacular rivers and camping in the moorlands.

For bird enthusiasts, more than 290 bird species can be sighted in Aberdare National Park. For visitors on avian safaris in this protected area, the notable birds to spot include the sunbirds, goshawks, Jackson’s francolin, mountain buzzard, ayre’s hawk eagles, Rufous breasted sparrow hawks and many more. With diverse attractions that are confined  within the park, visitors on safari to Kenya have opportunity to  engage in birding, wildlife viewing or nocturnal game viewing from the Ark/treetops lodge which also features as the major tourist activity in the park, trout fishing in the ice cold Guru Karuru and Chania Rivers, climb to the twin hills, table mountains and Elephant hills, pay a visit to the waterfalls, catch a glimpse at the stunning Lesatima and Kinangop peaks or alternatively take a walk via the moorland. It is from this remarkable conservation area that the treetops Hotel is located that featured as a place where Princess Elizabeth of the UK acceded the throne at the time when her father passed on around 1952.

Best time to visit Aberdare National Park

For visitors who are planning their safaris to Kenya, Aberdare National Park can be visited at anytime of the year. However, intending visitors on safari to Kenya should note that, the best time to visit Aberdare National Park differs from one individual to another. What you may regard as the best time can be a worst time for another individual to travel to this stunning conservation area for safari holiday. You can pay a visit to Aberdare protected area between January and February, from June to September. Given its high elevation, the area is a bit cooler compared to the savanna and the coastal plains. In most cases, the area is filled with mist and visitors should expect rains at any time. The 2 (two) major wet seasons start from March to May and October to December. Aberdare National Park receives rainfall amount of about 1000mm in the northwestern side of the park to 3000mm in the south east.  Traveling during the rain season is sometimes very challenging especially on muddy routes. For visitors who are interested in nocturnal/game wildlife species in this park are best spotted from January to March. For bird enthusiasts who wish to achieve their dreams in Kenya, you can pay a visit to this park from April to December.

How to access Aberdare National Park

This park is accessible both by road and by air. By road, visitors can follow the route to Nairobi while in your four by four luxury safari vehicle or fly to Nanyuki where you will drive along the tarmac road to Nyeri about 180 kilometers from Nairobi or Naru Moru to Aberdare National Park’s eastern entrances. There are affordable commercial airstrip like Mweiga and Nyeri that are available for charter flights to areas next to the protected area’s headquarters. There is also another route that connects the eastern boundary with the entrances to the western side of the park where visitors can connect by car from Naivasha about 87 kilometers in the rift valley but you need to have a bit of stamina as it involves navigating through the mountain terrains around this area. There are 5 gates through which visitors can reach to the park and they include the Ark gate, Treetops gate, Mutubio, Shamata, Ruhurni gate and Kiandagoro gate. The entrance to the park starts from 6:00am to 6:00pm after clearing with park entrance fees that may cost around $50 for adults and $25 for children. For your safaris to this remarkable conservation area, you will need enough drinking water, picnic and camping equipment, camera, hat, sunscreen, sunglasses and guided books, binoculars and many more.

Safari Lodges in Aberdare National Park

Aberdare National Park features a number of safari lodges that offer that total comfort and excellent accommodation any visitor has ever dreamt to have in life while on safari in Africa. For a memorable safari in this park, we advise you to spend a night in Ark Tree Lodge that offers most spectacular views of one of the biggest salt licks and waterholes in the Aberdare volcanoes which features several forest wildlife species compared to the rest of other parts in Africa. This lodge is unique on its own as it designed in form of an Ark and provides the best accommodation in en-suite rooms.

Aberdare Country Club; this is one of the best accommodation facilities which lies on Mweiga Hill side in the Aberdare Mountains, part of the might rift valley. It is known to be a heritage property in Kenya and it offers the most room for those visitors who need to have privacy while on safari. Spending a night in this area allows you to engage in horseback riding tours, game drives, nature walks, play golf and many more. Other incredible safari lodges to spend a night on include Aberdare cottages, Tusk Camp Banda and Fishing Lodge. For visitors who wish to be campsites, the notable public campsites are available around the reedbuck, Shamata, wandare and Ruhuruini and many others.

In conclusion, visit Aberdare National Park and experience something unique while on vacation in Africa. The park offers a wide range of attractions that are worth exploring right from luxuriant forests, mountains, wildlife and landscape to distinct bird species. Visitors on safari to this national park have a chance to participate in bird watching, trout fishing, climbing adventures to the twin hills, elephant hills and Table Mountains; nocturnal wildlife viewing, view the stunning Lesatima and Kinangop peaks or walk via the moorland and pay a visit to the remarkable waterfalls and many more.