Explore the Enigmatic Aberdare National Park
Nestled in the central highlands of Kenya, Aberdare National Park exudes an aura of mystery, beckoning adventurers to uncover its secrets, including the elusive Black Leopards that may still roam its wilderness.
Aberdare National Park Overview
The Aberdare Mountains form an isolated volcanic range, serving as the eastern barrier of the Great Rift Valley. Stretching approximately 100 kilometers from north to south between Nairobi and Thompsons Falls, this captivating region offers a dramatic contrast to the Kenyan savannahs. Situated mostly above the tree line, Aberdare boasts spectacular mountainous terrain cloaked in dense tropical forests veiled in mist.
Safari Tours Featuring Aberdare National Park
– Luxury Kenya Fly-in Safari to Mount Kenya, Samburu, Masai Mara – 11 days
Getting to Aberdare National Park
Aberdare National Park is conveniently located about 150 kilometers (93 miles) east of Nairobi. It can be easily accessed from Nyeri and Naro Moru, while the park lies 87 kilometers (54 miles) from Naivasha. Most travelers reach the park by road, often accompanied by tour operators.
– Airport:The park is equipped with two airstrips near Aberdare Headquarters at Nyeri and Mweiga.
Aberdare Highlights and Attractions
- Breathtaking Mountain Scenery: Aberdare National Park enchants visitors with its mesmerizing mountain landscapes.
- Picturesque Waterfalls: Explore several picturesque waterfalls that grace the park.
- Rare Wildlife: The park is home to elusive creatures such as the Black Serval, seldom-seen Black Leopard, and the Eastern Bongo, a massive forest antelope.
- Treetops Lodge: Witness wildlife congregating at the famous Treetops Lodge’s waterhole.
- Trout Fishing: Enjoy trout fishing in the park’s waters.
- Hiking: Embark on hiking adventures amid the park’s diverse terrain.
The Aberdare Experience
Aberdare National Park offers a unique safari experience, distinct from other Kenyan destinations. It gained fame as the location where Princess Elizabeth learned of her ascension to the throne upon her father’s passing at Treetops Lodge. Since then, this lodge has remained a popular stop for Kenyan safari-goers.
Half the thrill of game viewing in Aberdare lies in the sudden appearance of elephants or buffaloes emerging from the dense rainforest vegetation. One of the prime locations to witness these creatures is at the waterholes near the lodge. The park’s landscape includes high mountain peaks, deep ravines with icy mountain streams, and numerous captivating waterfalls on a moorland plateau. Explore the park on game drives and trek to its high peaks, reveling in the spectacular scenery.
As you ascend the mountain peaks within the park, the thick rainforest gives way to bamboo forests and intriguing alpine flora. The forest is inhabited by diverse wildlife, including forest elephants, buffaloes, lions, and antelope species like Waterbuck, Duiker, Suni, and Bushbuck. With luck, you might spot Kenya’s rarest antelope, the Bongo. The park also boasts a robust population of Black Rhinos.
Serval and Leopards, some with rare black coats, share the territory. Numerous primate species, including Black and White Colobus, Sykes, and Vervet Monkeys, add to the park’s biodiversity.
- The Ark Tree Lodge: Perched overlooking one of Aberdare’s largest salt licks and waterholes, The Ark Tree Lodge offers a unique vantage point to observe forest game. The lodge, designed in the shape of an ark, provides comfortable en-suite rooms and floodlit waterholes for nocturnal wildlife viewing.
- Aberdare Country Club: Located on Mweiga Hill in the Aberdare Highlands, the Aberdare Country Club offers a heritage property experience. It combines the charm of a private home with the comforts of a country inn. Activities include horseback riding safaris, golf, nature walks, game drives, and more.
Encompassing most of the Aberdare Mountain Ranges in Central Kenya, Aberdare National Park experiences a moderate climate. The best times to visit are January, February, June, and September. Due to its high elevation, the region remains cooler than the savannahs and coastal plains.
The area remains misty, with rainfall throughout the year. However, it features two primary rainy seasons: March to May and October to December. During these periods, excessive rainfall can render roads impassable.