Aberdare National Park
Aberdare National Park is one of Kenya’s national parks found onhigh altitude. It was established to safe guard themoorland as well as the slopes of theAberdare Mountains that offer a diversity of wildlife habitats which make it an ideal location for game viewing, bird watching as well as exploring the terrain. As a result of its high altitude, it frequently rains here and it is normally misty especially in the early mornings and nights.
The park is managed and protected by the Kenya Wildlife Service together with Rhino Ark (a charity organization). Something unique about this park is that the second biggest population of the endangered black-rhino is found here.
Located 100km / 62 miles north of the capital Nairobi, this park was established in 1950, and covers an area of 766 square kilometers making it one of the smallest parks in the country as well as with a very challenging topography to explore.
The volcanic range of these mountains differs from the moorland found at 3000 / 9842 ft, to the towering Kinangop peakat 3906m/12814 ft as well asOlDonyoLesatimapeak at 3999m/13123 ft. it rich red-volcanic soil offers very conducive growing conditions for an indigenous forest.
Attractions / what to do or see in Aberdare National park
Wildlife in Aberdare National Park
Besides having the second highest number of the endangered black rhinos, this park is home to a variety of other wildlife including the hard to pin down bongo antelope African lions, black and white Colobus monkeys, leopards, Sykes monkeysas well as baboons
Bird Watching in Aberdare National Park
This is another fascinating activity to enjoy in this park thanks to the great variety of bird species living here. There are more than 250 different bird species that have been recorded here,among which are: plovers, hawks, sunbirds, goshawks as well as eagles.
Go Trout fishing: enjoy an amazing adventure as you set out trout fishing on the ice-cold rivers (River Guru Karuru and River Chania)
Nocturnal Game Viewing: enjoy views of different animals at night from either Treetops lodge or the Ark Lodge. Special about the Treetops Lodge is that it was here during a vacation that Princess Elizabeth now queen of the Great Britain learned about the death of her father after which she was crowned queen.
Ascend up the Twin Hills: you will have a chance to climb up the beautiful twin hills
(Elephant Hills and the Table Mountains) that offer sweeping views of the nearby surrounding
Climate / weather ofAberdare National park
Despite the fact that Aberdare is locatednear the equator, its climate is dictated by the altitude. The park is cooler compared to the coastal areas as well as the lower plains no wonder it rains all year round here and it is often misty.
March, April and May are the wettest months when the park receives the largest amount of rainfall, and then October, November and December, the park receives short rains. During these months, the roads are vey impassable with the southeastern side receiving most rainfall.
Best time to visit Aberdare National park
The best time to visit this national park is during the dry season and that is in the months of January, February, June as well as September. Avoid the rainy months of March, April, May,October, November and December when the roads are impassable.
How to get to Aberdare National park
The park can be accessed by either road or air.
By Air transport: There are two airstrips at Nyeri as well as at Mweiga close to the Park headquarters that receive chartered aircrafts.
By Road: the park is 160km / 99 miles from the capital city Nairobi. There are a number of access gates to the park and these include: Rhino Gate when connecting from Nyahururu, Mutubio Gate when connecting from Naivasha, as well as the gates atTreetops,Ruhuruina,Wandare,Kiandongoro and Ark when coming from Nyeri.
Where to stay / Accommodation
There are a number of accommodation options in and around the park and these vary in prices including the budget, mid-range and luxury facilities. Among the common accommodation lodges are: Treetops lodge, Ark lodge (these two lodges offer great views of the watering holes as well as salt licks where several animals usually converge) and the Outspan Golf and Country Club.