The Aberdare National Park lies in the Aberdare Mountain range and extends over a wide variety of terrain. Moorlands, full of mist, bamboo- and rainforests where elephants roam through the thick, dense vegetation, spectacular waterfalls, plunging into pools and streams filled with trout, and mountain peaks up to 4000 metres high. The Aberdares are an important water catchment area providing water to the Tana and Athi rivers, both among the largest rivers in Kenya. The Aberdare National Park was established in 1950 and it covers an area of 766 square kilometres. Besides its natural beauty, it is renowned also as the site where, in 1952, Princess Elizabeth found out she became a Queen.
Details of Aberdare National Park
Aberdare National Park is located in central Kenya around 160 kilometres from Nairobi by road and it stretches a hundred kilometres north to south within the third highest mountain range in Kenya. The Aberdare National Park is covering the higher areas of the Aberdare Mountain range which is an isolated volcanic range that formed on the eastern end of the Great Rift Valley.
Elephants roam through the thick dense forest
In the moorlands full of mist, elephants roam through the thick, dense forest and sights of spectacular waterfalls plunging into pools and streams filled with trout are on display.
Mixed vegetation creates a peculiar topography
The two peaks of the Aberdares and the mixed forest vegetation create quite a peculiar topography, ensuring a perfect habitat for many species. The Eastern black rhinoceroses, leopards, olive baboons, black and white colobus monkeys, Skye’s monkeys, buffaloes, jackals, East African wild dogs live in these mountains. There are rare sightings of lions, African golden cats, servals, and bongos, the elusive forest antelopes that live in the mountain. Over 250 bird species rule the skies over the Aberdares, including the endangered Aberdare cisticola, African goshawk, sparrowhawk, Jackson’s spurfowl, African fish eagle, plover, and sunbird. Insects and reptiles complete the picture.
A great perspective view of the ice peaks of Mount Kenya
The park hosts some of Kenya’s most famous lodges, where you have a great perspective view of the ice peaks of Mount Kenya, providing water to the Tana and Athi rivers, both among the largest Kenyan rivers. It also supplies water to part of the central rift and northern drainage basins.
- The Treetops Lodge in the park is where Queen Elizabeth II learnt of her accession to the British throne.
- The Kimathi/ MauMau hideout caves (for the freedom fights) can be seen.
- Seeing the waterfalls such as Karura, Lesatima and Kinangop Peaks, Twin Hills, Elephant Hills.
- The park has second largest population of black rhinos, endangered rare bongo and the giant forest hog including the leopard, some bird species insects and reptiles.