ABERDARE NATIONAL PARK
The Aberdare National Park is a protected area in the Aberdare Mountain Range in central Kenya located east of the East African Rift Valley. It covers the higher areas and the Aberdare Salient to the east. The park is located about 100 km north of Nairobi and stretches over a wide variety of terrain at altitudes from 2,000 meters (6,600 ft.) to 4,000 meters (13,000 ft.). Established in May 1950, the Aberdare National Park covers an area of 766 square kilometers and forms part of the Aberdare Mountain Range. The park contains a wide range of landscapes – from mountain peaks that rise to 4,000 meters (13,000 ft.) above sea level, to their deep, v-shaped valleys intersected by streams, rivers, and waterfalls. Moorland, bamboo forests and rainforests are found at lower altitudes.
Wildlife present in the protected area include lion, leopard, elephant, East African wild dog, giant forest hog, bushbuck, mountain reedbuck, waterbuck, Cape buffalo, Suni, side-striped jackal, eland, duiker, olive baboon, black and white colobus monkey, and Sykes monkey. Rarer sightings include those of the African golden cat and the bongo. Species such as the common eland, serval live in the higher moorlands. The Aberdare National Park also hosts a large eastern black rhinoceros population and over 250 bird species including the endangered Aberdare cisticola, Jackson’s spurfowl, sparrow hawk, African goshawk, African fish eagle, sunbirds and plovers.
Visitors to the park can find different types of accommodation, from the Treetops lodge, to the Ark – built in the shape of Noah’s Ark – and three self-help banda sites, eight special campsites and a public campsite in the moorland. There are also five picnic sites. Both Treetops and The Ark provide excellent nighttime wildlife viewing. Animals seen include Elephants, Cape buffalo, and rhino, which come to the waterholes. The park also includes two airstrips at Mweiga and Nyeri.
Best time to go to Aberdare national park.
The best time to go to the park is from January to February and June to September. This is due to its high altitude that cools the region than the savannah grass land. Then from March to May and October to December it can be rainy season good for birding though roads can be in poor condition in order to access the park.
Aberdare national park can be easily accessible from Nyeri and Naro Moru on Eastern part from Nairobi covering 150 kilometers by drive. Travelers are recommended to use 4×4 WD vehicle.
Travelers can fly from Wilson Airport to Mweiga or Nyeri Airstrip near the national park headquarters.
Abergare national park is a place of itself where you can feel that cool breath taking air and the scenery of the landscape is rewarding with beautiful vegetation, waterfalls, animal species, green bamboo forest as well as unique accommodation facilities.