Aberdare National Park.


Aberdare National Park.

The Aberdare National Park is part of the Aberdare Mountain Range, a fascinating region of Kenya. According to traditional Kikuyu folklore they are one of the homes of Ngai (God).

The Aberdare are an isolated volcanic range that forms the eastern wall of the rift valley. Soils are red and of volcanic origin, but rich in organic matter. There are two main peaks, Ol Donyo Lesatima and Kinangop separated by a long saddle of alpine Mooreland at over 3,000m. The topography is diverse with deep ravines that cut through the forested eastern and western slopes and there are many clear streams and waterfalls. The Aberdare are an important water catchment area providing water to the Tana and Athi rivers and part of Central Rift and Northern drainage basins.


Aberdare National Park is famous for its tree-house hotels - Treetops and The Ark. With walkways and accommodation raised into the forest canopy, you can watch animals from a unique vantage point. Positioned around waterholes and natural salt licks, animals provide constant entertainment and seem undisturbed by the stream of curious visitors, some of whom stay up all night to catch sightings of shy animals by floodlight.

Aberdare National Park offers opportunity to view wildlife at a very close range and gives visitors a chance to see the animals come to drink water at the watering hole. The forest is rich in wildlife; elephant, rhino, warthog, bush pig and giant forest hog, waterbuck, duiker, suni, dikdik, bongo and reedbuck are all to be seen. In the canopy the black and white colobus monkey performs their aerial acrobatics and Sykes' monkey and the black faced vervet can also be found.

The carnivores are represented by: lions, usually more hairy and spotted than on the plains, leopard and servile cat, the latter often seen on the moorlands. Elephants dominate the waterholes and salt licks and when the lions and hyenas want a drink they have to contend with elephants seeing them off at great speed. Leopards are shy and are best seen under the night-time floodlight.

Visitors can also indulge in walking, picnics, trout fishing in the rivers and camping in the moorlands. Even the bird viewing is rewarding, with over 250 species of birds in the park, including the Jackson's Francolin, sparry hawk, goshawk, eagle, sunbird and plover.

There is a variety of accommodation. Treetops tree-house lodge and the Ark, a lodge built in the shape of Noah's Ark provide night game-viewing in the Salient area of the Park with excellent sightings of elephant, buffalo, lion and rhino, drawn to the waterholes and saltlicks each evening.

Completing the lovely picture is the belief of the traditional Kikuyu that the Aberdare Mountain Range, where this park is located, is one of the homes of Ngai, or God. Daytime temperatures are pleasant year round but it gets colder during the day and night during the dry winter months.

Rainy Season: April - June - hot and wet (long rains), November - December - warm and wet (short rains).

Dry Season: January - March - hot and dry, July - October - cool and dry wit .

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