Aberdare National Park
Aberdare National Park is considered amongst the best East Africa national parks situated in the Aberdare Mountain ranges near Nyeri city in central Kenya within the East African rift valley region covering a land area of 766km2. Aberdare National Park was established in 1950 and it’s managed by Kenya Wildlife Services (KWS) to ensure its ecosystem is properly protected and managed. Aberdare National Park lies along an altitude between 6600ft to 13,000ft above the sea level at 0025’48’’S 36043’57’’E coordinates. The park is situated approximately 100km from Nairobi the capital city of Kenya in the north. The vegetation cover of Aberdare National Park consists of Rainforest, Bamboo forests, streams, rivers, rift valley, waterfalls, and moorland among others that all act as the habitats for different species of wildlife including primates such as Olive baboons, black and white Colobus monkeys, mammals such as Aberdare elephants, Lions, Black rhinos, Elands, Antelopes, Reedbucks, buffaloes, forest hogs, wild dogs, jackals, leopards, duikers, golden cats and many more. Apart from mammals, the park also is a home to several species of birds approximated to be above 250 bird species including forest birds, water birds, Migratory birds, and those bird species endemic to the Albertine rift. Aberdare national park is also famously known due to Treetops hotel where the Queen of England was residing during her honeymoon and during that period she received the news about the death of her beloved dad and it’s in the same park where Princess Diana of England also was proposed by her lover making this park indeed famous and one of a kind not to skip while on a visit to Kenya.
Top things to do in Aberdare national park
Aberdare national park is amongst the top destinations to visit while on a Kenyan safari or any other East African safari due to the fact that it offers plenty of tourist activities to do and they include;
Game viewing: Aberdare national park is considered one of the best Kenya parks for wildlife viewing safaris with a good number of viewing spots that enable tourists to have a glance at a lot of wildlife species such as Big 5 game (Lions, elephants, buffaloes, rhinos, giraffes), antelopes, elands, waterbucks, forest hogs, baboons, monkeys and several species of birds. The best viewing spots are near the waterbodies such as streams, waterfalls, rivers, where several mammals are seen drinking water, in forests where you will encounter with primates such as baboons and monkeys, and in the moorland areas where several grazing mammals are seen. The best way to view the wildlife in Aberdare national park is by taking up a game drive as the park offers both morning game drive for an opportunity to encounter with the nocturnal mammals, hunters and other mammals that arise very early in the morning to graze, full day game drive and evening game drive all offering unforgettable experience. You may also opt for a walk all well designated trails to watch the wildlife.
Bird watching: Being a home to over 250 species of birds, Aberdare national park is true destination for bird lovers as they get an opportunity to trail deep into the rainforest and bamboo forest to spend ample time watching the birds. Birds can even be seen while at your hotel. From the Months of November, December, January, February, March up to April, birders have a lot of birds to watch as it’s considered to be the nesting season and it’s the same time when migratory birds are seen in the park due to existence of a lot of food to feast on. All one requires is a pair of binoculars and another thing for an adventurous and fascinating birding activity in Aberdare national park. Some of the bird species to lookout for include; African fish eagle, spur fowl, plovers, sunbirds, hornbills, African thrush, Starlings, Ibis, Jackson’s francolin and many more.
Hiking: Aberdare national park offers best hiking adventures via the forest and moorlands to visit different attractions with in the park such as Waterfalls, mountain ranges, and many other unique tourist attractions. During the hike, travelers are blessed with a clear view of the park with all its unique fauna and flora species.
Fishing: For tourist who intend to carryout trout fishing, Aberdare national park is the top destination to think of. Stout fishing is best done in the moorlands within the stream, valleys and rivers flow. Engage in trout fishing along river Chania or any other river within the park.
Horseback riding: Taking a horseback riding safari enables adventurous tourists to explore the nature with in Aberdare national park closely. Take a ride to different parts of the park including the ranges of Mount Aberdare while encountering and viewing several fauna and flora species.
Getting there/ getting to Aberdare national park
There are several entrance gates used by tourists to access Aberdare and these include; Treetops gate, Rhino gate, Ark gate, Kiandogoro gate, Shamata gate, Ruhuruini gate, Mutubio gate and Wanderis gate. The park can however be reached by either road or by air depending on one’s choice.
By road, Aberdare national park can be accessed by taking a road drive from Nairobi city the capital city of Kenya via Naro Moru and Nyeri and finally through any of the above-mentioned gates.
By air, There are both international and charter flights to Aberdare from Wilson airport to either Mweiga air strip or Nyeri air strip.
When is the best time to visit Aberdare national park?
Aberdare national park can be visited at any given period of time. However, rainy months tend to be the worst seasons for travelers especially during the months of March, April, May, October, and December when the park receives heavy rains making the roads muddy and impassable. This implies that dry months of January, February, June, July, August, September, and November are the best season for a Kenya safari in Aberdare but any time of the year is allowed to visit the park.
Accommodations/ where to stay while on a Kenya safari to Aberdare national park?
Aberdare thrills with best accommodation facilities that strategically located within different parts of the park. Some of these accommodations such as Treetops lodge offer a wide range of views even at the comfort of your lodge. This same lodge is famous as it’s the same lodge where the Queen of England, the by then princess received the good news of becoming the Queen though it came after the sad news of hearing that the dad who was the king of England had passed away. There is yet the Ark which also provides a clear view of the drinking points for a variety of wildlife in the park. The parks has other plenty of accommodations including lodges, hotels, camping sites, picnic sites among others.