ABERDARE NATIONAL PARK KENYA
Aberdare National Park Kenya: Aberdare National Park is one of the beautiful national park covered with the stunning moorlands and mountain ranges. In fact, Aberdare mountain ranges take the 3rd position in the highest mountains in Kenya. Aberdare National Park is as well-known as the battle field and the hiding place during the MAU MAU rebellion. In fact during the visit to this park, tourists are able to see the caves which acted as the hideout for the fighters. MAU MAU is literary explained in a Swahili dialect as “Muzungu Aende Ulaya Mwafirika Apate Uhuru” that let the Europeans Return to their home and Africa get its independence. Aberdare National Park thrives with plenty of wildlife species including elephants that are seem roaming in the forest, the park as well has spectacular waterfalls, Streams and stunning views of the neighboring Mount Kenya without forgetting the views of beautiful Lakes in the Great Rift valley to mention but a few. This makes it a top destination to explore on your next Kenya safari. Aberdare Mountain Ranges stand at an elevation of 1,829 to 4,001M high above the sea level and the park covers a land area of 767 Square Kilometers. The park is situated in the western Highlands of Kenya about 2 hours’ drive from Nairobi city and was gazette in the year 1950. The mountain ranges of Aberdare act as a water catchment area for both wildlife and the homesteads around the park.
The wildlife species in Aberdare National Park include primates such as Monkeys, mammals including Elephants, Warthogs, Lions, Buffaloes, Black Rhinos, Bushbucks, Forest hogs, duikers, Elands, Golden cats, and bongo antelopes among others. Apart from mammals, Aberdare National Park is a home to over 250 bird species such as African goshawk, Bar-tailed trogon, Abyssinian crimson wing, Moorland francolin, Rufous-chested sparrow hawk, Hawk eagle, white headed wood-hoopoe, Narina trogon, African yellow warbler, Aberdare Cisticola, Crowned eagle, Golden-winged sunbird, Cinnamon-chested bee-eater, Olive ibis, Silvery-cheeked hornbill, Mustached green tinker bird and many more that will make your Kenya trip rewarding especially for travelers who enjoy mountain climbing safaris since it can easily be hiked on a one day hiking adventure or more days depending on what one wishes to see along the hike. The peaks in Aberdare mountain ranges include; Mount Satima the most hiked peak in Aberdare national park elevated at 4,001M, other peaks include Mount Kinangop elevated at 3,906 M, Mount Rurimueria at 3,860 M, Mount Table elevated at 3,791M, Mount Maratini at 3,698M, Elephant Mountain at 3,590M and Mount Chebuswa at 3,364 M. These mountain peaks are well distributed across the Central moorland, the Southern Moorland and the northern moorland.
There are 2 common ways of getting to the Aberdare national park and these include by road and by air depending on the choice of the traveler and the location of the traveler since there are different connections leading to Aberdare national park either from Nairobi city or from other parks and reserves in Kenya.
Aberdare national park is situated about 180 Km from the city center Nairobi which is approximately 2-3 hours’ drive and the headquarters of Aberdare national park are located about 15km from Nyeri. Travelers must know that the roads are marram, dirty and steep thus a 4×4 safari vehicle is recommended to avoid getting stack along the way most especially during the rainy season when the roads becomes slippery and impassable by small vehicles. Tourists are able to access the park through the Ark Gate, Mutubio Gate, The Rhino Gate, Wandaris Gate, The Treetops Gate, Kiandogoro Gate, Ruhuruini Gate and, Shamata Gate.
Those who prefer to get to the park by air can take a flight to Mweiga Airstrip which is the closest airstrip located closer to the park headquarter.
Top tourist activities in Aberdare national park;
Mountain climbing/ Mountain hiking and walking safari; Being a mountainous park, Aberdare national park is one of the top visited parks in Kenya especially for mountain Climbing, Hiking and Nature walks. Surprisingly, you do not need to be an expert in order to hike any of the Aberdare mountain Ranges but you obviously need some bit of physical fitness to conquer the challenge since it requires walking through rocks and muddy terrains especially during rainy season. The park offers short hikes for a few hours to one day and some long hikes of about 5 days and more. To conduct any hike, climb or walk, tourists need to get in touch with the park officials and book an armed ranger that will keep them safe throughput the activity.
Sport Fishing in Aberdare national park; The type of Fishing enjoyed in Aberdare national park is sport fishing conducted along the streams in the park. Tourists are supposed to obtained the license to enable them participate in sport fishing.
Other activities to enjoy in Aberdare national park include game viewing, birding, cycling and many more.
Where to stay in Aberdare national park
There are different lodges, hotels, Campos and Campsites that are used to provide shelter for tourists while on a Kenya safari to Aberdare national park and some of these accommodations include; The Ark, The Aberdare Country Club, Fishing Lodge-Aberdare, the Aberdare Treetops Lodge, Kiandogoro Fishing Lodge, Tusk Camp, Shimoni Cottages, and campsites such as Reedbuck Campsite, Bill Woodley Campsite, Shamata Campsite and many more.
Packing list for Aberdare national park;
Since most of the activities conducted in the park are mountain Climbing, Hiking and walking, I would recommend the following items on your packing list;
- Water proof hiking boats
- Enough drinking water
- For those who wish to camp in the park, will need to pack the cameoing equipment
- A camera
- Sun screen
- A cap
- Sun glasses
- A pair of Binoculars for the birders
- A Rain Jacket even if it is during the dry season, it can rain at any time
- Warm clothes
When is the best time to visit Aberdare national park;
Aberdare national park is open to tourists all year round. However, dry season is always the best time to explore this mountainous park for the breath taking walking adventures, hiking, mountain climbing and many more.