Aberdare national park in Kenya
Protected area in Aberdare mountain range in central Kenya, the Aberdare national park is 164km from the capital of Kenya located east of the East African rift valley. The national park was gazetted in 1950 to mainly protect the wildlife and the Aberdare mountain range. Aberdare national park covers an area of about 766 square kilometers which is comprised of bamboo forests, moorland and V- shaped valleys which are intersected by rivers, streams, waterfalls, rainforests and others. Aberdare national park was named after Aberdare mountain range the isolated volcanic range that forms the eastern arm of the rift valley extending up to 100km north-south Nairobi. The park comprises of a variety of attractions which will not only catch your eye but also your memory. Among them include;
Waterfalls: Aberdare is home to the powerful waterfalls including Chania waterfalls, Karuru waterfalls, Gura falls, Magura falls and many different others.
Wildlife: Aberdare National park is a home to a variety of wildlife especially the rhinos and other endangered wildlife species thus making it one of the best and incredible national parks in Kenya. Among the wildlife in the park include lions, elephants, buffaloes, bushbucks, warthogs, bongo antelopes, bush pigs, black rhinos, elands, golden cats, hyenas, giant forest hogs, reedbucks and others. The park also caters for some primate species like black and white colobus monkeys, Sykes monkeys, and others.
Bird species: Aberdare national park is one of the best birding destinations hosting over 250 bird species including the endemic species that are only found in the republic of Kenya. Among the bird species in the park include Aberdare cist cola, Jackson’s spur fowl, sparrow hawk, African fish eagle, sunbirds, African goshawk, African green pigeon, bar tailed trogon, African yellow warbler, hartlaubs turaco and others.
Besides the sighting the attractions, the traveler can also take part in different activities while at the park. Among the activities include;
Game drives: This is one of the most done activities done at the park. The drives gives a traveler a clear of the wildlife species at the park and can take either a day or half day following the trails of the park. Among the animals viewed at the park include lions, elephants, leopards, east African wild dog, giant forest hog, bushbuck, cape buffalo, waterbucks, mountain reedbuck, eland, duiker and primate species like olive baboon, black and white colobus monkey, Sykes monkeys and others.
Bird watching: Aberdare national park is one of the top birding destinations in Kenya hosting above 250 bird species including the endemic ones. Enjoy watching the beautiful colorful bird species as you listen to their song like sounds as you are having a guided nature walk or even a game drive. Among the bird species in the park include Sharpe long claw, double collared sunbird, silvery cheeked hornbill, emerald green malachite sunbird, mountain buzzard, African paradise flycatcher, olive ibis, narina trogon, white headed wood hoopoe and others.
Hiking (mountain hiking): Enjoy an adventurous and exciting activity of hiking to the various mountain peaks in the park. Among the mountains in the park include elephant hill hike standing at 3720 meters above the sea level. During the hike, you are going to get an opportunity of viewing different wildlife like sasamua dam, Ndakaini dam and others. Others mountains include Kinangop situated in the south and Kipipiri mountain situated in the west of the mountainous moorlands.
Where to stay while at the park
Aberdare national park has got a number of accommodation facilities ranging from luxury, mid-range and budget rates. Among them include; Aberdare country club, treetops lodge, fishing lodge, tusk camp Banda, sapper hut, the Ark, campsites and others.