In May 1958, the park came to existence, it was named by Queen Elizabeth II. It covers 766sqkm, and forms part of Aberdare mountain range. Aberdare Mountains are the third highest in the country. It’s located in the Northern part of Nairobi town, can be easily accessed by plane to Nairobi, then vehicle to the park. It sits in Nyeri County, in Nyeri City.
It has a large area of landscape, mountains of 4000m peaks, with V shaped valleys that are bisected by rivers and streams and waterfalls. It has moorland, bamboo and rain forests that lie at the lower altitude of the park. Wildlife and birds have a home in the park too.
Things to do
The park has many activities that visitors could engage in for a wonderful time. Below are the most common and most exciting activities in the park.
The abundant wildlife species in the park give room for vehicle safaris around the park in search for animals in their camping grounds. These are arranged during day or at night and visitors have an opportunity to enjoy both. As you tour the place you will catch sight of the rhinos, colobus monkeys, bushbucks, reedbucks, among others.
The existence of over 250 bird species enables bird lovers to have a wonderful time in the park. One top of birds that have a home in the park, there also migratory birds especially in the wet season. Sunbirds, eagles, and a lot of new species will be seen and for better views. Binoculars will be necessary.
Mountain climbers on hikers will also have a wonderful time in the park. One doesn’t need to be an expert to enjoy the activity, with the help of guides it can be quite enjoyable. A you climb these mountains you will have wonderful views of the park.
Guided walks can be enjoyed in the park. These can be done with in the park, in the valleys, in the forest, following trails that were created for easy accessibility and also around the mountains and also visits in the nearby villages can be made. These walks give an opportunity of adventuring the whole area.
This is carried out in ice cold Guru Karuru and Chania Rivers. This is a wonderful activity and can be enjoyed by first timers. Visitors also get an opportunity to enjoy with the locals of the area and know about their way of lives.
Visit to the Moorlands
These lie in the park and close to them lies the breath taking Thomson falls. This will give you an experience of being in the wilderness.
When to go
The park receives visitors throughout the year. The country has a dry season and wet season. For a long time the dry season has been considered most enjoyable in the park compared to the wet season. We have described the status of both these seasons in the park for you to plan better for perfect time in the park.
Dry Season (June –September and January-February)
The season is characterized of almost sunny weather throughout. The period is rated as perfect for game viewing for animals are easy to spot. The grass are low and trees are not so thick to penetrate.
Nature walks are easy with in the park for the trails are easy to access and generally the whole park can be dry, favors a tour in the moorland zone, contrary to wet season when trails are slippery and muddy.
This season is the busiest in the park ad visitors are advised to book early to avoid any disappointments.
However it’s advisable for visitors to have warm clothing for sometimes morning and evenings can be too cold.
Sometimes animals move to higher altitudes which aren’t easily accessible.
Wet Season (October-December and March-May)
The period is composed of short and long rains, and towards the end of the season from April to May heavy rains occur, thus not advisable to visit.
The early stages of this season is the peak of bird watching. Migratory birds visit the park during the first wet season and are enjoyable.
This season is a low season in the park and rates are low compared to the dry season, and the park is less crowded even at places of accommodation.
When it rains in the park roads and trails can be slippery that sometimes can be impassable.
During this time when it rains wildlife might not be seen clearly and hiking might not be possible. Some animals look for shelter in the trees to free themselves.
The park is well situated and spacious enough for visitors to have a wonderful time. There several attractors to the park but for matters of good planning, we have highlighted what you shouldn’t miss out when you take a safari to this park.
The park is an amazing ground for wild animals for the constant supply of water and grass. These are commonly enjoyed in the dry season when they gather around waterholes and around the park on their safaris. The likes of rhinos, elephants, leopards, lions, wild dogs, bushbucks, reedbuck, waterbuck, olive baboon, eland, duiker, colobus monkey, skyes monkey, giant forest hog, golden cat, bongo, and eastern black rhinoceros, among others aren’t visitors in the park.
The park has over 250 species of birds and these are most viewed in the wet season. During the rainy days that park has a great number of migratory birds and this has attracted so many bird lovers to the park. The likes of sparry hawks, Jackson’s francolin, aberdare cisticola, sunbirds, African fish eagles, plovers, goshawks, among others will be seen. We advise you to have a pair of binoculars (Can be hired from hotels or lodges) for better viewing.
These spectacular sights cover over 100km of Park’s land. The Unique mountains have peaks f over 4000m. The amazing views of these mountains have attracted so many to the park and a highlight of the park. Visitors can enjoy tours around them and also take a hike.
Part of the park land are forests. There several species of trees in this park and some have existed for years, the bamboo forests, rain forests, and in these there trails that one could follow to explore the whole area.
The waters of Ewaso Narok River fall over 72m to create these amazing falls in the park. The views are lovely and worth checking out.
The Hotel became popular years ago where Elizabeth was staying before she assumed the throne. The hotel lies in the park, and close to water bodies, a place so perfect for one to have a close view of wildlife. The Hotel alerts visitors when these animals come. Buffalos, rhinos, elephants, antelopes among others can be seen at close range.
Solio Game Reserve
A private rhino sanctuary lies between Aberdare national park and Mount Kenya, covering over 6868 hectares. It’s one of the successful sanctuaries ever created and with the highest number of black and white rhinos. Over 200. If you want an up-close and personal moment with rhinos and other animals, this is a must-visit place.
Places of accommodation have facilities in three categories. Tier 1 for luxury, those that look for first class service, Tier 2 for midrange, those that want a balance of quality and value, and Tier 3 for budget, those that want basic services for a limited budget. Visitors are encouraged to emphasize on their need for best place of accommodation.
The Ark Lodge
The lodge was constructed in the shape of Noah’s ark, but with even better finishing adding to its beauty. It has over 60 rooms of accommodation and is located in the park near park’s water bodies, where visitors can view wildlife from their rooms. They provide wonderful service to visitors.
Most popular hotel, situated in the park, close to water pools where animals gather to have water, and visitors enjoy views of these animals in the compound from their rooms. They have luxurious service, have restaurant with different cuisines, a bar, among others.
Situated outside the park, has over 45 rooms, in form of standard, deluxe, and cottages. It has a swimming pool, playground and visitors get an opportunity of touring the nearby town and villages.
Aberdare Country Club
Situated outside the park, in the Aberdare highlands, on the slopes of Mweiga Hill. It has rooms in form of cottages. Over 48, with private bathrooms. It was constructed in old English cottage design to give it and unique and beautiful look.
A safari in and round this park will give you a memorable experience for the amazing features it possesses. As you are trying to figure out when to go, consider having time to enjoy all that the park has and with the right tour group, everything will be smooth from the reporting day to the end of your tour.