ABERDARE NATIONAL PARK/ ABERDARES NATIONAL PARK RESERVE
/ABERDARE SAFARIS, LODGES
Before the arrival of the
Europeans in Kenya, the Aberdare range used to be called Nyandarua
(the Kikuyu for place of hide) by the local people. The first
European to see it- Thomson renamed it Aberdare after Lord
Aberdare, the president of the Royal Geographical society. Thomson
Falls town and falls has reverted to their pre-colonial name of
Nyuhururu town and falls respectively. The name Thomson Falls today
only refers to the lodge overlooking Nyahururu falls.
The Aberdares range are the third highest range of mountains in
Kenya, reaching a summit of just over 4000m.
Aberdare National Park is located in Nyeri / Nyandarua District and
was created in 1950. The Park covers an area of 766Km2
and occupy the volcanic range that form the eastern wall of the rift
valley. The Aberdares range is dominated by two peaks separated by a
saddle of moorlands. The Northern Ol Donyo Lesatima (3,999m)
and the southern peak Kinangop (3,906m). Other significant
elevations in the park are Chebuswa( 3364m), Table Mountain(3791),
Maratini Hill (3698m) and the Elephant (3590m). The terrain of
the park is diverse with deep ravines that cut through the
forested eastern and western slopes with numerous clear streams and
Aberdare National park can
be divided into two environments:- the moorland, peaks and high
forest of the Kinangop plateau, and the Salient to east where the
forest slopes down to the regional capital of Nyeri. Most of the
time, the high altitude is misty.
An important water
catchment area-Aberdare is an important catchment area for Tana
and Ewaso Ngiro rivers.
The park lies10,000 feet above sea level .
Attractions / Activities / What to do in Aberdare / Aberdares
The following are the main
Mammals: the Park boast of a large mammal population
including Elephant, buffalo, black rhino, bongo antelope, bush
pig, giant forest hog, black serval cat, lion, black leopard.
Colobus monkeys colonize the canopy.
Bird watching-Bird watching in Aberdare can be rewarding
for patient bird watchers the giant kingfishers
Dramatic views include the
Chania and Karura Falls.
Two peaks- of Kinangop and Ol donyo Lesitima
hills, Elephant hills and Table mountains,
Aberdare Park has the second largest population of black
in Salient and Northern Aberdares.
Treetops Hotel- Queen Elizabeth learned of her accession to the throne at
Kimathi was Kenya’s premier freedom fighter
had a hide cave in aberdare.
at the Ark &
Treetops-two tree hotels
found in this park
Overnight game viewing
Sensational views of the Rift Valley and the peak of Mt Kenya.
Horse back riding.
The cries of
hyrax and the distinctive rasping growl of leopard are part of the
night unforgettable night sounds.
Sleek Genet cats descend from the trees and slip through
halls of the lodge. the Occasionally a Rhino or the elusive Bongo
antelope appear and visit the waterhole.
The game park can be
explored by vehicle, or on foot. Trekking trails exists through out
the forest and across the moor lands.
Getting to Aberdare game park
Park is accessible by road or by Air
game park park lies 160 kms from to the North East of Nairobi.
From Nairobi one can access the park via two routes.
One can easily fly
to Aberdare via two airstrips from Nairobi Wilson Airport:-
near to the park headquarters
which is 12 km from Mweiga headquarters.
National Park Gates
From Nyeri you can access Aberdare
via five gates. The distance is from Nyeri
Treetops gate 17
Ark gate 28 km
Wandare gate 47
From Nyahururu you
can access the Park via three gates-
Rhino gate 48 km
Shamata gate 45
Mutubio gate 50
Accommodation/Lodges/Hotels in Aberdare National park:>> Accommodation in Aberdare is
at the Ark Lodge and Treetops Hotel.
One can also be accommodated in the hotels in Nyeri and Nyahururu.
Children under 7 years are not allowed at either Treetops or Ark.
Their noise is likely to chase the animals.
Treetops Hotel / Lodge >>The
treetops has 50 rooms. It is built on stilts overlooking a floodlit
water hole with views of Mt Kenya. The lodge is famous because this
is where Princess Elizabeth became the Queen of the British Empire.
All cabins have shared bathrooms.
The Ark Lodge:>>From a far,
the Ark looks like Noah's Ark floating on vegetation. The Ark has
got 60 en suite rooms, lounge, bar and a restaurant overlooking the
water hole. Guests view the animals from the safety of the
balconies as they parade to take a share of the salt licks.
All rooms have carpets to keep warm. A 24 hours buzzer is
available to alert the guests whenever one of the rare animals
appear. Game viewing is superb from the lodge decks.
Below the decks is a stone bunker from where you can literally touch
the animals and take the pictures.
Besides the Ark and
Treetops, one can be accommodated at KWS Bandas. These
Tusk Camp Bandas, These
can accommodate a maximum of 8 Pax
Sapper Hut for only two
Kiandogoro Fishing Lodge
with a total of 14 Pax
Outside the park at Nyeri
Aberdare Country Club is the base of the Ark, Outspan is the base of