It might be small, but Kenya's Aberdare National Park provides a vastly different experience to the country's more famous savannah reserves like the Masai Mara. Created to protect the Aberdare Mountains of the Central Highlands, it comprises two ecosystems unusual to Kenya: a moorland plateau and a swathe of dense rainforest.
The result is that visitors on safari in Aberdare National Park can expect not only unique and spectacular landscapes, but will also enjoy good game viewing particularly in the salient area – the eastern forested section.
Situated about 180 kilometres (112 miles) north of Nairobi, Aberdare National Park is both easily accessible and well positioned. It lies near Kenya's best Rift Valley lakes and can be conveniently included on an itinerary that takes in iconic safari destinations such as the Masai Mara and Amboseli.
What Animals Can You Find at Aberdare National Park?
Frequent sightings in Aberdare National Park include:
- Black and white Colobus monkey
Rarer sightings include:
- African golden cat
- Bongo – an elusive antelope that lives in the bamboo forests
- Eland and several cat species can be found higher up in the moorlands
Aberdare National Park is also a good birdwatching area and home to over 250 species like Jackson’s francolin, sunbird and plover, as well as birds of prey including Ayres’ hawk eagle, rufous-breasted sparrowhawk, African goshawk and mountain buzzard.
When is the Best Time to Visit Aberdare National Park?
Generally viewed as a year-round destination, the mountainous setting of the Aberdares means that mist and rain may occur at any time. The best time to visit Aberdare National Park for a safari is during the drier months of January and February, and between June and September. Heavy rain can be expected between March and May.
What is Aberdare National Park Famous For?
While staying in Aberdare National Park in 1952, Princess Elizabeth found out that her father King George VI had died, and that she was to become Queen.
Where Are the Aberdare Mountains?
The Aberdare Mountains is a range that forms a portion of the Great Rift Valley’s eastern rim in central Kenya. Located just south of the Equator, the Aberdare Mountains have an average elevation of 3,350 metres (11,000 feet).
How Many Gates Are in Aberdare National Park?
There are eight entry gates that give access to Aberdare National Park: Shamata, Ark, Kiandongoro, Treetops, Ruhuruini, Mutubio, Wanderis and Rhino.