Not all Kenya’s parks are spread out on the savannah, with their stampeding wildebeests and marauding lions. Some, like Aberdare National Park, are cool, up-country forests – a place of mountain lakes, streams, and waterfalls where you might find elephants and giant antelope emerging from the woods.
The weather is cool, even brisk up here amongst the moorlands and hills. Like all Kenya’s parks, it’s an ideal location for wildlife spotting, where a vigorous hike can bring you up close to buffalo, baboon, bush pigs, and even black rhino.
Here you can go fishing and walk the wind-swept moors in a scene out of the British Isles or North America. But, where you can also spot giant antelope, jackal, eland, and sometimes the exquisite black leopard.
Of Rainforests and Bamboo Groves
At its lower elevations, you’ll first encounter the milder climates of the park’s thick bamboo groves where over 2,000 elephants dwell. These groves in the dense rainforest are also home to one of the greatest numbers of black rhinos in Kenya. The magnificent and curious creatures are actually quite shy but you’ll increase your chances of spotting them due to their large numbers here.
Traveling further upland, you’ll come upon a different ecosystem of misty moors, mountain bogs, streams, and wild highland scenery. All of this in Africa!
In such an unusual park, expect your lodging to be unique as well. Aberdare features two distinctive accommodations:
Treetop Lodge – choose to stay in this lodge perched treehouse-style high up over the park. Out on your balcony, view elephant, buffalo, and other wildlife emerging from the woods drawn to the watering holes below.
In a biblical reference to the park’s abundance of animals, you can also stay at the Ark Lodge, a boat-shaped structure, also located high enough to look upon the meandering wildlife beneath you.
Aberdare’s Special Activities
When we talk about safari, we don’t usually think of fishing in a mountain stream, climbing, and trekking. Yet in the cool, green surroundings of this unique mountain park, you can leave your 4 x 4 and stretch your legs, exploring bamboo groves, dense woodland, waterfalls, and trails.
The park is also an excellent site for bird watching – its forests and wetlands host over 290 species, including augur buzzard, African goshawk, crown eagles, and hawks.
If you like to rock climb or scramble, try tackling Twin Hills, Table Mountain, or Elephant Hills. No technical skills are needed, just a desire to find the most beautiful vistas.
Things to Know
Unlike most other spots on your safari, the climate in the park is almost always cool and wet so dress accordingly. During the rainy seasons of March/May and October/December, the roads may become muddy, making travel around the park a challenge.
Although the park is open year-round, the drier seasons of January/February and June-September are best for accessibility and to see the wildlife.
Whether you trek, climb, fish, or just enjoy the wildlife and the upland scenery, Aberdare Park will be remembered as a unique respite on your African safari tour.
Contact us to book a tour with Africa Kenya Safaris and we’ll make sure to show you the best of Aberdare.