Aberdare National Park is located in the southwestern part of Central Kenya. The park is north of Nairobi and east of the Rift Valley. The park covers an area of 296 square miles (767 sq km).
Aberdare is a diverse eclectic collection of African ecosystems. The valleys are traversed by streams and rivers and backdropped with the Aberdare Mountain Range. The range features summits that reach heights of 13,000 feet (4,000 m).
The streams and rivers coming out of the mountains into the valley give way to waterfalls. The temperate grasslands neighbor up to bamboo forests as well as rich diverse rainforests. The forested ravines deliver some of the best waterfalls. These varied habitats serve as the perfect home of an abundance of varied wildlife.
Aberdare is a wildlife haven. The predator species travelers can hope to see include lion, leopard, African wild dog, hyena, jackal, and the African golden cat. Some of the other popular species include eland, bushbuck, buffalo, reedbuck, giant forest hog, warthog, and the endangered black rhinoceros.
Birdwatchers will also find this to be a paradise. There are over 250 species of birds including the majestic African fish eagle, the African goshawk, and many others. Nighttime animal viewing is available through the Treetops and The Ark, which have lighted watering holes.
This is a wildlife safari destination and spotting the abundant and varied wildlife is the highlight of a trip to the Aberdare National Park. The park features a large population of both elephant and rhino which are highlights for many travelers young and old.
The Big 5 is a term that was originally coined by hunters who identified these 5 animals as some of the toughest hunts in Africa. The animals that make of the Big 5 include Lion, Leopard, Elephant, Rhino, and Buffalo.
The national park has all five of these species along with much more roaming about the park. It has the second largest population of black rhinos giving Kenya a true gem of wildlife experience.
Karuru Waterfall is the tallest waterfall in the park. It features a total plunge of 895.67 feet (273 m) over three stages. The first stage falls (117 m), with the shortest plunge next at 26 m), and the final drop of (130 m) to the pool below.
Trails of Aberdare National Park
Aberdare National Park is a wildlife destination where the primary activity is safaris. That said, there are walking safaris with an armed KWS guide. There are trails that may be engaged allowing visitors to see more of the park.
Karuru Falls Trail: This is a short hike from a designated parking area out to view this magnificent waterfall.
Elephant Hill Trail: This is an excellent day hike that travels through the exquisite bamboo forest. The trail covers a distance of 11 miles (17.70 km) while ascending to the summit of Elephant Hill at 12,815 feet (3,906 m). As you exit the bamboo jungle you will come upon panoramic views of the terrain with views of Mount Kenya.
- The Big 5
- Karuru Waterfall
- AJ Kenya Safari, The Ultimate Guide to Aberdare National Park, https://ajkenyasafaris.com/things-todo/aberdare-national-park/, retrieved July 2020.
- Britannica, Aberdare National Park, https://www.britannica.com/place/Aberdare-National-Park, retrieved July 2020.
- Discover Africa, Mount Kenya and the Aberdares, https://www.discoverafrica.com/safaris/kenya/mount-kenya-and-aberdares/, retrieved July 2020.
- Kenya National Parks, Aberdare National Park, https://www.kenyanationalparks.com/aberdare-national-park.html, retrieved July 2020.
- Kenya Safari, Aberdare National Park, http://www.kenyasafari.com/aberdare-national-park-kenya-travel-guide.html, retrieved July 2020.
- Kenya Wildlife Service, Aberdare National Park, http://www.kws.go.ke/content/aberdare-national-park, retrieved July 2020.