Aberdare National Park, Kenya

The fertile hills of the central highlands seemed to European settlers an excellent place for farming, growing tea, coffee, wheat and flowers. Many of them came and took the land with the permission of the colonial government. No one paid attention to the local traditions and the fact that this was a family land, so this led to a lot of resentment from the locals, which erupted in the bloody uprising of the 1950s – “mau-mau”.

Dedan Kimati was an infamous rebel leader who led the largest rebel group in the forests of the Aberdare mountain range. He knew the forest well, so it took a long time to find him in 1956.

The Aberdare Range retains an air of mystery, among its densely wooded hills and mountains, the highest point of which reaches 4267 m, it is easy to get lost. The mountain air is pleasant and fresh, and the park’s rainforest is a vital watershed for the entire city of Nairobi. Water cascades over beautiful waterfalls into rivers full of trout.

The park is located about 100 km north of Nairobi and has a variety of landscapes, as the altitude of the park varies from 2100 m to almost 4300 m above sea level. The park is characterized by a rich variety of landscapes – from mountain peaks that rise up to 4300 m above sea level, to deep V-shaped valleys with streams, rivers and waterfalls. Moorlands, bamboo forests, and rainforests are at the park’s lower elevations.

Aberdare National Park is known for its treehouse-inspired hotels, Treetops and The Ark. Trees grow right across the building. With walkways and accommodation rising above the forest canopy, you can observe the animals from a unique vantage point. The hotel is located near a watering hole and natural salt licks, which gives its visitors the opportunity to constantly observe the animals without disturbing them in large curious groups, some of which stay up all night to see the shy animals. There is even a hidden vantage point, dug into the ground, with windows at the level of the water hole, where the elephants come, often inches from your face.


All rooms in these hotels have a bell system to wake guests up for particularly good views of the animals, after which you can go to the observation decks or just look out the window. For example, a leopard is guaranteed two calls, and a hyena is most likely only one.

Animals living in the park: leopard, African elephant, hyena dog, large forest pig, bushbuck, mountain antelope, common waterbuck, African buffalo, suni antelope, striped jackal, eland, duikers, anubis baboon, guerets and white-throated monkey. On rare occasions, you can see the golden cat and the bongo antelope, a forest antelope that lives in the bamboo forest. The eland and serval can be found higher in the moorland. Aberdare National Park also contains a large population of black rhino. More than 250 species of birds live in the park, including endangered species: the endemic Aberdar cisticola, Kenyan francolin, spar hawk, African goshawk, eagles, sunbirds and plovers.

The watering hole is dominated by elephants, and when the lions and hyenas are thirsty, they have to deal with the elephants, driving them out at great speed. Leopards are shy, so they are best seen at night under artificial lighting.

During car or walking safaris that pass through the forest, you can see some monkeys, for which the forest is an ideal habitat, as well as many different bird species. At an altitude of about 3048 m there is a bamboo thicket, which, in turn, is a favorite habitat of the bongo, a rare and elusive forest antelope.


Daytime temperatures are comfortable all year round, but it gets colder during the dry winter months.

Rainy season: from April to June – hot and humid (long rains), from November to December – warm and humid (short rains).

Dry season: from January to March – hot and dry, from July to October – cool and dry, very cold nights.


  • Accommodation in tree houses
  • Animal watching from above
  • Night and day observation of animals at a watering place and salt areas
  • Elephant watching up close
  • Lions and leopards
  • Stunning views of tropical and mountain forests


The height ranges from 2133 to 4267 m.

The national park covers an area of ​​767 km².

The altitude makes this place unattractive for malaria.

Entrance fee to the park (in 2013):

Category Price
Citizens of
East African states
300 KSh
Students and children of
East African states
200 KSh
Citizens of other
Students and children
of other countries
less than 6 seats (per 1 day)
300 KSh

Aberdare National Park, Kenya