Aberdare National Park Ranges are the third highest range of mountains in Kenya, reaching a summit of just over 4000 metres.
Aberdare range is one of the major water towers in Kenya, being the source of many big rivers and countless streams
The major rivers from Aberdare Forest are Athi and Tana, which flow into the Indian Ocean, Ewaso Nyiro that passes through Samburu and Shaba Game Reserves and drains into the Lorian Swamp and River Malewa that drains into Lake Naivasha. The Athi, Lake Naivasha, Tana and Ewaso Nyiro River Basins have their source in Aberdare Forest Reserve
The mountain forests are catchment areas for the Tana River, the largest river in Kenya, supplying water to the Seven Forks hydroelectric power complex which generates over 55 per cent of Kenya’s total electricity output
This enormous range is well known for its thick outstanding forests, and their prolific game
Locals refer to the ranges as Nyandarua, due to the appearance from a distance which looks like a skin drying
Picturesque, steep forested ravines and open moorland characterize the Aberdares National Park.
These high altitude forests are broken by moorlands and plains, and through the abundant tree cover there are sensational views of the Rift Valley and the peak of Mt Kenya
The Aberdare park has a 400-kilometre electric fence around it which help in controlling the human-wildlife conflict
The name Nyandarua means ‘pegged hide’ in the Kikuyu language perhaps because of the Aberdare Mountain Ranges’ resemblance to an animal skin pegged out to dry
The Aberdares are the water catchment area for the Sasumua and Ndakaini dams, which provide most of the domestic water for Nairobi.
Aberdares Ranges has several peaks which are popular with mountain hikers
Among the popular peaks being Ol Donyo Lesatima (4,001 metres), Kinangop (3,906 metres), Elephant Hill (3,906 metres), Chebuswa Hill (3,364 metres) and Twin Hills (3,300 metres).
Aberdare National Park is home to various mammals such as elephants, black leopards, spotted hyenas, olive baboons, black and white colobus monkeys, buffaloes, warthogs and bushbucks among others. Rare sightings include those of the Giant Forest hog, bongo, golden cat, serval cat, African wild cat, African civet cat and the blue duiker. Visitors can indulge in picnics, trout fishing in the rivers and camping in the moorlands.
Aberdare National Park can also be explored by vehicle, or on foot. There are trekking trails throughout the forests, and across the moorlands. A few days spent here is one of Kenya’s best forest treks.
The foothills of the Aberdare are ideal for exploring on horseback and there are crystal clear mountain streams that abound with Trout. Aberdare National Park has a great place for waterfalls
Karuru Falls in the Aberdares National Park is a place of many unique wonders of nature.
Being the tallest waterfall in Kenya, Karuru falls is located at the Aberdare ranges, plunging 273 meters below the viewing point
Aberdare National Park forests and moorlands are a birder’s paradise with more than 250 bird species recorded. The Jackson’s Francolin will be seen feeding along the many nature trails in park. The endemic Aberdare Cisticola unique to Aberdare ranges may also be seen singing in the bushes at higher altitudes. Several elegant sunbirds are found in the park too, such as Malachite, Golden and Scarlet-tufted Malachite which is not common in other birding destinations in Kenya
The Abbott’s Starlings and Green Ibises may be encountered too in the forest too
Notable Birds in Aberdare National Park