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Edited date: 19 Aug 2020 17:53:48 +0300

Get complete information on Aberdare National Park attractions and activities/what to see and do suc as hiking and trekking tours, game drives at the salient, trout fishing and guided safaris to the rhino sanctuary. Get a complete guide on where to stay in the park, accommodation, lodges, and camping opportunities in aberdare game park. Go for an evening game drive and enjoy sundowners as you watch the magical sunset yonder. Enjoy our best offers, get cheapest accommodation prices, discounted rates for hotels in the park like the Ark, Anerdare Country Club and Treetops. Hire safari cars from Nairobi Kenya to visit Aberdare

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Aberdare National Park Attractions And Activities- A Summary


Before the arrival of the Europeans in Kenya, the Aberdare range used to be called Nyandarua (the Kikuyu for place of hide) by the local people. The first European to see it- Thomson renamed it Aberdare after Lord Aberdare, the president of the Royal Geographical society. Thomson Falls town and falls has reverted to their pre-colonial name of Nyuhururu town and falls respectively. The name Thomson Falls today only refers to the lodge overlooking Nyahururu falls. The Aberdares range are the third highest range of mountains in Kenya, reaching a summit of just over 4000m.


Aberdare National Park is located in Nyeri / Nyandarua District and was created in 1950.   The Park covers an area of 766Km2 and occupy the volcanic range that form the eastern wall of the rift valley. The Aberdares range is dominated by two peaks separated by a saddle of moorlands.  The Northern Ol Donyo Lesatima (3,999m) and the southern peak Kinangop (3,906m).  Other significant elevations in the park are Chebuswa( 3364m), Table Mountain(3791), Maratini Hill (3698m) and the Elephant (3590m).  The terrain of the  park is diverse with deep ravines that cut through the forested eastern and western slopes with numerous clear streams and waterfalls.

Aberdare National Park Tourist Attractions And Activities

Attractions comprise of what people/ visitors or tourists see and do at the destination. Attractions comprise of:

  • Natural / physical features like mountains, craters, beaches, lakes, rivers, valleys, vegetation, climate
  • Natural wonders and events like the northern lights, wildebeest migration
  • Wildlife-mammals, birds, reptiles, plants
  • Culture of the local people-history, architecture, sports, religion, events, festivals, dining, wining, songs and songs, art and craft
  • Recreational parks, national parks, marine parks, cultural centers, reserves, theme parks, wildernesses

Aberdare National Park Attractions And Activities

  • Wildlife:
    • Mammals
      Aberdare national park is home to elephants, black rhinos, leopards, spotted hyenas, olive baboons, black and white colobus monkeys, buffalos, warthogs and bushbucks among others. Rare species include, the Black rhinos, Leopards, Giant Forest hog, bongo, golden cat, serval cat, African wild cat, African civet cat and the blue duike.
    • Birdlife
      Over 250 species have been recorded in Aberdare National park, including the endermic Jackson's Francolin, Sparrow hawks, goshawks, eagles, sunbirds and plovers and the endangered aberdare cisticola.
    • Rare Mammals/ Sighting
      Rare species in Aberdare include the black rhinos and the black panther. Aberdare rhino sanctuary has the second largest population of black rhinos in Kenya. The black panther is a melanistic leopard found in the hight altitudes
  • Beautiful scenery
    Aberdares heavily forested mountainous contryside with numerous elevations comprising of hills and high mountain peaks (physical features) like Ol Donyo Lesatima (3,999m), Kinangop (3,906m), Chebuswa( 3364m), Table Mountain(3791), Maratini Hill (3698m), the Elephant hill (3590m) and deep ravines criss crossed by numerous streams characterized by spectacular waterfalls like the Karuru and Gura water falls in the chania river. From Aberdare one has undisturbed views the sacred Mt Kenya (Kirinyaga) to the East, Rift Valley, Samburu Hills to the north and the plains in the foreground.
  • Numerous Activities
    The tourist activities on offers in Aberdare National Park include game drives, overnight game viewing by the poolside, bird watching and sports like horse riding, golfing, tennis, nature walks, sundowners, unique dining and wining experiences- sundowners, champagne breakfasts, bush lunches and diners, excursions to the numerous waterfalls, visits to rhino sanctuaries
  • Chimpanzee Trekking
    Primate Excursions or full day tours to the Olpejeta Ranch to trek the chimpanzees
  • Excursions to Solio Ranch and Rhino Sanctuary
    Solio Ranch is one of the most successive primate rhino breeding sactuaries in Kenya. In addition to black and white rhinos, visitors can see plain mammals like zebras, impalas, oryx.
  • Overnight Game Watching
    Both the Ark and Treetops lodges have waterholes where guests can watch nocturnals come to drink water. Guests can make arrangement to be waken when particular animals are sighted
  • Mau Mau Caves
    Hideout of General Kimathi the leader of Mau Mau war of independence
  • Trout fishing
  • Historical Treetops Hotel
    The Treetops Hotel is where Princess Elizabeth became the Queen Of British Empire

What to do in Aberdare National Park Reserve?

Tourist Activities In Aberdare National Park

From the list of attractions there are numerous activities to undertake within and without Aberdare National Park. These include:

  • Game drives and animal sighting: Aberdare National Park boast of a large mammal population including all the big five (elephant, buffalo, black rhino, lion, leopard), so called because they were the most dangerous and prestigious to hunt. Others include bongo antelope, bush pig, giant forest hog, black serval cats. Colobus monkeys colonize the canopy. Aberedare's rare sighting the so called "Black Panther"- melanistic leopard
  • Bird watching-Bird watching in Aberdare can be rewarding for patient bird watchers the giant kingfishers
  • Excursions to Gura and Karuru waterfalls.
  • Hiking the dual peaks of Kinangop and Ol donyo Lesitima and their sandle
  • Hiking or trekking to Elephant hills and Table mountains
  • Excursions to Aberdres black rhino sanctuary and the salient.
  • Treetops Hotel- Queen Elizabeth learned of her accession to the throne at Tree-tops
  • Excursions to Mau Mau caves also called Kimathi Hideout – Kimathi was Kenya’s premier freedom fighter had a cave in aberdare.
  • Overnight game viewing at the Ark & Treetops-two tree hotels found in this park
  • Sensational views of the Rift Valley and the peak of Mt Kenya.
  • Trout fishing
  • Horse back riding.

The cries of hyrax and the distinctive rasping growl of leopard are part of the night unforgettable night sounds. Sleek Genet cats descend from the trees and slip through halls of the lodge. the Occasionally a Rhino or the elusive Bongo antelope appear and visit the waterhole. The game park can be explored by vehicle, or on foot. Trekking trails exists through out the forest and across the moor lands.

Getting There

Aberdatre National Gates

Remember you must enter the reserve through the official gates:

Aberdare National Park is accessible by road or by Air.


Aberdare National/ game park park lies 160 kms from to the North East of Nairobi.  From Nairobi one can access the park via two routes.

  • Nairobi-Nyeri (154Km)- Aberdare
  • Nairobi-Gilgil-Nyahururu (188 km from Nairobi)-Aberdare.

One can easily fly to Aberdare via two airstrips from Nairobi Wilson Airport:-

  • Mweiga Airstrip, near to the park headquarters
  • Nyeri Airstrip which is 12 km from Mweiga headquarters.
Aberdare National Park Gates

From Nyeri you can access Aberdare via five gates. The distance is from Nyeri

  • Ruhuruini gate 20 km
  • Kiandongoro gate 30
  • Treetops gate 17 km
  • Ark gate 28 km
  • Wandare gate 47 km.
From Nyahururu you can access the Park via three gates:-
  • Rhino gate 48 km
  • Shamata gate 45 km,
  • Mutubio gate 50 km.

Where To Stay In Aberdare National Park

Aberdare National Park Accommodation Lodges And Hotels

Accommodation in Aberdare National Park is diverse, comprising of lodges, hotels and tented camps and campsites to cater for all class of visitors. The most famous lodges in the Aberdare National Park are Treetops Lodge and The Ark Lodge. Outside the park there are numerous places of stay in Nyeri and Nyahururu. Children under 7 years are not allowed at either Treetops or Ark. Their noise is likely to chase the animals.

Aberdare National Park Lodges, Best Offers And Rates
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Treetops Lodge
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The Ark Lodge
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Aberdare Country Club
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Treetops Hotel / Lodge:

The treetops has 50 rooms. It is built on stilts overlooking a floodlit water hole with views of Mt Kenya. Treetops Lodge is world famous because this is where Princess Elizabeth became the Queen of the British Empire. All cabins have shared bathrooms.

The Ark Lodge:

From a far, the Ark looks like Noah's Ark floating on vegetation. The Ark has got 60 en suite rooms, lounge, bar and a restaurant overlooking the water hole. Guests view the animals from the safety of the balconies as they parade to take a share of the salt licks. All rooms have carpets to keep warm. A 24 hours buzzer is available to alert the guests whenever one of the rare animals appear. Game viewing is superb from the lodge decks. Below the decks is a stone bunker from where you can literally touch the animals and take the pictures.

Besides the Ark and Treetops, one can be accommodated at KWS Bandas. These include:-
  • Tusk Camp Bandas, These can accommodate a maximum of 8 Pax
  • Sapper Hut for only two pax
  • Kiandogoro Fishing Lodge with a total of 14 Pax
Outside the park at Nyeri
  • Aberdare Country Club
  • Outspan Hotel
  •  Green Hills Hotel

Aberdare Country Club is the base of the Ark, Outspan is the base of Treetops Hotel.