Aberdare National Park

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Aberdare National Park Travel Essentials


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Ideal duration: 2-3 days

Best Time: July - October Read More

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"Where Nature's Majesty Unveils"

Aberdare National Park Tourism

Aberdare National Park, located in the central highlands of Kenya, is renowned for being home to the famous Big Five - elephants, lions, leopards, buffalos, and rhinos, as well as some very rare and elusive game species such as the endangered bongo, giant forest hogs, servals, and colobus monkeys. Aberdare National Park is also a bird lover's paradise, with over 290 recorded bird species, including the striking Jackson's francolin and the endangered Aberdare warbler.

The majestic Aberdare Range, the park's moorlands, and bamboo forests add to its unique beauty. Additionally, the Ol Pejeta Conservancy within the park, serves as a sanctuary for endangered white and black rhinos, including the well-known rhino called Morani. Apart from its remarkable wildlife, Aberdare National Park boasts breathtaking attractions like Chania and Karuru Falls and Kikuyu Village.

Entry Fees:

Park Entry Fee Per Person:
Citizen: Adult – KSH 300, Child – KSH 215
Resident: Adult – KSH 300, Child KSH 215
Non-Residents: Adult – USD 52, Child – USD 26

Vehicle Fee Per Day:
Less than 6 seats - KSH 300
6 to 12 seats - KSH 1030
13 to 24 seats - KSH 2585
25 to 44 seats - KSH 4050
45 seats and above - KSH 5000

Special Activity Charges:
Night Game Drive (per person per trip) – KSH 2155
Guided Tours (per guide up to 4 hours & over 4 hours) – KSH 1720 / KSH 3015
Horse Riding (without rider) – KSH 2585
Private horses (per day) – KSH 1030
Walking Safaris (per person per day) – KSH 1500
Cycling (per day) – KSH 215

Entrance Gates and Timings:
Aberdare National Park offers multiple entrance gates for convenient access to its diverse landscapes and wildlife.
1. Main Gate (Kiandongoro Gate): The Main Gate is located near Nyeri town, approximately 150 kilometres north of Nairobi. It is the main entrance point to the park allowing visitors to enter and exit the park.
2. Treetops Gate: The Treetops Gate is situated near the famous Treetops Lodge, known for its unique location overlooking a watering hole. It is the nearest gate to the Mweiga airstrip.
3. Ark Gate: It serves as an entry point to the park from the eastern side and is closer to the town of Nyeri.
4. Karuru Falls Gate: The Karuru Falls Gate is located close to Karuru Falls, a stunning waterfall within the park. This gate allows visitors to access the Karuru Falls area.
5. Mutubio Gate: The Mutubio Gate is situated near the southern end of Mutubio Swamp, known for its rich biodiversity. It is close to the town of Ruhuruini.
6. Ruhuruini Gate: The Ruhuruini Gate is located near the Ruhuruini River, on the eastern side of the park. It is the lesser-used gate and can be avoided during rain.
7. Shamata Gate: This gate is closer to the eastern side of the Aberdare Ranges. It provides entry to the park from the town of Shamata.
8. Rhino Gate: It serves as an entry point to the park from the western side and is closer to the town of Njabini.
9. Wandere Gate: It serves as an entry point from the western side of the park and is closer to the town of Naivasha.
All the gates are open throughout the year, typically from 06:00 AM to 06:00 PM.

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Things to do in Aberdare National Park

1. Game Drive Safari

Game drives are led by experienced guides who navigate the park in 4x4 safari vehicles. You can expect to encounter a variety of wildlife, including elephants, buffalos, giraffes, and antelopes. Preda (Read More)tors like lions and leopards may also be spotted, though sightings are not guaranteed. Game drives can last from a few hours to a full day. Typically, game drives are conducted in the early morning (around 6:00 AM) and late afternoon (around 4:00 PM) when wildlife is most active.

2. Walking Safari

Walking safaris provide a unique opportunity to explore the park on foot, accompanied by armed guides. These safaris require a moderate level of fitness and adherence to park safety guidelines. Walkin (Read More)g safaris can vary from a few hours to a full day. They are usually conducted in the early morning or late afternoon for optimal weather conditions.

3. Bird-Watching Safari

Aberdare National Park is a haven for bird enthusiasts, with over 290 species to spot. Experienced guides will accompany you, pointing out various bird species such as Jackson's francolin, Aberdare ci (Read More)sticola, and Hartlaub's turaco. Bird-watching safaris can be customized based on your interests, ranging from a few hours to a full day. Early morning and late afternoon are ideal for bird watching when bird activity is high.

4. Night Safari

Night safaris offer a unique opportunity to observe nocturnal wildlife in their natural habitat. This includes animals like bush babies, genets, and various owl species. Spotlights are used to enhance (Read More) visibility during these safaris. Night safaris typically last for a few hours. They commence after sunset, usually in the evening.

5. Chania Falls

Chania Falls is a picturesque waterfall located within Aberdare National Park. It is best visited in the morning when the sunlight enhances the beauty of the cascading water. The attraction is perfect (Read More) for birding, boat riding, spot fishing, and photography.

6. Karuru Falls

Karuru Falls is the highest waterfall in Kenya and is known for its impressive cascade. It is recommended to visit in the afternoon when the sun is at its peak, as this provides the best lighting cond (Read More)itions for capturing breathtaking views. Adventurous travellers can opt to hike up this waterfall under guidance.

7. The Moorland

Aberdare National Park features expansive moorland with rolling hills and vast grasslands. The best time to explore the moorland is during the early morning or late afternoon when the temperatures are (Read More) cooler. This is an ideal time for hiking and trekking, and it offers opportunities to spot unique alpine bird species.

8. The Chimpanzee Sanctuary

The Chimpanzee Sanctuary is a dedicated area within the park where visitors can observe chimpanzees in their natural habitat. It is recommended to visit during the morning hours when the chimpanzees a (Read More)re most active. Guided tours provide insights into their behaviour and conservation efforts.

9. Rhino Ark Aberdare Fence Project

The Rhino Ark Aberdare Fence Project focuses on protecting the habitat of rhinoceroses. While not a specific attraction to visit, visitors can learn about the project's initiatives and conservation ef (Read More)forts. It is advisable to check with the park authorities for any specific visiting hours or guided tours related to the project.

10. Kikuyu Village

A visit to this local village is a unique opportunity to appreciate the Kikuyu culture and support local communities while contributing to sustainable tourism. You can allocate a few hours, preferably (Read More) in the morning or late afternoon, for the visit.

Must Know Before You Travel to Aberdare National Park

  • It is advisable to check road conditions before the trip, especially during the rainy season.
  • Public transport within the park is limited, and it is recommended to arrange private transportation in advance.
  • Many lodges and safari tour operators offer organized tours and transportation services to Aberdare National Park.
  • Ensure you have enough cash with you as credit card facilities may not be widely available within the park.
  • The early morning and late afternoon are the optimal times for wildlife viewing when animals are more active.
  • Consider booking guided tours or activities to enhance your experience.
  • If you require constant connectivity, consider purchasing a local SIM card with data or portable Wi-Fi devices.

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Wildlife in Aberdare National Park

Aberdare National Park is home to a thriving population of the famous Big Five - lion, elephant, buffalo, leopard, and black rhinoceros as well as giraffe, spotted hyenas, olive baboons, black and white colobus monkeys, warthogs, and bushbucks, among others. The park is known for hosting the Giant Forest hog, a unique and seldom-seen animal. Other rare sightings include the bongo, golden cat, serval cat, African wild cat, African civet cat, and the elusive blue duiker.

The park is also home to numerous unique bird species, including the rare and elusive Aberdare cisticola, Jackson's francolin, crowned eagle, African goshawk, Hartlaub's turaco, and scarlet-tufted sunbird.

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How to Reach Aberdare National Park

How to Reach Overview

Aberdare National Park is located at a distance of approximately 150 kilometres from Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya. The park is located within a reasonable distance from major towns like Nyeri and Nanyuki. It is conveniently accessible by both road and air.

How to reach Aberdare National Park by flight

Aberdare National Park has two airstrips – Mweiga Airstrip and Nanyuki Airstrip. You can reach both these airstrips from Nairobi Wilson Airport which organises both chartered planes as well as scheduled flights. Mweiga Airstrip is the nearest airstrip and is located on the opposite side of the park, near Sasin Estate Farm along the Nyeru town to Nyahururu road. It takes approximately 1 to 1.5 hours to reach the airstrip from Nairobi and a round-trip would cost around $326 per person. From the airport, visitors can hire a taxi or book a private transfer to reach the park. 

How to reach Aberdare National Park by road

The park can be accessed by road from Nairobi via Nyeri-Nyahururu Road (A2) or Nairobi-Nyeri-Nanyuki Road (A2 and B6). The distance between Nairobi and Aberdare National Park is approximately 160 kilometres. The travel time by road is around 3-4 hours, depending on the route and traffic.

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