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The Aberdare National park was founded 1950. The hilly park lies in between 1.829 m and 4.001 m (Oldonyo Lesatima) above sea level and covers an area of 767 kmē. The Aberdare hills stretch over 70 km to end 40 km before Nairobi.

Tectonic forces lifted the earth's crust 5 to 6 mio. years ago and made the Rift valley drop which caused many volcanic eruptions leaving volcanoes behind. Erosion rounded off the peaks for thousands of years and created moorland at 3.000 m.

In the year 1884 Joseph Thomson, a Scottish explorer, named them after the president of the 'Royal Geographical Society', Lord Aberdare. The old name Nyandarua, given by the local tribe of the Kikuyu, means drying animal hide, which characterizes the shape of the landscape. In the 1950s the Mau Mau rebellion used the area as hiding places.

To reduce the conflict between animals and human population an electric fence is surrounding the park. At several places illegal shambas (vegetable plantations) were cleared away and given back to nature.

Many crystal clear rivers cascade over a series of high waterfalls. Released trouts attract anglers from far and near.

The climate can be frosty at night and moderate at day time. Rain has to be expected at any time of the year with higher rainfalls during rainy season. But even then, most likely the sun fights the clouds and colours the sky to a deep blue. The precipitation amounts to 1.000 mm per annum on the drier northeast side and to 3.000 mm in the south east. The whole area is a very important water catchment area feeding several big rivers.

 

 

Depending on the altitude the vegetation varies drastically. Leaving the agricultural part of the Kikuyu's behind you pass through thick forest followed by bamboo forest. A bit higher the vegetation contains mainly Hagenia and Podocarpus trees, some decorated like Christmas trees by lichen. Climbing higher the vegetation clears and changes to St. John's worth bushes, lobelia, senecia, tussock grass and heather bushes. You come across small flowering plants related to those in the Alps and Rocky Mountains.

Even the vegetation builds partly a thicket you can still find animals like buffalos, elephants, monkeys, bush and reed bucks, duikers and a big variety of birds. To get one of the black rhinos, black serval cats or a leopard is good luck. Just to catch a glimpse of the rare bongo, giant forest hog, golden cat is more than luck. The fascinating landscape and vegetation have a lot to offer.

Hike with us to the higher areas and admire the alpine flora as well as the fascinating landscape!

 

 

KaruruFall

Lobelia

Left: Karuru Fall, can be well seen from platforms.
Above:  Lobelia deckenii. The area is rich in plant diversity,
some are similar to the once in the Alps.

 

 

Lesatima

 

 

Forest and Lesatima (4000 m) the highest point

 

 

Colobus_Hagenia_Bambus

 

 

Black & White colobus in bamboo / rosewood (Hagenia abyssinica) zone

 

 

 

 

Accommodation:

 

 

 

Sandai Ranch

The ranch is situated on the Northern side of the Aberdare. When the weather is clear you have a great view to the Aberdares and Mt. Kenya. There are 4 bungalows, 2 family bungalows and comfortable rooms. In the main house is a large dining room with a big table so all guests can eat together. 

Haupthaus_klein

 

 

Activities:

Aberdare NP and Solio Sanctuary are nearby also see Laikipia/Lewa

Horse back riding, walking or relax in the tranquility of this place.

 

 

 

The Treetops is the famous tree hotel, where Queen Elisabeth became Queen in 1952 when her father King George passed away. You watch animals visiting the place in front of the lodge. In case you would like to rest you can make a list of the animals you would like to see to be woken up as soon as they are spotted. Lunch is taken at Outspan Hotel and transfer to Treetops in the afternoon.

Night observation lodge: Children below 5 years are not allowed.

The Outspan Hotel was built in 1927 in Nyeri town. It is surrounded by a tropical garden and offers views to Mt. Kenya. Chania River is passing the compound. The colonial style gives the hotel its own flair. If we do not spend the whole day in a park you will enjoy lunch here

Treetops

 

 

The Ark resembles the Ark Noah, what it is named after. Various platforms and balconies allow a good view on the animals in the surrounding area. The system to be woken up is the same as in Treetops. From an underground bunker you have a close watch on animals coming to drink.

The Aberdare Safari Club is outside the park within its own sanctuary.

TheArk

 

 

Tafari Castle und Country Lodge was built in 2012. 27 rooms in form of tents or houses as well as a main house built in the form of a castle await you. The lodge is situated on the western slopes of the Aberdares, between Nyeri and Nyahururu. At times of clear weather you have a great view to Mount Kenya.

Tafaria_Lodge

 

 

The name Fishing Lodge is slightly confusing. There are two houses built in the stile of Swiss huts in the Alps. Both have 2 tripple rooms with bath and 1 single room without bathroom. Each has a small kitchen equipped with the necessary tools to cook and a comfortable dining room with a fire place. Food, cook and firewood are carried from Nairobi. Black fronted duikers, hares and sometimes a black serval cat spend a visit. Since we are at 2,920 m above sea level the temperature can fall below 0.

FishingLodge

 

 

There are 2 campsites in the park. But due to often cold and humid weather conditions we prefer staying indoors.