A fairly small national park, Aberdare is in Kenya's Central Highlands. One of the more scenic and tropical parks, it is home to the Big 5, as well as some rare forest-dwelling game like the shy bongo antelope. Within easy striking distance of Nairobi, the Aberdare National Park has some original, historical safari lodges, and offers a unique safari experience in spectacular scenery.

Highlights
  • Home to the Big 5
  • Has the second largest black rhino population
  • In Kenya's Central Highlands, it has a unique range of moors and tropical forests
  • Much cooler and more pleasant climate than many of the other parks
  • Chance to see rare forest animals like the bongo antelope, Colobus monkey, black leopard
  • Photographic hides close to salt licks and waterholes get you close to big game
  • Year-round safari destination with excellent game viewing

A fairly small reserve, the Aberdare National Park offers a totally different safari experience to the better-known, open savannah parks of Kenya. Situated in the country’s Central Highlands, just 180 kms north of Nairobi, it has two unusual landscapes; a moorland plateau and areas of dense rainforest. When you visit the Aberdare on safari, you’ll not only enjoy unique and spectacular scenery, you'll also experience excellent game viewing, especially in its eastern sector.

Big 5 reserve with some rare game

Although not as easy to spot as on the open plains – you have every chance of seeing the Big 5: lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo. You may be lucky enough to spot the elusive bongo – a shy antelope that looks a little like a reddish kudu and lives in the bamboo forests – as well as some of its other forest friends like the Colobus monkey, golden cat, giant forest hog and leopard. The area also has a respectable birding list at over 250 species.

Colonial history

Aberdare National Park is one of the more historic wildlife parks with well-established lodges like Treetops and The Ark still boasting about their illustrious guest lists from days gone by; like when the young Princess Elizabeth became queen when her father, King George VI passed on the night of 5 February, 1952.

Softer climate

Considered more of a year-round safari destination than some of the other parks, Aberdare is mountainous and can experience mist and rain throughout the year. The drier months of January and February and from June to September are usually the best times to visit with the most rewarding game viewing. The rainy season (rains can be heavy) is usually from March to May.

Easy to get to and well located, the Aberdare offers you some excellent, historical lodges and makes a good addition to your Kenyan safari itinerary.

The Ark Lodge
The Ark - Aberdare National Park - Kenya

Very iconic and somewhat quirky, The Ark in Aberdare National Park was built to resemble Noah's creation. It overlooks a floodlit waterhole and salt lick which attracts a wealth of wildlife, especially herds of elephant. There are viewing areas on four different levels as well as a bunker right next to the waterhole where you can watch and photograph the animals so close you can almost touch them, yet remain unseen.

The Aberdare Country Club
Aberdare Country Club - Kenya

A 2 ½ hour drive to the north-east of Nairobi, The Aberdare Country Club is in the Aberdare Highlands, which forms part of the Great Rift Valley. Originally a colonial family home lovingly built on a sloping hillside with sweeping views over the countryside below, the Country Club has been carefully developed to retain the grandeur of its past. The views are spectacular: the plains below, the Aberdare Mountains to the west and Mount Kenya to the east.

Lake Nakuru National Park
Flaming Flamingos At Lake Nakuru, Kenya

Two of the better-known lakes in the Great Rift Valley in Kenya, Lake Nakuru and Lake Naivasha are within easy reach of the capital, Nairobi. Each offers a distinctive safari experience and are often included in a Kenyan safari.

Lake Naivasha National Park
Flaming Flamingos At Lake Nakuru, Kenya

Two of the better-known lakes in the Great Rift Valley in Kenya, Lake Nakuru and Lake Naivasha are within easy reach of the capital, Nairobi. Each offers a distinctive safari experience and are often included in a Kenyan safari.

Treetops Lodge

Treetops lodge overlooks a waterhole in the Aberdare National Park.

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The Ark - Aberdare National Park - Kenya
The Ark

Very iconic and somewhat quirky, The Ark in Aberdare National Park was built to resemble Noah's creation. It overlooks a floodlit waterhole and salt lick which attracts a wealth of wildlife, especially herds of elephant. There are viewing areas on four different levels as well as a bunker right next to the waterhole where you can watch and photograph the animals so close you can almost touch them, yet remain unseen.

Aberdare Country Club - Kenya
The Aberdare Country Club

A 2 ½ hour drive to the north-east of Nairobi, The Aberdare Country Club is in the Aberdare Highlands, which forms part of the Great Rift Valley. Originally a colonial family home lovingly built on a sloping hillside with sweeping views over the countryside below, the Country Club has been carefully developed to retain the grandeur of its past. The views are spectacular: the plains below, the Aberdare Mountains to the west and Mount Kenya to the east.

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