Aberdare National Park – Majestic Peaks, Moorlands and Intriguing Falls

Picturesque, steep forested ravines and open moorland characterize the Aberdare National Park. The park provides a habitat for elephants, black rhinos, leopards, spotted hyenas, olive baboons, black and white colobus monkeys, buffalos, 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. Bird viewing is rewarding, with over 250 species of birds in the park, including the Jackson’s Francolin, Sparrow hawks, goshawks, eagles, sunbirds and plovers.

Aberdare Park is divided into two eco-systems. The Salient is an environment of rainforest and hills bedecked with high waterfalls. The mountains here range in elevation from 2,000 m (6,600 ft) to 4,000 m (13,000 ft).

The Kinangop Plateau is a plain of rugged and windswept moors. Here you’ll find hills, bogs and cold, crystal mountain streams. The mists over the moors create a dark, weathered beauty.


Park size

Aberdare is 767 sq. km (296 sq. mi). It is considered a high-altitude park.



The park is 150 km (93 mi) east of Nairobi and 87 km (54 mi) from Naivasha, in the central highlands of Kenya. It is part of the Aberdare Range, volcanic mountains that comprise the eastern wall of the Rift Valley.

Cool misty and wet. Temperatures are a cool   1.6C (35o F) to 11oC (52o F).

The reserve is open daily, year-round from 06:00Hrs to 18:00Hrs, but the best times to visit are January and February and June through September. During the rainy season from March through May, the roads are impassable.

Getting there

By road – you can book a tour with Jadestone Africa Travels from Nairobi.

By air – fly in safaris can land at the airstrips at Nyeri and Mweiga.

  • Game animals easily seen in the park during game viewing include; African Elephant, black rhino, leopard, spotted hyena, olive baboon, black and white colobus monkey, sykes monkey, cape buffalo, warthog, common zebra (North Aberdare), bushbuck, reedbuck.  Rare sightings include those of Giant Forest hog, bongo, golden cat, serval cat, African wild cat, African civet cat, blue duiker.
  • Very beautiful sceneries of Aberdare include magnificent waterfalls with the main ones being Karuru waterfalls which fall in three steps, 1st step 117M, 2nd step 26M and 3rd 130M, making a total of 273M, Chania waterfalls and may other smaller ones.
  • Adding to the beauty of Aberdare are many ridges and river valleys which attract mountain scenery photographers.
  • A recent marked attraction in Aberdare is the 400Kms electric fence which was completed – final post on 28th August, 2009.  The fence protects the whole Aberdare ecosystem  from  human pressures and contains wildlife,  preventing human/wildlife conflict.
  • Visitors can also indulge in picnics, trout fishing (in the past the rivers were stocked with brown rainbow trout) in the rivers and camping in the Moorlands.  Bird viewing is rewarding with about 290 recorded bird species, including the Aberdare Cisticola that is critically endangered and the Jackson’s francolin, which is regionally endemic, sparry hawk, goshawks, eagles, sunbirds and plover