Aberdares National Park
ABERDARES NATIONAL PARK
The Aberdares are an isolated volcanic range that forms the eastern wall of the rift valley, running roughly 100km north south between Nairobi and Thomsons Falls. Soils are red and of volcanic origin, but rich in organic matter. There are two main peaks, Ol Donyo Lesatima (3,999m) and Kinangop (3,906m) separated by a long saddle of alpine moorland at over 3,000m. The topography is diverse with deep ravines that cut through the forested eastern and western slopes and there are many clear streams and waterfalls. The Aberdares are an important water catchment area providing water to the Tana and Athi rivers and part of Central Rift and Northern drainage basins.
The National Park lies mainly above the tree line running along the 10,000ft contour with some forest and scrub at lower altitude in the 'salient' area near Nyeri with the boundary running down to the 7000ft contour
The unusual vegetation, rugged terrain, streams and waterfalls combine to create an area of great scenic beauty in the National Park. The park is surrounded by a predominantly indigenous forest, whose management is under an MoU between KWS and the Forest Department.
The lodges are one of the main attractions of the Aberdares. Both Treetops and The Ark are built above the ground beside floodlit waterholes with salt licks. Visitors must book in advance and cannot make their own way to the lodges in private vehicles. Instead check-in is at the Aberdare Country club for The Ark and the Outspan Hotel for Treetops, from where guests are bussed to their respective lodges.
Central highlands, west of Mount Kenya; Nyeri District; Central Province; 766km2.
Mist and rain occur throughout much of the year, with precipitation varying from around 1000mm yearly on the north western slopes to as much as 3000mm in the south east. Heavy rainfall occurs through most of the year.
HOW TO GET THERE :
The park is readily accessible on tarmac from Nyeri and Naro Moru on the eastern side (160 kms from Nairobi). A road crosses the park to connect with another from Naivasha and North Kinangop on the west.
The main towns from which the park can be approached are Nyeri (154 km from Nairobi) Nyahururu (188 km from Nairobi) and Naivasha (87 km from Nairobi).
Mweiga Airstrip, next to the park headquarters or Nyeri Airstrip which is 12 km from Mweiga headquarters.
The park has 60km and 396km of primary and secondary roads respectively. The salient has an adequate road network. The central Aberdares is hardly accessible during the wet season and there are few motorable roads in Northern Aberdares which is also cut off from the central Aberdares. Most of the current road network is not accessible during the wet season.
From Nyeri - Ruhuruini gate 20 km, Kiandongoro gate 30 km, Treetops gate 17 km, Ark gate 28 km, Wandare gate 47 km.
From Nyahururu - Rhino gate 48 km, Shamata gate 45 km, Naivasha, Mutubio gate 50 km.
Lesatima peak, Kinangop peak, waterfalls, walks in the moorlands, Twin hills, Elephant hills and Table mountains, Elephants, Second largest population of black rhinos in Salient and Northern Aberdares, Queen Elizabeth learned of her accession to the throne at Tree-tops, The Kimathi Hideout, Night viewing of wildlife at the Ark & Treetops.
Fishing Lodge; Ruhuruini (Tusk Camp); Sapper Hut; KWS Hut at Treetops; KWS HQ bungalow.