Aberdare National Game Park Kenya at Glance
1) Background of Aberdare National Game Park Kenya
- Size: 766 km2
2) History of Aberdare National Park
- Established in May 1950
- Named after Lord Aberdare, who was the President of the Royal Geographical Society.
- Elizabeth II became Queen of the United Kingdom while on her Kenya vacation in the Aberdare.
3) Location of Aberdare National Park
- Situated in central Kenya; east of the East African Rift Valley
- It’s about 150 km from Nairobi, Capital city of Kenya
4) What to see in Aberdare National Game Park Kenya
Animals in Aberdare Game Park
- Hosts all of the ‘Big Five’ animals -elephants, rhinos, leopards, lions, and buffaloes
- Easily seen in the park include African Elephants, black rhinos, spotted hyenas, sykes monkey, cape buffalos and reedbucks.
- Rare Sightings-Giant Forest hogs, bongo, golden cat, serval cat, blue duiker.
Birdlife in Aberdare National Park
- More than 250 species recorded.
- Species include Aberdare Cisticola that is critically endangered and Jackson’s francolin, which is regionally endemic, sparry hawk, goshawks, eagles, sunbirds and plovers
Aberdare ranges in Aberdare National Park
- Has the third highest point in Kenya (4000m)
- Perfect safari destination for traveler hiking tours in Kenya
5) Un usual vegetation in Aberdare National Park
- 778 plant species
- Dominated by wild and beautiful moorlands
- Rich alpine and sub-alpine flora-species of Senecio and lobelia.
6) Waterfalls in Aberdare National Park
- The main one is Karuru waterfalls which fall in three steps, 1st step 117M, 2nd step 26M and 3rd 130M, making a total of 273M.
7) Cultural and historical sites in Aberdare National Park
8) What to do in Aberdare National Game Park Kenya?
- Trekking safaris
- Game Viewing
- Trout fishing
9) Where to stay in Aberdare National Game Park Kenya
Luxury Safari Lodges
- Treetops Lodge
- The Ark
Midrange safari lodges
- Aberdare Cottages
- Fishing Lodge
Budget safari accommodation
- Tusk Camp Banda
- Sapper Hut
10) How to Get to Aberdare National Game Park Kenya
- The Park is readily accessible on tarmac from Nyeri and Naro Moru on the Eastern side and it’s 150 km from Nairobi.
- The park HQS is 15 Kms from Nyeri town, along the Nyeri – Nyahururu road.
- The nearest airstrip is the Mweiga Airstrip on the opposite side from Park Hqs along Nyeri – Nyahururu road near Sasini Estate Farm.
Background of Aberdare National Game Park Kenya
Kenya’s Aberdare National Park is a remarkable place of great beauty, a scenic delight in central Kenya; east of the East African Rift Valley. The park measures 766 km2 and forms part of the Aberdare Mountain range, a popular destination for those on a mountain hiking safari in Kenya. The volcanic range of the Aberdare Mountains varies from the high moorland at 3000 meters, to the peaks of Kinangop (3906m) and Ol Donyo Lesatima (4000m).
Encircled by the wild and beautiful moorlands, this atmosphere Park offers a mist-wreathed realm where elephant roam through lichen-hung forests, spectacular waterfalls plunge into churning pools, and trout-filled streams cascade through mossy dells. A haven for anglers, walkers and lovers of solitude alike, it also offers matchless views of the glittering coronet of Mount Kenya and the sparkling lakes of the Great Rift Valley.
Boasting a large number of elephants as well as black rhinos, Aberdare lures those who want more than just a Kenya safari. While trekking, keep an eye open for bush pigs, rare black leopards, and buffaloes. Also commonly seen here are buffaloes, spotted hyenas, waterbucks, defassa waterbucks, reedbucks, baboons, sykes monkeys, and white & black Colobus monkeys. Other animals known to exist in the park include Giant Forest hogs, bongo antelopes, golden cats, serval cats, African wild cats, African civet cats, and the blue duikers. A Kenya birding safari to the park is also rewarding, with over 250 species of birds in the park, including the Hartlaub’s turacos, the indistinct Aberdare cisticolas, Jackson’s Francolin, Sparrow hawks, goshawks, eagles, sunbirds, and plovers.
History of Aberdare National Game Park Kenya
Established in May 1950, Aberdare National Game Park was a far-sighted decision to protect the Aberdare Mountains and surrounding wildlife. This park is actually where nature and history meet. Believed by the Kikuyu to be one of the homes Ngai (God) and originally known as ‘Nyandarua ‘(the drying hide- due to the distinctive folds of its silhouette), the range was renamed in 1884 by the explorer, Joseph Thompson, after Lord Aberdare, the President of the Royal Geographical Society.
Dubbed the ‘White Highlands’ because of the large numbers of Europeans who settled there in the 1920s, the area also achieved notoriety due to the decadent antics of the ‘Happy Valley Set’ of the Wanjohi Valley. Also during the 1950s, the dense forests and bamboo thickets witnessed much of the action between British forces and the ‘Mau’ freedom fighters. The area is well known as the headquarters of Dedan Kimathi, leader of the 1950s Mau Uprising. Elizabeth II became Queen of the United Kingdom while on her Kenya vacation in the Aberdare. It was also the site where J.A. Hunter killed the rogue elephant of Aberdare Forest.
What to see in Aberdare National Game Park Kenya
There is a wide variety of Kenya tourist attractions in Aberdare Game National Park. The park is home to numerous species of animals and a variety of birdlife. Other Kenya safari attractions in Aberdare National Park include the spectacular Aberdare ranges, the unusual vegetation, scenic waterfalls and cultural & historical sights.
1) Animals in Aberdare National Park Kenya
Home to a variety of animal species, Aberdare National Park is one of the unique destinations a traveler on a Kenya wildlife safari must visit. Aberdare hosts all of the ‘Big Five’ animals (elephants, leopards, lions, buffaloes and rhinos) The park habours Kenya’s second-largest population of endangered black rhinos. More commonly seen animals include elephants, buffaloes, hyenas, bushbucks, defassa waterbucks, reedbucks, olive baboons, black and white colobus monkeys, and sykes monkeys. Leopards and black rhinos are sometimes spotted at one of the treetops lodge’s floodlit waterholes at night. Species such as the common eland and serval live in the higher moorlands. The salient area of the park is an elephant migration corridor of dense forests and abundant wildlife, such as bush pig, dik-dik, bushbuck, reedbuck and other foragers.
Nocturnal animals, including giant forest hog and large-spotted genet, also often visit the waterholes at night. The forest is also home to the very elusive and beautiful bongo antelope. Unfortunately, numbers have decreased over the last few decades and sightings are extremely rare. Lions are also rarely seen. Other rare sightings include a golden cat, serval cat, African wild cat, African civet cat, and the blue duiker.
2) Birdlife in Aberdare National Park Kenya
The forests and moorlands of Aberdare are a birder’s paradise where more than 250 species can be spotted on a Kenya birding safari in the park. The striking Hartlaub’s turaco is just one of the interesting visitors at the bird feeding platforms at the Treetop lodge. The indistinct Aberdare cisticola is endemic, and therefore unique, to the region and can be found at higher altitudes. Several interesting sunbirds are found in the park including the rare scarlet-tufted malachite sunbird which can be found on the mountain peaks.
Other bird species that will be seen by travelers on Kenya tours in the park include the African Green Ibis, Abyssinian Crimsonwing, African goshawk, African green pigeon, African paradise flycatcher, African yellow warbler, Augur buzzard, Ayres’s hawk-eagle, Bar-tailed trogon, Bronzy Sunbird, Cinnamon-chested bee-eater, Crowned eagle, Doherty’s bush-shrike, Golden-winged Sunbird, Hartlaub’s turaco, Hunter’s cisticola, Jackson’s francolin, Montagu’s harrier, Montane white-eye, Moorland chat, Moorland francolin, Mountain buzzard, Moustached Green Tinkerbird, Narina trogon, Olive ibis, Rufous-chested sparrowhawk, Scarlet-tufted malachite sunbird, Sharpe’s longclaw, Silvery-cheeked hornbill, Tacazze sunbird, Tambourine dove, and White-headed wood-hoopoe.
3) Aberdare ranges in Aberdare National Park
The 160 km long Aberdare Mountains are an isolated volcanic range that forms the easternmost wall of the Great Rift Valley and it is a perfect safari destination for traveler hiking tours in Kenya. The mountain range is called Nyandarua among the Kikuyu people in whose territory this forest and mountain range is located. The name Nyandarua means a drying hide due to the distinctive fold of its silhouette. On the west, the range falls off steeply into the Kinangop Plateau. On the east, the range slopes more gently. Lake Naivasha and the distant Mau Escarpment can be seen from peaks in the range.
The range has a maximum elevation of about 4000 meters above sea level and is heavily forested. The former name of the range survives in the highest peak known as Mount Santima. The second-highest peak, at the southern end of the range, is Mount Kinangop at 3,906 meters. Other significant elevations in the park are Chebuswa(3364m), Table Mountain (3791), Martini Hill (3698m) and the Elephant (3590m). Mount Kenya, 5,199 meters the second-highest mountain in Africa after Kilimanjaro lies east of the Aberdare Range.
These mountain ranges consist of rain forests, dense bamboo forests, and Moorland. It is a habitat for a variety of wildlife species including various big gems, antelopes, monkey species and a diversity of birdlife. The provides a great destination for Kenya mountain trekking safaris.
The Aberdare Range was named by Joseph Thomson in 1884 in honor of Lord Aberdare, who at the time was President of the Royal Geographical Society and the Royal Historical Society. Aberdare was also a Liberal politician who had served as Home Secretary from 1868 to 1873. He was later to become the first Chancellor of the University of Wales.
The area is well known as the headquarters of Dedan Kimathi, leader of the 1950s Mau Mau Uprising. Elizabeth II became Queen of the United Kingdom while vacationing in the Aberdares. It was also the site where J.A. Hunter killed the rogue elephant of Aberdare Forest.
a) Mount Satima in Aberdare National Park
Mount Satima, also known as Mount Lesatima and often abbreviated to Satima is the third-highest mountain in Kenya and the highest in the Aberdare Range. The Maasai name is Oldoinyo Lesatima, which has a variety of alternative spellings, such as Ol Donyo Le Satima, and means “mountain of the bull calf”. The scenery is shrouded in mist, and the landscape is dominated by erica, lobelia, groundsel and other odd-looking alpine flora that reaches 6 meters (19 feet) in height.
The peak lies at the northern end of the Aberdares, which themselves are along the eastern side of the Great Rift Valley, and is their highest point. Around it stand a number of sharp volcanic cones called “the Dragon’s Teeth”. There are moraines between 3,600 and 3,800 meters on the northwest of the mountain. One book on Kenya has called the mountain itself “a craggy bluff of rock and tussock grass around which the clouds swirl”.
b) Mount Kinangop in Aberdare National Park
Mount Kinangop (or Ilkinangop) is the second-highest point on Aberdare ranges 3,906m. This dormant volcano overlooks the Kinangop plateau to the west and the Great Rift Valley beyond. The lower levels of the mountain have extensive bamboo forests. Higher up it is covered by tussock grasses. The main peak is a rocky outcrop surrounded by open moorlands. Due to the height, temperatures are cool and may drop below freezing at night
4) Vegetation in Aberdare National Park Kenya
Aberdare National Park contains unusual vegetation types. The steep forested ravines and open moorland characterize the Aberdare vegetation. There are 778 vegetation and plant species, subspecies and varieties found in the ark, due to the park’s altitude and rainfall. Hardwood trees include camphor, cedar, podo, and hagenia. Two interesting ecosystems to be explored by travelers while on Kenya safaris in this park include a dense rainforest and high, Afro-alpine moorlands that also habours a variety of birds and animals.
The Afro-alpine vegetation on the mountain range is divided into a rich alpine and sub-alpine flora, including species of Senecio, Lobelia, Erica, Helichrysum, and tussock grasses that gives way at around 3,000 m to bamboo Arundinaria alpine and then montane rainforest (mainly Juniperus procerus-Podocarpus falcatus-Nuxia congesta forest on the western and northwestern slopes, ocotea forest on the south-east, and mixed Podocarpus latifolius forest on the east and on Kipipiri. Pockets of the Hagenia forest occur in sheltered patches on the rolling moorland.
5) Waterfalls in Aberdare National Park
Aberdare National Park is also renowned for its magnificent waterfalls that plunge from cloud-shrouded heights to spray-filled ravines. The main one is Karuru waterfalls which fall in three steps, 1st step 117M, 2nd step 26M and 3rd 130M, making a total of 273M. Others include the impressive Gura Falls which torent from the opposite side of Karuru falls, the enchanting Magura Falls which cascade across the yawning mouth of the Queen’s Cave.
These falls give travelers on Kenya holiday in an Aberdare a breathtaking view as they hike through the forest. There is a waterfall lookout which can be reached via the Mutubio West Gate, which is roughly 8km from the lookout. It’s actually a fairly easy 20-minute hike through the forest to view the falls.
6) Cultural and historical sites in Aberdare National Park
Besides a variety of wildlife species, Aberdare National Park is a place of great cultural and historical significance that visitors on Kenya cultural safaris would wish to explore. Between Honi Campsite and Elephant Ridge is the site of the hideout of Mau leader Dedan Kimathi, who used these mountains as a base; many of his companions learned the ropes of jungle warfare fighting in Burma in WWII.
Down the Aberdare Ranges verdant slopes is a huge Mugumo (fig) tree which by simply looking at it you can see that it is very old; this tree has a very rich history best narrated by the natives of this area. The Kenyan Mau freedom fighters actually curve crevices in the trunk of this tree and these they used as an undisclosed post office in which they put messages through agents. In memory of Dedan Kimathi the Mau leader Field Marshall, this fig tree was eventually named as the Kimathi Post office. This Aberdare National park is as well renowned for its old caves that the freedom fighters used as hideouts in the Guerrilla revolution against the British colonialists.
The local community nearest to the park is the Kikuyu people who believe that these ranges are among the homes of their god (Ngai). These natives initially named this area Nyandarua (to mean drying hide) because if the numerous distinctive folds here
What to do in Aberdare National Game Park Kenya
Travelers on a Kenya trip will enjoy a wide range of Kenya safari activities in Aberdare National Park. The things to do in Aberdare National Park include Trekking safaris, Game Viewing, Birding and Trout fishing. All the activities are done after paying the Aberdare National Park entry fee. The entry fees for non-resident adult visitors include US$ 52 adults and US$ 26 Child/Student. East Africa Citizens pay Kenya shillings (KSH) 300 adults, KSH 215 students/students. Residents pay KSH 1030 adults and KSH 515 Children.
Citizens Refer to Kenya Citizens with valid National ID/Passports and Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi citizens with valid Passports.
Residents: Refers to persons of other nationalities residing in Kenya with valid documentation from the Kenyan government.
Student: Is herein defined as an individual from a recognized secondary, government or private college university-aged up to 23 years old visiting the Parks for purposes of learning about conservation through a documented and organized arrangement with that institution and excludes students on personally arranged holidays. KWS will require a minimum of two weeks’ notice in order to issue written authorization for student rates.
1) Trekking safaris in Aberdare National Park Kenya
Aberdare National Park is among the most popular destinations for a mountain climbing tour in Kenya. The peak of Aberdares is relatively easy to trek and most of them can be conquered with little more than a strenuous high-altitude trek. There is a myriad of paranormal moorland hikes and forest walks in the park.
A Mountain trekking tour in Kenya’s Aberdare however, requires advance permission from the warden at park headquarters, who may (depending on where you plan to walk) insist on providing an armed ranger to guide and protect you against inquisitive wildlife (KSH 2000/4000 per half/full day).
The Northern Moorland and its four main peaks (all 3500m to 4000m) are excellent trekking spots; the tallest mountain in the park is Ol Donyo Lesatima (4000m), a popular bag for those on the Kenya mountain climbing safaris. On the Kinangop Plateau, from the dirt track that connects the Ruhuruini and Mutubio West gates, it is possible to walk to the top of Karura Falls and watch Karura Stream slide over the rocky lip into the 272m abyss. Weather permitting, you may be able to make out the misty veil of Kenya’s tallest cascade, the Gura Falls (305m), in the distance. Unfortunately, there are no tracks to Gura Falls or the base of Karura Falls. You can, however, visit the far smaller Chania Falls further north.
2) Game Viewing in Aberdare National Park
Game drives are one of the most thrilling ways to explore Aberdare National Park during your Kenya wildlife Tours. Game dives in the park can be arranged by the lodges and camps. The Treetops Lodge offers full-day moorland game drives, the silent game drives and late afternoon/sundowner game drives. A day full-day Moorlands game drive Aberdare provides visitors on a safari in Kenya an opportunity to view undulating hills, bogs, clear mountain streams, numerous waterfalls, and magnificent scenery. Animals are the biggest highlight of this game drive with visitors set to see four of the big five including the black rhino, the leopard, elephant, and buffalo. You can also view the spotted hyena, the sykes, Columbus, and black-faced vervet monkeys. Lastly, one can view very rare animal species including the bongo antelope and the giant forest hog.
During this game drive, you are also poised to visit the spectacular Karuru Falls which fall into three steps and cascade 300m into an impenetrable ravine. You will also be able to visit the Chania Falls, Magura Falls, and the Queen’s Cave.
The Salient Game Drive usually starting early in the morning or late in the afternoon. This 2-hr game drive takes place in the Salient Zone of Aberdare National Park and is taken with an experienced driver-guide and a 4WD safari vehicle. This zone is truly spectacular as it is the home of a large population of animals including four of the big five which are: black rhino, leopard, elephant, and buffalo. You can also view the spotted hyena, the sykes, colobus, and black-faced vervet monkeys. Lastly, one can view very rare animal species including the bongo antelope and the giant forest hog. This is due to its abundance of pastureland and watering holes.
The 2hr late afternoon Game Drive Aberdares is a perfect time to enjoy the beautiful sunset at the Aberdares while watching all the animals found in the Aberdare National Park. It is also a chance to see the beautiful indigenous flora and fauna that is synonymous with the Aberdares. This Sundowner Game Drive is taken with 4×4 safari Vehicles and is guided by experienced Drivers / Guides who are experts in helping the visitors spot wild animals even from their hideouts. Their expertise will leave you cherishing your time on the game drives for a long time to come.
Note; Kenya wildlife safaris in the Aberdares is good throughout the year. Heavy rain occurs year-round, but June to September and December to February are the driest months. When staying at one of the three hotels, the rain shouldn’t interfere with your trip. Elephants and some antelopes disperse to the higher altitudes during the Dry season.
3) Birding in Aberdare National Park Kenya
A Kenya birding tour in Aberdare National Park is rewarding with about 250 recorded bird species, including the Aberdare Cisticola that is critically endangered and Jackson’s francolin, which is regionally endemic, sparry hawk, goshawks, eagles, sunbirds, and plovers.
Birdlife found in the forest is abundant and varied with over 250 species of bird recorded. The most conspicuous group is the Sunbird, with four abundant species: Tacazze Sunbird, Golden-winged Sunbird, the emerald-green Malachite Sunbird and the tiny, double collared Sunbird. Birds can be watched whilst on a safari drive or on an organized nature walk.
Aberdare offers good Kenya bird-watching safaris throughout the year, but the best time is from November to April when the migrants from Europe and North Africa are present. This partly coincides with the Wet season when many species can be seen in breeding plumage as they are nesting. Most of the forest and moorland specials are however resident throughout the year, so the drier months (from June to September and December to February) might be a good compromise for bird watching and forest hiking.
4) Trout fishing in Aberdare National Park
Trout fishing is also among the most exciting tourist activities in Aberdare National Game Park Kenya. Up in the moorlands, trout fishing can be done in the moorland’s small rivers, the major one being the River Chania. Both brown and rainbow trout abound in the cool mountain streams and provide excellent angling. A sports fishing license can be obtained at the Park gates (KSH 515).
Where to Stay in Aberdare National Game Park Kenya
Kenya’s Aberdare National Park contains a variety of safari lodges. The accommodation facilities range from luxury safari Lodges in Aberdare National Park Kenya, Midrange safari lodges in Aberdare National Park and Budget safari accommodation in Aberdare National Park.
1) Luxury safari Lodges in Aberdare National Park Kenya
a) Treetops Lodge-Luxury
Located in the Aberdare National Park, the Treetops Lodge Nyeri tree-house lodge on stilts is famous as the place where Queen Elizabeth II visited as a princess and left as queen.
Originally built in 1932, Treetops Lodge lies in the path of an ancient Elephant migratory route between the Aberdare Ranges and Mt Kenya National park, and is strategically sited right in front of a natural watering hole and salt lick, making it the perfect place to view the game.
Treetops is as much a part of nature as it has an ancient tree growing right through the hotel, with the lodge being built around it. It is the perfect fusion of nature and comfort sporting a rustic look that fits right into the Aberdares.
Accommodation at Treetops Lodge include;
32 standard rooms and 3 suites which make it one of the best accommodation lodges Nyeri has to offer. It also has a family room for guests who would like to spend some time watching television.
Accommodation in Treetops Lodge Nyeri is a departure from the busy city life allowing you to unwind and truly enjoy the rustic scenery from the cozy rooms at the hotel. The suites offer you the best relaxing atmosphere that strikes a balance between comfort and style making it the perfect home away from home in Nyeri.
The 3 spacious suites offer you unparalleled Nyeri accommodation in the heart of the Aberdare National Park.
They have an extended sitting area with expansive windows offering an amazing view of the watering hole and salt lick area. Buzzers fitted in the room alert guest when the game is at the watering hole. All rooms are en-suite with bathtub/shower. The suites are ideal for honeymooners.
The standard rooms have twin beds that can be converted to a king-size double bed. All rooms are en-suite with showers and are fitted with a luggage rack for the safari suitcase. Triple rooms are also available for families.
Treetops is a disability friendly lodge with a disabled guest room on the 1st floor and easy ramp access to all floors and public areas. Synonymous in all rooms is a buzzer used to notify guests of any animals appearing at the waterhole.
Facilities and services at Treetops Lodge comprises;
Restaurant: Experience fine dining Treetops has to offer with an intimate set up designed to help you savor the scenic views while enjoying sumptuous meals. Mini-chandeliers illuminate all the tables and restaurant furniture making mealtimes a truly unforgettable affair.
Meals are prepared with world-class precision by our experienced chefs who have mastered International recipes. All Meals (Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner) are served at the Lodge except the first day’s lunch which is served at the Outspan Hotel after Check-in.
Bar & Lounge: Treetops Lodge has an exquisite bar stocked with a fine array of cold and hot beverages. It is refreshing to view game over a glass of wine or beer at the lounge. Coffee lovers can enjoy a cup of specialty coffee while reading the animal sighting books (since the 1940s) that are available at the Lounge Library.
Meeting room: The Treetops Meeting room Nyeri has to offer is for guests needing a venue to brainstorm and share ideas in a quiet place away from the hustle and bustle of urban life.
The meeting room in Nyeri, Treetops has to offer accommodates 14 guests comfortably and is fully equipped with a flat-screen for presentations, Wi-Fi internet connection, Copier/Printer, and Scanner.
The Meeting room is ideal for corporate teams (leadership teams, boards) or any small groups e.g. families requiring to meet in an intimate place.
b) The Ark- Luxury
Set in the heart of the Aberdare National Park, iconic and yes, quirky, The Ark overlooks a floodlit waterhole and salt lick, which attracts a host of awesome wildlife. Resembling and named after Noah’s Ark, The Ark comprises of three decks from which numerous balconies and lounges provide a superb location for wildlife to be seen.
So that you don’t miss any animal sightings, the night guard will buzz your room when special animals come to the waterhole. The Ark has four viewing areas for observing the ever-present animal activity.
There is also a ground-level bunker – the perfect hideout for the discerning photographer. This is a circular pillbox-like structure, and it is from this vantage point that pictures of animals on the salt lick only yards away may be taken through the view holes in complete safety.
Accommodation at the Ark comprises;
60 “cabin-style” rooms. The style of each room reflects the idea of being on a ship and each room has the same features. These include an en-suite bathroom, windows with a view facing the forest or waterhole, a buzzer system to announce the arrival of special animals at the salt lick and waterhole.
The room options comprise the following:
- 6 singles with single beds
- 37 twins with two single beds
- 8 doubles with a queen-sized bed
- 9 triple-bed cabins with three single bed
Please note: The triple-bed cabins are the best rooms for families.
All the rooms are on different ‘decks’, again reflecting those in a proper ship, and ‘Deck C’ is accessible for those requiring handicap facilities.
Facilities at the Ark include;
Restaurant & Cuisine: The restaurant offers excellent cuisine for dinner and breakfast, either as a buffet or set menu, depending on the number of guests. Lunch is served at the Aberdare Country Club. However, on advance request, the same can be organized at The Ark.
The food is very fresh with organic vegetables and spices picked from the Aberdare Country Club gardens accompanied by fruit are brought in daily from the village. The Chef is always on hand to cater for special dietary requirements. A collection of fine wines is available from The Ark cellar.
The Bar: As the animals quench their thirst at the water hole, we have our own well-stocked bar with a variety of wines and liqueurs available for you to quench yours with.
Viewing Decks: On all four levels of The Ark there is a viewing deck thus creating enough room for every guest to be able to freely view and take photographs of the wildlife. There are open viewing areas on deck B and a photo hide bunker on deck D that give you the perfect photo opportunity, with animals only a few yards away.
The Gift Shop: The gift shop is located on deck D. It is well stocked with souvenirs, memorabilia with The Ark logo, as well as toiletries and books with the story of The Ark well told.
The Ark Water Hole: The waterhole is the premier attraction and center of attention at the lodge. Unlike game drives where one merely drives right through, at The Ark, you have the time and safe vantage to observe and study the animals unhurried. You get to see and appreciate the uniqueness of each of the animals that come to the waterhole.
Library: The library is well stocked with books on flora and fauna, the history of animals in the Aberdare National Park, as well as the history of the region. So, go on and explore the Ship’s library for useful information and the history of this wonderful area.
c) The Aberdare Country Club-Luxury
The Aberdare Country Club, only a two and a half-hour drive northeast from Nairobi, is nestled on a slope of Mweiga Hill in the Aberdare Highlands, part of the Great Rift Valley. This captivating site was the homestead of an English couple that decided to settle in Kenya. Almost a half-century later, their home, “The Steep”, was renamed the Aberdare Country Club and opened for guests.
Considered a heritage property in Kenya, The Aberdare Country Club has retained the charm of a private home with the simple comforts of a country inn.
“Today, despite the fast-changing tempo of the outside world, the old home still retains that comfortable, solid feeling based on traditions from a time when life proceeded at a far more leisurely and gentle pace.”
Accommodation at Aberdare Country Club comprises;
There are 20 twins, 20 double rooms, 2 triples, 3 Deluxe and 1 VIP Suite, 1 room for physically challenged available in the cozy cottages.
Two Bedroom Cottages
All rooms are styled to the era of old “English cottages”, with simple décor, reminiscent of the old farmhouse days yet gives you the comfort of today’s luxury. All the rooms in the cottages have either a queen/double bed or twin beds and the majority are interconnecting between two rooms. The cottages are sold separately with the interconnecting doors opened on request. The interconnecting doors are lockable from either side and cannot be opened from the other room.
Set amongst the flora and fauna of the ACC gardens, all the cottages have spectacular views to the north, over-looking the Solio Game Sanctuary which has both the black and white rhinos. On a clear day, one can view the Aberdare ranges to the west and Mount Kenya to the East, while surrounded by herds of wildlife grazing around you in the club’s own animal sanctuary.
- Tea and coffee making facilities
- Telephone extension
- En-suite bathrooms with separate bath and shower cubicle
- Private Balcony
- Hot water bottles (at night these are filled for your comfort)
These 18 cottages all have inter-connecting rooms with one double and twin beds. One cottage with a nursery wing is more suitable for larger families as it is a cottage consisting of five rooms.
This cottage has one deluxe room and two standard twin rooms that are not interconnecting, with a sitting room. It has one of the best views overlooking the Solio Game Sanctuary and the Aberdare forest. Tucked away at the end of the buildings it is quiet and secluded from the other cottages.
- Living Room
The VIP Suite
For the discerning guests who want a little more space to relax, our VIP suite is the perfect genre of accommodation to choose from. Sit back and catch up on the latest news while watching the television, or grab a refreshing drink from the mini-bar. The VIP suite has all the features of the standard rooms as well as:
- Cable TV connection
- Air condition
- Internet Connection
This suite is for the discerning traveler looking for the best in comfort and privacy. Exclusively set out apart from the rest of the cottages on the property, this spacious suite is ideal for couples/honeymooners wanting to enhance that special occasion. The Honeysuckle Suite has 2 bedrooms, a living room/seating area, en-suite bathrooms, a kitchenette, and a private garden compound.
All rooms and cottages have spectacular views of the plains, the Aberdare Mountains to the West and Mount Kenya to the East.
Please note: All our cottages are suitable for families, we also have accommodation that can cater for the physically challenged.
Built by the Lions family, who originally owned and built the main buildings at the Aberdare Country Club, The Nursery has 5 rooms (3 standard rooms, one special needs room, and one deluxe room). All the rooms are self-contained and have separate doors and are not interconnected. The Nursery is suitable for large families or groups that would prefer to stay together.
- Living Room with a luxurious sofa
- The disabled room has wheel-chair access.
Facilities and services at Aberdare Country Club comprises;
Dining room: Offering the first-class cuisine with a selection of European, Asian and Kenyan dishes, the dining room is situated in the main building along with the lounge bar.
Lounge bar: The lounge bar has a lovely fireplace to enjoy those colder evenings. Come and relax in a warm atmosphere on the comfortable leather sofas. Enjoy your favorite tipple and chat about the day’s activities with friends and family.
Swimming pool: The heated swimming pool is located in the gardens, a short walk from the main lodge building. The pool-bar gives parents a convenient place to relax and still watch over their children.
Conference facilities: Two rooms are available, accommodating groups of 10 to 60 persons depending upon the layout. Each room is equipped with a full range of audio-visual equipment. Aberdare room which can seat up to 60 pax. Satima room which can seat up to 20 pax.
Health Club & Spa: The Aberdare Country Club Health Club and Spa boasts a fully equipped gym with the latest in cardiovascular machines, free weights and a matted section for Pilates and/or aerobics. Spa facilities include rooms for the body therapy treatments of massage and beauty care. With an exercise studio, treatment room, sauna, and steam bath, the health club offers a holistic experience to restore the balance between mind, body, and spirit.
2) Midrange safari lodges in Aberdare National Park
- a) Aberdare Cottages & Fishing Lodge-Midrange
Aberdare Cottages & Fishing Lodge is surrounded by the Aberdare National Park, the Mathioya River, small scale tea farms and their interlocking valleys and ridges. The lodge is situated at the foothills of the Aberdare Ranges at her highest peak and only 10 Kilometers from the spectacular Chinga Dam.
Aberdare Cottages & Fishing Lodge is traditionally constructed using reclaimed hardwoods, sustainable & recycled materials, and local skills. The Aberdare Cottages is available for exclusive group bookings to ensure absolute privacy. The cottages are kid-friendly; we are also pet-friendly.
Accommodation at Aberdare Cottages & Fishing Lodge include;
15 tastefully and spacious tents & Chalets with spectacular views.
En-Suite Tented Rooms
All tented rooms have a private romantic veranda overlooking the Karaitho River and a lush mini forest. Every tented room has a modern En-Suite bathroom with a flush toilet and hot shower.
The luxury Chalets are spacious, providing the utmost comfort and relaxation with a modern feel. Each Chalet is tastefully furnished with twin or double beds and African rustic furniture.
For the more adventurous and young at heart, there are camping grounds. Set up on well-lit grounds with shared flush toilets and hot showers for an amazing glamping experience.
2-Bedroom Self-Catering Cottage
Each cottage is self-catering, sleeping 4-6 people per cottage, overlooking the Mathioya River. They occupy a pristine natural location in the Aberdares with most exquisite scenery.
Facilities and services at Aberdare Cottages & Fishing Lodge include;
Bar and lounge: Relax and enjoy a cocktail or a drink on our outdoor Karaitho bar and lounge overlooking our unique mini forest and waterfall. And in the evening enjoy your drink by the cozy fire or at the indoor Sam’s bar & grill. The Aberdare Cottages is a private Eco Resort and Outdoor Centre occupying a pristine natural location on the slopes of the Aberdare Ranges.
3) Budget safari accommodation in Aberdare National Park Kenya
- a) Tusk Camp Banda in Aberdare National Park
Tusk Camp offers comfortable self-catering accommodation within the Aberdare Game Park. There are two cabins each sleeping four people and well equipped for self-catering.
Each cabin has a bedroom, kitchen, dining area and spacious sitting room with a log fireplace. The kitchen is equipped with a wood-burning stove, a gas stove, kitchen utensils, cutlery, and glasses. Each cottage is equipped with kerosene lamps and a caretaker is on hand to assist. The furnished sitting room has a log fireplace and door leading to a veranda. The verandas include a dining table where guests can enjoy the views.
The park offers a variety of sights and activities, including spectacular waterfalls, colorful flora, trout fishing, walking, hiking climbing, and bird watching. There are 250 recorder bird species in the park. A 4×4 is required to reach the camp.
- Dining area: The sitting room has a dining table and chairs
- Kitchen: Equipped with a wood-burning stove and a gas stove, kitchen utensils, cutlery, crockery, and glasses.
- Provided: Caretaker and kerosene lamps
- Sitting room: There is a simply furnished sitting room with a log fire and door leading to a veranda.
- Bathroom: Outside Washroom with lavatory and shower (hot water).
- Indoor Fireplace
- Parking on Premises
- b) Sapper Hut in Aberdare National Park Kenya
This is a KWS Bandas in Aberdare National Park. It is a simple two-room cabin with an open fire, two beds, and a hot-water boiler, overlooking a lovely waterfall on the Upper Magura River. It’s best to bring your own gear and to use a 4WD vehicle to access the cabin, especially during the rainy season.
- c) Campsites in Aberdare National Park Kenya
Public campsites include Reedbuck- offering communal mass hut, pit latrine, and shower. Ruhuruini- pit latrine. Wandaris- no facilities. Shamata- no facilities. A selection of, special’ or private campsites (no facilities) are available and these must be booked in advance on an exclusive use basis (reservations through the Warden or KWSHQ, Nairobi)
How to get to Aberdare National Game Park Kenya
By Road: The Park is readily accessible on tarmac from Nyeri and Naro Moru on the Eastern side and it’s 150 km from Nairobi. A road crosses the park through the lower slopes up to the Moorlands to connect with another one from Naivasha on the western side. Naivasha is 87 km from Nairobi. The park HQS is 15 Kms from Nyeri town, along the Nyeri – Nyahururu road.
By Air: The nearest airstrip is the Mweiga Airstrip on the opposite side from Park Hqs along Nyeri – Nyahururu road near Sasini Estate Farm.