18-02-2021 by Leni Frau
Aberdare National Park is located in the central-western region of Kenya, about 150 km north of Nairobi.
The park takes its name from the surrounding Aberdare Range, the third largest in Kenya, and covers an area of just under 700 square kilometres in the heart of the Kikuyu people's land. Nyandarua was the original name of the Aberdare Range, which in the Kikuyu language means 'dry skin' (perhaps a reference to the lua silhouette), the renaming took place in 1884 by Joseph Thomson, a Scottish explorer, in honour of Lord Aberdare, president of the Royal Geographical Society.
Established in 1950, Aberdere National Park stretches across a wide variety of landscapes, covering altitudes ranging from 2000 to 4000 metres above sea level.
It alternates between vast, wild moorlands, green valleys, hills, lakes and deep canyons, and finally "gets lost" in lush high alpine forests.
Numerous streams and rivers (rich in trout) cross the park and feed the spectacular waterfalls surrounded by moss-covered rocks and tall ferns. The Karura waterfalls are among the highest in Africa with a drop of almost 300 metres.
In addition to the beauty of Aberdare, there are peaks and ridges, including the "Dragon's Teeth", an extraordinary formation of vlucanic rock that evokes a primordial landscape with a unique appearance, attracting not only photographers of mountain landscapes but also trekking enthusiasts.
The park is the habitat of elephants, black rhinos, leopards, spotted hyenas, baboons, monkeys, buffaloes and warthogs. Rarer sightings include the bongo, an elusive and endangered antelope that usually lives in bamboo forests. Animals such as the eland and serval prefer the more northerly areas of the moors. You will be amazed at the sight of large mammals such as giraffes, elephants, rhinos and leopards wandering through the dense forests and vast expanses of savannah.
Birdwatching is also important and rewarding, with nearly three hundred species of birds recorded, including Aberdare's Cisticola and Jackson's hawk, as well as eagles, sparrowhawks and plovers.
Among the many activities offered in the park, visitors can go on classic photo safaris, hiking trails, picnics, trout fishing in the rivers and camping on the moorland.
Abderdare National Park is easily accessible by tarmac road from Nyeri and Naro Moru, a road crosses the park through the lower slopes to the Moorlands and connects with a further road from Naivasha on the western side.
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