Tourist Attractions in Aberdare National Park : Aberdare national park is a scenic site of splendid natural beauty situated in the central region of Kenya and East of the East African Rift Valley, the park stretches over an area of 766 square kilometers forming part of the Aberdare mountain range.

Aberdare national park is a very rewarding Kenya safari gifted with many tourist attractions which are a reason to why the park is visited by many tourists from all over the world.

Tourist Attractions in Aberdare National Park
Tourist Attractions in Aberdare National Park

Tourist attraction in Aberdare national park include


 Aberdare national park is famously known for being one of the rewarding game viewing destinations in Kenya, the park is a home to a variety of animal species including the Big Five (elephants, buffaloes, leopards, lions and leopards). Aberdare national park is a renowned home to the second-largest population of endangered black rhinos in Kenya, other animals found in the Aberdare national park include hyenas, bushbucks, defassa waterbucks, reedbucks, olive baboons, black and white colobus monkeys, Sykes monkeys and many more. In the higher moorlands of the Aberdare ranges there are common elands and serval, the salient area of the Aberdare national park is an elephant migration corridor with dense forests inhabiting bush pig, dik-dik, bushbuck, reedbuck and many more.

In Aberdare national park, there are also nocturnal animals such as the giant forest hog and large spotted genet.


 Aberdare national park is a true birder’s paradise and a rewarding Kenya birding safari, the park is a home to more than 250 bird species including the striking Hartlaub’s turaco, the indistinct Aberdare cisticola which is endemic to the region and found at the higher altitudes of the park. Other birds found and spotted in Aberdare national park include the rare scarlet-tufted malachite sunbird, Aberdare cisticola, 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, White-headed wood-hoopoe and many more.

Birdlife in Aberdare National Park
Birdlife in Aberdare National Park


The Aberdare ranges are the most signature tourist attraction in Aberdare national park, the ranges are 160 kilometer of an isolated volcanic range forming the easternmost wall of the Great Rift Valley. Because of these ranges, Aberdare national park is one of the best sites for Kenya hiking tours. Aberdare ranges stand at the maximum elevation of about 4000 meters above the sea level with its heavily forested slopes, the ranges comprises of

  • Amount Santima – the highest peak
  • Mount Kinangop – these second highest peak at 3,906 meters and situated on the southern end of the range
  • Chebuswa at 3364 meters
  • Table Mountain at 3791 meters
  • Martini Hill at 3698 meters and
  • Elephant at 3590 meters

The Aberdare ranges are dominated by rainforests, dense bamboo forests and moorland and these vegetation cover inhabit animals such as antelopes, a variety of monkeys and bird species.

The Aberdare ranges are significant to the local Kikuyu people who refer to the ranges as Nyandarua meaning drying hide due to the distinctive fold of its silhouette, on the west of the ranges there are a range of fall off steeply into the Kinangop plateau. On the East the slopes are more gently and from the peak of the ranges Lake Naivasha and Mau Escarpment can be seen in a distance.

 Aberdare ranges were named as Aberdare in honor of Lord Aberdare by Joseph Thomson in 1884, Lord Aberdare was the president of the Royal Geographical Society and the Royal Historical Society by that time. He was also a Liberal politician who had served as Home Secretary from 1868 to 1873 and he wa later promoted to the first chancellor of the University of Wales.


Aberdare national park is dominated by unusual types of vegetation including the steep forested ravines and open moorland making up the Aberdare vegetation, in the park there is a total of 778 vegetation and plant species, sub species and varieties found in the ark due to the park’s altitude and rainfall. Some of the trees found in the park include the hardwood trees including camphor, cedar, podo and hagenia.

Aberdare vegetation
Aberdare vegetation

In Aberdare national park there is also the Afro-alpine moorlands on the Aberdare mountain range and is divided into a rich alpine and sub alpine flora which includes species of Senecio, Lobelia, Erica, Helichrysum and tussock grasses which give away to around 3,000 meters to the bamboo Arundinaria alpine  and the montane rainforests. The montane rainforests consists of Juniperus procerus – podocarpus falcatus – Nuxia congesta forest on the western and northwestern slopes, Ocotea forest on the south – east and moxed podocarpus latifolius forest on the east and on Kipiriri. There are also pockets of the Hagenia forest occurring in the sheltered patches on the rolling moorland.


Aberdare national park is a renowned destination for magnificent waterfalls plunging from cloud-shrouded heights and spraying into the ravines, among these beautiful waterfalls is the Karuru waterfalls which is considered as the main waterfall. Karuru waterfalls features three steps that is

  • 1st step at 117 meters
  • 2nd step at 26 meters and
  • 3rd step at 130 meters

Among other impressive waterfalls in Aberdares national park include Gura falls at the opposite side of Karuru falls, Magura falls cascading across the yawning mouth of the Queen’s Cave. The magnificent waters in Aberdares national park are reached via the Mutubio West Gate which is approximately 8 kilometers from the Waterfall lookout where breathtaking views of the falls are got. To get to the falls is an easy hike of about 20 minutes’ hike through the forests.


Aberdare national park is a great site for cultural and historical significance and a perfect destination for Kenya cultural safaris, the park consist of cultural and historical sites including

  • The hideout of Mau leader Dedan Kimathi

This hide out is a very significant site as it was used as a hideout for the leader of Mau-Mau rebellion Dedan Kimathi during the struggles for Kenya’s independence, this site is situated between Honi Campsite and Elephant Ridge and these mountains were used as a base of Dedan and his companions. During their stay in this these, the Mau- Mau fighters learned the use of ropes of jungle welfare fighting in Burma during the Second World War.

  • Mugumo (fig) tree

The huge Mugumo fig tree is a significant tree in Aberdares national park situated down on the slopes of  the Aberdare ranges, this tree is very old and posses rich history which is best narrated by the locals living in communities neighboring the park.

Mugumo (fig) tree
Mugumo (fig) tree

During the Mau-Mau rebellion this tree was used during communication, the Kenyan Mau freed fighters used to curve crevices in the trunk of this tree and they used it as an undisclosed post office in which they put messages through agents. In the memory of Dedan Kimathi the leader of Mau Mau rebellion, this tree was named Kimathi Post Office and the park is famously known for the old caves used as hideouts for freedom fighters in the Guerrilla revolution against the British colonialists.

  • The Kikuyu local community

Near Aberdare national park there are communities of the Kikuyu people, the Kikuyu people believe the Aberdare ranges are one of the homes to Ngai their god. This area was initially named Nyandarua by the locals meaning drying hide because of the numerous distinctive folds here.

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