Aberdare National Park

Coordinates: 0°25′48″S 36°43′57″E / 0.43000°S 36.73250°E / -0.43000; 36.73250
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Aberdare National Park
Aberdare Park entrance
Map showing the location of Aberdare National Park
Map showing the location of Aberdare National Park
Location of Aberdare National Park
LocationKenya, Nyandarua County & Nyeri County
Nearest cityNyeri
Coordinates0°25′48″S 36°43′57″E / 0.43000°S 36.73250°E / -0.43000; 36.73250
Area767 km2 (296 sq mi)
Governing bodyKenya Wildlife Service

The Aberdare National Park is a protected area in the Aberdare Mountain Range in central Kenya located east of the East African Rift Valley.[1] It covers the higher areas and the Aberdare Salient to the east.


Lake in Aberdare National Park

The park is located about 100 km north of Nairobi and stretches over a wide variety of terrain at elevations from 2,000 metres (6,600 ft) to 4,000 metres (13,000 ft). Established in May 1950, the Aberdare National Park covers an area of 766 square kilometers and forms part of the Aberdare Mountain Range. The park contains a wide range of landscapes - from mountain peaks that rise to 4,000 metres (13,000 ft) above sea level, to their deep, v-shaped valleys intersected by streams, rivers, and waterfalls. Moorland, bamboo forests and rainforests are found at lower elevations.


Aberdare National Park was established in 1950 with an aim to conserve and protect the Aberdare Mountains. Since then it has grown to a size of an area of 767 km2

Aberdare National Park is best known as the site where in 1952, Princess Elizabeth became Queen after the death of her father King George VI, whilst staying at the Treetops Hotel.


Wildlife present in the protected area include lion, leopard, elephant, East African wild dog, giant forest hog, bushbuck, mountain reedbuck, waterbuck, Cape buffalo, suni, side-striped jackal, eland, duiker, olive baboon, black and white colobus monkey, and sykes monkey. Rarer sightings include those of the African golden cat and the bongo. Species such as the common eland, serval live in the higher moorlands. The Aberdare National Park also hosts a large eastern black rhinoceros population and over 250 bird species including the endangered Aberdare cisticola, Jackson's spurfowl, sparrowhawk, African goshawk, African fish eagle, sunbirds and plovers.


Visitors to the park can find different types of accommodation, from the Treetops lodge, to the Ark - built in the shape of Noah's Ark - and three self-help banda sites, eight special campsites and a public campsite in the moorland. There are also five picnic sites. Both Treetops and The Ark provide excellent nighttime wildlife viewing. Animals seen include Elephants, Cape buffalo, and rhino, which come to the waterholes. The park also includes two airstrips at Mweiga and Nyeri.[2][3]

Park entry and charges[edit]

The park is open daily from 6:00 am to 7:00 pm. Entry on foot is prohibited and visitors are turned away after 6:15 pm.
Entry to the park is by smart card only, obtained and loaded at the main gate.

Charges (2020-2021)
Visitor category Fee
East African Citizens (adults) KSh.300/=
East African students and children KSh.215/=
East African Residents (adults) KSh.300/=
East African students and children KSh.215/=
Nonresident adults US$52[4]
Nonresident students and children US$26[5]


  1. ^ Mwangi, P.N., Milewski, A. and Wahungu, G.M. (2004). Chemical composition of mineral licks used by elephants in Aberdares National Park, Kenya. Pachyderm 37: 59−67.
  2. ^ "Aberdare National Park". Kenya Wildlife Service. 2014-06-29. Retrieved 2017-04-05.
  3. ^ "The Ark". thearkkenya.com. Retrieved 2017-04-05.

External links[edit]