Home of Mt. Satima, Elephant Hills, Kinangop Peak & Waterfalls
Aberdare National Park is the protector of one of Kenya’s most valuable natural resources – the Aberdares forest.
Inside the park are many gems including three incredible waterfalls. Among them is Kenya’s tallest waterfall, Karuru falls. Towering at 894 feet, Karuru Falls is a sight to behold. Standing at its top, the visitor will experience the change of weather in a matter of seconds – changing from light rain to sunshine every few minutes.
The Aberdares National Park covers the higher areas of the Aberdares Mountain Range of Central Kenya. It was one of the preferred hideouts by Kenyan freedom fighters during the war of independence. Besides, Aberdares is renowned the world over as the place where Queen Elizabeth learned of her succession to the throne.
Typography and Wildlife in the Park
The topography is diverse with deep ravines that cut through the forested eastern and western slopes. Animals easily observed in the park include; the Black Rhino, Baboon, black and white Colobus monkey, and Sykes monkey.
Rarer sightings include those of lions, the golden cat, serval cat, wild dogs, endemic mole-rat, and the bongo – an elusive forest antelope that lives in the Bamboo forest.
Animals like the eland and spotted serval cats can be found higher up in the moorlands.
Visitors can also indulge in hiking activities, picnics, trout fishing, and camping in the moorlands. Bird viewing is rewarding, with over 250 species of birds in the park, including the Jackson’s Francolin, Sparry hawk, goshawks, eagles, sunbirds, and plovers.
Things to do and see in Aberdare National Park
- Hike Mount Satima (Oldoinyo Lesatima) and face the Dragon’s teeth.
- Trek up to Kinangop peak.
- Chase Waterfalls (Chania, Karuru, and Zaina).
- Explore the Mighty Rurimeria moorlands.
- Hike the Elephant hills and the Table Mountains
- Visit the Filed Marshall Dedan Kimathi hideout.
- Explore the Mau Mau caves.
- Camping and Picnicking
- Bird Watching and Game Drive.
How to get there
Aberdare National Park Gates and Location
The Park is open every day of the week from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm. Entry by foot is prohibited unless you are hiking and trekking with an armed KWS Guide.
On tarmac from Nyeri on the eastern side (160 Km from Nairobi). The gates on the Nyeri side are the Ruhuruini gate, Kiandongoro gate, Treetops gate, Ark gate, and Wandare gate.
From Naivasha and North Kinangop on the west (Njambini forest station gate). The other gates are on the Naivasha and Nyahururu side; the Rhino gate, Shamata gate, and Mutubio gate.
The main towns from which the park can be accessed are Mweiga, Nyeri, Nyahururu, and Njabini Forest Station.
Mweiga airstrip which is next to the park headquarters or the Nyeri airstrip which is about 12 Km from Mweiga Headquarters
Park fees, charges, and mode of payment
- Citizens (adults): 300KSh
- Kenyan students and children: 200 KSh
- Residents (adults): 1500 KSh
- East African students and children: 500 KSh
- Nonresident adults: $52
- Nonresident students and children: $26
For Day Hiking and Trekking activities, the charges vary depending on the group size.
Mode of payment:
The modes of payment are Mpesa or Safari Card.
Contacts for the Park HQ
- Tel: +254 (20) 600800, 602345
- Mobile: +254 722 757746 / +254 734 256 755
- Fax: +254 (20) 6077024
Where to stay: Aberdare National Park Accommodation
- The Ark Limited
- Aberdares Country Club
- Treetops Hotel and Lodge
- Giraffe Ark hotel
KWS self-catering Accommodation
- Fishing lodge – Aberdare.
- Ruhuruini (Tusk Camp, Super Hut)
- Campsites (Ruhuruini, Wandare, Honi, P.C Haji, and Shamata)
- Reedbuck (At The Moorlands)
The Aberdares is one of the best places to go hiking in Kenya. The best hiking and trekking trails include; Elephant hills, Kinangop Peak, Table Mountain, and the Lesatima peak (Mt. Satima and the Dragon’s Teeth).
Visitors can also enjoy the view of waterfalls, bamboo plantations, and walking in the bog.
There are hiking communities in Kenya doing team hikes every weekend to the Aberdares forest. If you are looking for one, contact us or check out our Facebook Page for the latest activities.
Featured Images: Hiking Mt. Satima by Kenyan Backpacker.