Aberdare National Park is an isolated volcanic range that forms the eastern wall of the rift valley. It has open moorlands filled with deep forested ravines cutting through the forested eastern and western slopes, with many clear streams and waterfalls. It is also an important water catchment area, providing water to the Tana and Athi River.
The Park is surrounded by an indigenous forest which houses the famous Kimathi Hideout/Mau Mau caves, which were used as a hide out for Mau Mau fighters. The park is home to many large mammals such as the endangered black rhinos, blue Colobus Monkeys, lions, warthogs, giant forest hogs, buffalos, bushbucks, leopards, and rare sightings include those of the Giant Forest hog, bongo, golden cat, serval cat, African wild cat, African civet cat and the blue duiker. It hosts different reptiles, and a wide variety of insects and over 250 bird species, including the Jackson’s Francolin, Sparrow hawks, goshawks, eagles, sunbirds and plovers have been recorded. This is also the home of the monkey eating crowned eagle. The cool mountain streams are abundant in both the brown and rainbow trout, but visitors need to obtain a sports fishing license at the park gates. Visitors can also enjoy trekking with the aid of an armed ranger.
It is a haven for walkers and lovers of solitude, as well as mountain climbers and hikers. Aberdare National Park was created to protect the forests of the Aberdare Mountains. It has gained its reputation from the rare species of animals found within its locale such as black rhino, bongo antelopes, giant forest hogs, and the very rare black leopards. However, game viewing is a bit difficult due to the dense canopy of the rainforest that provides excellent cover for wildlife.
The foothill is covered with huge trees which the higher you go; the more they give way to bamboo forests. You will find icy rivers, rainforests, where elephants, buffaloes and other animals visit you at the floodlit waterholes of The Ark. The flora and fauna is quite unique and is not found anywhere else in the country except, on Mount Kenya.
The Aberdare is believed by the Kikuyu to be one of the homes of “Ngai”, God. The area was dubbed ‘White Highlands’ because of the large number of Europeans who settled there in the early 1920s. The Treetops Hotel became widely recognized in the world when young Princess Elizabeth descended its steps as Queen Elizabeth II of England in 1952.
Major attractions found in Aberdare National Park include the famous Lesatima Peak, Kinangop Peak, waterfalls, walks in the moorlands, twin hills, elephant hills and Table Mountains. The second largest population of black rhinos live in this park. Notably, Queen Elizabeth learnt of her accession to the throne at the Treetops Lodge, found in the park. The famous Kimathi Hideout is also located within this extensive park. Night game viewing is available at the Treetops and The Ark Lodges.
This is a 74 m scenic waterfall at the Ewaso Narok river, which drains from the Aberdare Mountain Ranges. It is situated near Nyahururu Town in central Kenya, and was discovered in 1883 by Joseph Thomson, a Scottish Geologist and naturalist who was the first European to walk from Mombasa to Lake Victoria in the early 1880s. The mist feeds the dense forest below and visitors can view the falls from above. There is also a nature trail down to the bottom of the ravine. Up stream from the falls is one of the highest hippo pools in Kenya. The Thompson Falls are popular with campers, picnickers, day trippers and travelers on transit to points north. The falls are located 3 hour drive from Nairobi and neighbors Lake Ol Bolossat, numerous wetlands and swamps. In this park you can watch hippos, enjoy picnics and wetland trekking. The park is also rich in bird species.
The Sweetwaters Tented Camp was built in the 1970s and lies in the heart of a privately owned piece of land, about 24,000 acres of Ol Pejeta – Sweetwaters Conservancy. It lies in the extensive savannah grasslands and riverine forests that border the Ewaso Nyiro River. Visitors are able to enjoy magnificent views across the game – studded plains to the snowcapped peaks of Mount Kenya. The Camp is a two and a half hour drive from Nairobi but alternatively, visitors who require taking a flight can opt for the Nanyuki airstrip, which is a one-hour drive away. Overlooking a floodlit waterhole elevated some 20metres from the ground, the camp offers visitors an unforgettable opportunity to watch and photograph animals in their natural habitat as they quench their thirsts from the waterhole. The Waterhole Lounge is an ideal venue for small cocktail parties or dinner parties. Within the Camp, there are several interesting activities which guests can enjoy such as a large swimming pool served with a barbeque pit. The area around the pool is ideal for private cocktail parties and dinners. The Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary is the only one of its kind in Kenya. The riverine forest and the savannah grassland of the sanctuary are home to 26-orphaned chimps. Here one has the opportunity to meet with Poco, who spent six years of his life imprisoned in a small birdcage suspended from a roof, a garage. Now Poco is a handsome, contented chimp, able to explore his habitat. Visitors will also be enjoying the services of Rhino Restaurant, which is set in the main building. Windows let in a lot of natural light and a delightful breeze in this warm climate. The restaurant has a view of the waterhole. The menu is a combination of European, African and Asian dishes, made from an abundance of fresh Kenyan produce. Both breakfast and lunch are served buffet-style, while dinner is a 5-course Table D’hôte, with a choice of main courses. A variety of games for both children and adults are available such as badminton, board games and table tennis. There is also a variety of other activities such as game watching, camel trekking, horse-back riding, and boating. However, satellite television and wildlife movies are available for visitors who do not wish to play. A number of activities as you may prefer such as swimming, playing a game of badminton, board games, table tennis, or alternatively watching satellite television and wildlife movies for visitors who may prefer not to play. After lunch at the renowned Rhino Restaurant, visitors can opt to continue with game watching or camel trekking, horse-back riding or boating experiences.
Shimba Hills National Reserve: This is a small national park located in the coast province of Kenya. The park is the last of the coastal rainforests and an important area of plant biodiversity where rare plants in Kenya are found such as some endangered species of cycad and orchids. There is also a large number of elephants in the reserve as well as butterflies and birds. These elephant herds cause significant damage to vegetation, threatening the endangered plant life. Human-wildlife conflicts are also very high in this area. Due to this, an elephant sanctuary has been established to provide a route for elephants to leave the park. The park contains Kenya’s only population of the Sable antelope. Other attractions in this beautiful park include the scenic landscape comprising of hills and valleys and Sheldricks Falls.