This is an isolated volcanic range that forms the eastern wall of the rift valley. It has diverse moorlands filled
with deep 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 also home to most large mammals such as the endangered black rhinos, blue Colobus Monkeys, lions, warthogs, giant forest hogs, buffalos, bushbucks, leopards, serval, different reptiles, and a wide variety of insects and over 250 recorded bird species. 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 in the Aberdares 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. This is also the home of the monkey eating crowned eagle. The cool mountain streams are also 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. 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 lives in this park. Queen Elizabeth also learnt of her accession to the throne at Treetops Lodge. The famous Kimathi Hideout is also located within this extensive park. Night game viewing is also available at the Treetops and The Ark Lodges.