The park is located about 100 km north from Nairobi and stretches over a wide variety of terrains because it covers altitudes from about 7,000 feet to 14,000 feet above sea level. 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 the mountain peaks that rise to 14,000 feet above sea level, to their deep, v-shaped valleys intersected by streams, rivers, and waterfalls. Moorland, bamboo forests and rainforests are found at lower altitudes.
Animals easily observed include the lion, leopard, baboon, black and white Colobus monkey, and sykes monkey. Rarer sightings include those of the golden cat and the bongo – an elusive forest antelope that lives in the bamboo forest. Animals like the eland and spotted and melanistic serval cats can be found higher up in the moorlands. The Aberdare National Park also contains a large population of the black rhino. Visitors can also indulge in walking, picnics, trout fishing in the rivers and camping in the moorlands. Even the 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. It is a traditional belief of the Kikuyu that the Aberdare Mountain Range, where this park is located, is one of the homes of. Ngai, or God
Visitors to the park can find different types of accommodation according to their taste, ranging from the Treetops tree-house 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 Ark provide excellent nighttime wildlife viewing. From here, visitors can observe various animals, such as elephant, buffalo, lion and rhino, which get attracted to the waterholes. The park also includes two airstrips at Mweiga and Nyeri.
Include Elephants, tree hyrax, white tailed mongoose, suni, black fronted duiker, mole rat, bushbucks, water buck and Elands. Animas rarely seen include leopard, bongo, giant forest hog and rhino. Birds commonly seen are: Owl, Mackinder’s Eagle; Owl, Cape Grass; Owl, African Wood; Owl, African Marsh; Owl, Abyssinian Long-eared; Oriole, Black-winged; Nightjar, Abyssinian; Martin, African Sand; Martin, African Rock; Lanner; Lammergeyer; Kite, European Black; Kite, African Black; Kingfisher, Grey-headed; Kingfisher, Giant; Kestrel, Lesser; Kestrel, European; Ibis, Green; Hornbill, Silvery-cheeked and many more.. Wildlife within the forests below the Mt Kenya National Park boundary includes elephant, buffalo, lion, several species of antelope including the rare bongo and the occasional leopard. The birdlife around the mountain is also prolific, ranging from huge eagles to multicolored sunbirds.
The mountain was first climbed in 1899 by Sir Halford McKinder and today is a popular peak to conquer. For the adventurous and outdoor types there are a variety of hiking and mountain climbing trails to choose from. Sweetwaters Private Game Reserve enjoys magnificent views across the plains to the snow-capped peaks of Mount Kenya, and has an abundance of wildlife and tropical vegetation. Sweetwaters Game Reserve and Chimpanzee Sanctuary is home to the “Big five” game – Lion, Leopard, Rhino, Elephant and Buffalo.