Tourist attractions in Aberdare National Park; Aberdare National Park is a splendid nature game park, located in the central region of Kenya and East of the African Rift Valley. More so, the park measures an area of about 766 square kilometers forming parts of the Aberdare Mountain range.
The park boosts with several special animal species which cannot be viewed elsewhere in other Kenya National Parks and reserves. There are quite number of outstanding attractions and activities one can do and see while on safari in Aberdare National Park;
Aberdare National Park is renowned as one of the most game viewing destination in Kenya. This is because it’s a home rich of animal species including the Big five mammals; elephant, buffaloes, leopards, lions and leopards. The park is also habitat for rare sightings include Giant Forest hog, bongo, golden cat, serval cat, African wild cat, African civet cat and the blue duiker; primates’ species like olive baboons, black and white colobus monkeys, Sykes monkeys. In the higher moorlands of the Aberdare ranges can see common elands and serval and in the salient area of the park there is an elephant migration corridor with dense forests, home for various bush pig, dik-dik, bushbuck, reedbuck among others.
The nocturnal animals to see in Aberdare National Park includes; Giant Forest hog and large spotted genet among others.
Aberdare National Park a great location for bird lovers thus a rewarding birding site on Kenya Birding Tour. This is because the park is home countless colorful bird species which can be spotted at the higher altitude of the park. Other bird species to see in Aberdare National Park include ;Aberdare cisticola, Abyssinian crimson wing ,Scarlet-tufted malachite sunbird ,African paradise flycatcher ,Augur buzzard ,African goshawk ,African green pigeon ,African paradise flycatcher ,Tacazze sunbird ,Tambourine dove, white-headed wood-hoopoe, Bar- tailed trogon ,Broonzy sunbird ,Cinnamon-chested bee- eater ,Crowned eagle , Jackson’s francolin ,Doherty’s bush -shrike ,Golden-winged sunbird ,Hartlaub’s turaco ,Montagu’s harrier ,Hunter’s cisticola ,Moorland chat ,Moorland francolin ,Mountain buzzard ,Moustached green tinkerbird ,Narina trogon ,Olive ibis ,Rufous -chested sparrowhawk among others.
The Aberdare ranges are the most attractive attraction in the park and this ranges measures 160 kilometers of an isolated volcanic range forming the easternmost wall of the Great Rift Vally. Aberdare ranges is one of the best site tourists visit on Kenya Hiking Tours. Well, Aberdare ranges stand at the maximum elevation of about 4,000 meters above the sea level. This range is composed of;
Amount Santima- the highest peak
Mount Kiningop – these second highest peak at 3,906 meters and located on the southern end of the range.
Chebuswa at 3364 meters
Table Mountain at 3791 meters
Martini Hill at 3698 meters
Elephants at 3590 meters.
The Aberdare ranges are controlled by rainforest, moorland, dense bamboo forest and these vegetation cover inhabits such as antelopes, monkey species and birds. More so, they are significant to the local kikuyu people who renamed these ranges as ‘’Nyandarua ‘’ which means drying hide due to the distinctive fold of its silhouette, on the west of the ranges and are off steeply into the Kinangop plateau.
The East slopes are more gently and from the peak of the ranges – Lake Naivasha as well as Mau Escarpment which can be viewed in a distance.
This range was named Aberdare in honor of Lord Aberdare by Joseph Thomson in 1884, Lord Aberdare who was the president of the Royal Geographical Society and the Royal Historical Society by that time. He was once a liberal politician who had served as Home Secretary from 1868 to 1873 and later, he was promoted to the first chancellor of the University of Wales.
The park is dominated by unusual types of vegetation including the steep forested ravines and open moorland thus making up the Aberdare vegetation and plant species, sub species and others are found in the ark due to the park’s altitude and rainfall.
Some of tree species found in Aberdare National Park includes; the hardwood trees including camphor, cedar, podo and hagenia.
There are also the Afro-alpine moorlands on the Aberdare Mountain range and it is bisected into a rich Alphine and sub-Alphine flora species like Senecio, Lobelia, Erica, Helichrysum and tussock grasses which give away to over 3,000 meters to the bamboo Arundinaria alpine and the montane rainforests.
The montane rainforests is composed of Juniperus procerus – Podocarpus falcatus – Nuxia congesta forest on the western and northwestern slopes, Ocotea forest on the south-east and moxed podocarpus latifolius forest on the east as well as on Kipiriri. Also pockets of the Hapenia forest occurring in the sheltered patches on the rolling moorland.
Aberdare national park is famous Kenya safari destination offering unique waterfalls plunging from cloud- shrouded heights and spraying into the ravines. Karuru waterfall is considered as the main waterfall that features three steps such as;
1st step at 117 meters
2nd step at 26 meters and
3rd step at 130 meters.
Other falls are Gura falls, Magura falls which cascading across the yawning mouth of the Queen’s cave and all offer breathtaking views. The park can be accessed via the Mutubio West Gate which estimate 8 kilometers from the waterfall.
Cultural and Historical Sites
The park is surrounded by beautiful cultural with unique traditional dance, historical significance among others.
The hideout of Mau leader Dedan Kimathi
This site is located between Honi Campsite and Elephant Ridge and these areas were used as hideout for Dedan and his companions. During your stay, the Mau- Mau fighters learned the use of ropes of jungle welfare fighting in Burma – during the second world war.
Mugumo ‘’fig tree’’
These are huge Mugumo ‘fig tree’’ found in down on the slopes of the Aberdare ranges in Aberdare National Park. This tree is very old and has rich history which can narrated by the locals living in the communities neighboring the park.
Visit the Kikuyu local community
These are unique people the ‘’Kikuyu’’ who believe the Aberdare ranges of the home to Ngai their god.
One can miss a safari, like visiting Kenya combine it with a visit to Uganda Gorilla Tours in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, visit Rwanda, Tanzania wildlife Safaris to Serengeti National Park.
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