The Aberdare National Park is part of the Aberdare Mountain range, a fascinating region of Kenya. According to traditional Kikuyu folklore they are one of the homes of Ngai (God).
Mountain ranges and peaks soar to around 14,000ft., giving way to deep V-shaped valleys with streams and rivers cascading over spectacular waterfalls.
This area is a must for landscape lovers. From its vital catchment area the Aberdare Rainforest feeds the entire local area and Nairobi water supply.
Above the forest is a belt of bamboo a favorite haunt of the Bongo, a rare and elusive forest antelope. At 10,00ft., the bamboo belt gives way to moorland, home to eland spotted and melanistic serval cats.
Other features are the giant alpine varieties of lobelia, groundsel and heather. It is ideal for walking, picnics, camping and trout fishing in rivers. The moorlands are reminiscent of the European highlands.
Animals abound in the forest. They include elephant, buffalo, giant forest hog and Kenya's indigenous and endangered black rhino.
The entire Aberdare National Park forest is being fenced off to protect farmers from animal raids and create a rhino and forest sanctuary. The Rhino Ark trust organizes fund-raising events to build this fence.
Game viewing is very rewarding: lion, leopard baboon, black & white colobus and sykes monkeys are abundant. Rare sightings have also been made of the golden cat.
Bird viewing is a big attraction with more than 250 species recorded including Jackson's francolin, sparrow hawk, African goshawk, eagles, sunbirds and plovers.
There is a variety of accommodation; the Treetops tree-house lodge and the Ark, a lodge built in the shape of Noah's Ark.
Night game-viewing is possible near the lodges in the Salient area of the Park with excellent sightings of elephant, buffalo, lion and rhino, drawn to the waterholes and saltlicks each evening.
It was at the Treetops lodge, that Queen Elizabeth learned of her accession to the throne after the death of her father George VI.
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