The Aberdare National Park is one of Kenya’s best-kept secrets. An isolated volcanic range that forms the eastern wall of the Rift Valley. From north to south runs the Aberdare mountain range which reaches a maximum altitude of 3999m at Ol Doinyo Satima Peak.

In the valley between the peaks there are icy mountain streams, ideal for fly-fishing or an effective wake-up call! The official name of the park is now Nyandarua (Kikuyu for ‘a drying hide’) but it is still commonly referred to as the Aberdares, after Lord Aberdare who used to be president of the Royal Geographic Society.

Aberdare National Park lies mainly above the tree line running along the 10,000 ft (3,048 metres) contour with some forest and scrub at lower attitude in the ‘salient’ area near Nyeri with the boundary running down to the 7,000 ft (2,296 metres) contour. The unusual vegetation, rugged terrain, streams and waterfalls combine to create an area of great scenic beauty in the National park. The park is surrounded by a predominantly indigenous forest.


Aberdare National Park is home to most of the larger mammals, having a larger population of black rhino. The park has endangered species including the rare bongo, giant forest hog, packs of the now very rare wild dogs and endemic mole-rate and mole-shrew. Other game includes leopard, serval, endemic bird species, reptiles and insects.

Climatic Conditions

Mist and heavy rainfall occur throughout much of the year, with precipitation varying from around 1,000 mm yearly on the north-western slopes to as much as 3,000 mm in the south-east.

Major Attractions

  • Lesatima Peak and Kinangop peak
  • Visit a number of wonderful Waterfalls
  • Walks in the moorlands, Twin Hills, Elephant Hills and Table Mountains
  • Spot black rhinos, elephant & predators in forest
  • Queen Elizabeth II learned of her accession to the British throne at Treetops Lodge
  • Visit the Kimathi Hideout/Mau Mau caves
  • Stay in luxurious lodges overlooking waterholes

Best time to visit

All year round


  • Mountain climbing
  • Camping
  • Walking & hiking
  • Game viewing
  • Night viewing of wildlife at The Ark and Treetops Lodges
  • Trout fishing along numerous ice cold clear flowing streams.

Aberdares Getting There

  • By Road: Road transfers from Nairobi (approximately 160 km)
  • By Air:Mweiga Airstrip is next to the park headquarters or Nyeri Airstrip is 12 km from Mweiga headquarters.