Aberdare National Park

The Aberdare National Park is renowned for its beautiful rainforest scenery and rugged mountain landscape. This is a mysterious stretch of land, home to many rare and wonderful creatures. Overlooking a beautiful, watery oasis in the midst of forest and vast moorland, sits the Treetops lodge - a place where you can relax while watching the diverse wildlife gather at the waterhole. Travel here for a very different and unique safari experience as you immerse yourself in the misty rainforests and jagged mountains.

  • Best Time to Go

    June - September

  • Average Safari Cost

    $100 - $600 pp/day. Park fee: $52 (adults), $26 (children)

  • Highlights

    Lodges that overlook a waterhole, rare animal species to see, the Big Five, stunning forest scenery, hiking, game drives, picnic spots and trout fishing.

Why Visit Aberdare National Park

Aberdare National Park is a very special and unique place as it boasts many exciting and rare animals to see within its diverse landscape. The rainforest and mountainous highland terrain provides an incredible contrast to Kenya's grasslands and savannah plains. Travel through lush, green forests, see powerful waterfalls and hike up some challenging rugged trails on the Aberdare mountain range.

The lodges and hotels are designed so that guests can overlook the waterhole at night and watch as many different animals emerge from the forest. This guarantees visitors some unique and exciting wildlife sightings. Aberdare National Park is a place where you can find the unusual bongo antelope in the bamboo forest, as well as the elusive African golden cat. Rare black leopards have also been sighted by extremely lucky visitors. These are just a few of the amazing animals you might find in this beautiful, unspoiled land! Visit Kenya's Aberdare National Park for a very different, yet highly rewarding, safari experience.

Pros and Cons

  • Great wildlife sightings
  • Stunning forest scenery
  • Unique tree hotels
  • Opportunities to see nocturnal wildlife
  • Guided hikes
  • The tree hotels get very crowded and booked up
  • The tree hotels are also quite basic and small

Best Time to Go

While the wildlife viewing in Aberdare National Park is quite good all year round, the best time to go is during the dry season, when rainfall is less disruptive. The dry season is from June to September and consists of cool, sunny days and very cold nights. Daytime temperatures average 59˚F (15˚C), while nights hover just above freezing. This is the best time for hiking and travelling around the moorlands of the park as roads and trails are less slippery. More animals tend to gather at the waterholes during these months.

The wet season is from October to May and consists of the 'short rains' from October to November, a dry period and then the 'long rains' from March to May. Daytime temperatures average a cool 63˚F (17˚C) with nights dropping to about 41˚F (5˚C). Rainfall can make it difficult to travel around the park as roads become very slippery. Game drives and hikes may also be disrupted due to rain. This is an excellent time for bird watching as migratory species can be found. This is also the low season, so accommodation rates may be lower and it will be less crowded in the park.

Start your African Adventure

Wildlife and Birds

In addition to the typical safari animals, such as the Big Five, many rare and exciting animals can be encountered in Aberdare National Park. Rare black leopards stalk through the forests at night, while striking bongo antelope can be found in the bamboo forests. African golden cats, servals and civets are all rare sightings that can be spotted around the park. The highly endangered black rhino can also be seen grazing around the land. Keep an eye out for curious black and white colobus monkeys and olive baboons! Aberdare National Park is also home to many impressive species of bird and is an excellent bird watching destination.
List of Animals
  • Lion
  • Elephant
  • Leopard
  • Buffalo
  • Hyena
  • Black Rhino

Rare Animals

  • Black rhino, lion, leopard, bongo antelope, African golden cat, serval, civet and African wild cat

Frequently Seen Animals

  • Elephant, buffalo, hyena


With over 290 recorded species of bird, Aberdare National Park is a great birding destination. From bright, beautiful sunbirds flitting around the lush vegetation to majestic goshawks and eagles circling the skies, there are many interesting birds to keep a look out for!

Endangered Birds

  • Aberdare cisticola

(Near-)Endemic Birds

  • Aberdare cisticola, Jackson's francolin, Sharpe's longclaw

Getting There and Safety

Most visitors will first fly to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi, from where you can drive to the park or organise a charter flight closer to Aberdare National Park. Charter flights are often included in safari packages so check with your operator.

For the flights to Kenya, it is advised to check Skyscanner (for multiple destination flights), to see which airlines can take you there and compare various ticket prices.

If you are based in the UK and Europe, check out these flights to Kenya.

If you are based in the USA and Canada, check out these flights to Kenya.

All foreign visitors must have a passport that is valid for at least 6 months after their visit. Foreign visitors of most nationalities need to apply for a visa, however, single-entry visas may be obtained upon arriving in the country. Kenya's eVisa website can give you more information on whether you should apply for a visa or not.
Malaria and Vaccinations

Several vaccinations are recommended when travelling to Kenya. These include: hepatitis A and B, rabies, meningococcal meningitis, typhoid and yellow fever. It’s better to check with your local medical authority which vaccinations are required.

There is a high-risk for malaria in Kenya so anti-malarial drugs are advised as well as insect repellent and wearing clothes that cover your arms and legs at night.

Check your local travel health authority for more information:

Travel Insurance

Going on a safari in Africa comes with obvious risks. We recommend you get travel insurance for all safaris in Kenya. Make sure your insurance has full medical coverage, emergency air evacuation, repatriation and the standard travel insurance for cancellations, delays and luggage cover.

Check World Nomads’ travel insurance calculator to see the cost of your safari trip cover.

What to Pack

You will need to pack clothes for both warm and cool weather as it can get fairly warm during the day and cold at night. Try to pack neutral, earthy toned clothes and avoid bright colours. Other essential items are a hat, sun screen, toiletries, closed shoes, torch, batteries, insect repellent, binoculars and camera.

For more details on what to pack see our Safari Packing List.