Aberdare National Park - The Ultimate Guide to Aberdare, Activities, and More

Aberdare National Park - AjKenyaSafaris.com

Aberdare National Park is a high-altitude park that protects the moorland and slopes of the Aberdare Ranges. The game park is ideal for viewing Kenya’s birds and animals and for topography enthusiasts.

Its topography ranges from high peaks, hills, and moorlands to indigenous streams, ravines, waterfalls, and forests you can enjoy. Due to its favorable altitude, the national park is quite misty and rainy, with roads that become almost impassable during the rainy season.

Aberdares Kenya is home to the 2nd largest herd of rare Black Rhinos. You can also view many animals here, including Lions, Black Leopards, Elephants, and the elusive Bongo Antelope.

Additionally, two of the nation’s best Safari Lodges are situated in this park: The Ark and Treetops. They offer amazing wildlife viewing during the night over the drinking hole.

When King George VI died, Princess Elizabeth was at the Treetops Hotel, watching wildlife with the Duke of Edinburgh. She climbed a tree as a princess and came down as the queen. 

Overnight, Treetops became the most famous tree house that the world fell in love with. Ensure that you experience the magnificent view of this tree house before you leave Aberdare.

Book Your Aberdare National Park Safari with AjKenyaSafaris.com

Your Aberdare adventure starts with you contacting us via WhatsApp or phone at +254-748-258-880. Our team is available around the clock to assist you with your safari planning.

You can also email us at safarioffers@ajkenyasafaris.com or james@ajkenyasafaris.com to get started.

Our Most Booked Aberdare National Park Safari Packages & Other Tours

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1-Day Nairobi National Park & Giraffe Center Tour From USD 119 See the Itinerary
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The Ultimate Guide to Aberdare National Park

Aberdare national park day trip will take you to one of the best national parks in Kenya, only behind Masai Mara, Amboseli, Samburu, and Tsavo. There are many things to do and see here; here is a guide to Aberdare, Kenya.

Aberdare National Park Location, Overview, and History

Opened in 1950, Aberdares Game Park is a far-sighted idea to protect the Aberdare Ranges and surrounding wildlife. It is 62 miles (100km) north of Nairobi, the capital of Kenya, in the middle of Kenya (former central province).

The park covers 766 km2, which is relatively small compared to other national parks such as Amboseli or Masai Mara. It has more challenging terrains due to its location in the country’s central highlands. 

The volcanic range of the mountains varies from Ol Donyo Lesatima (3999m/13123 feet) to the peaks of Kinangop (3906m/12814 feet) and the high moorland (3000m/9842 feet). 

The fertile, red volcanic soil offers great growing conditions for the native forest and lies in bleak contrast to both the mountain and Forest’s beautiful and rugged peaks.

As we said, one of the main attractions of the Aberdare is the Black Rhinos, an endangered species. Other wildlife you can observe in this park include Sykes Monkey, Baboons, Black and White Columbus Monkeys, African Lions, and Leopards.

There are also over 250 bird species, including Plovers, Eagles, Hawks, Sunbirds, and Goshawks. There are 37 miles (60km) of primary roads and 246 miles (396km) of secondary roads, but they sometimes get messy during the wet season. 

Hence, the park is unsuitable for safari from March to May and October to December. With that said, you need to know that there is still some rainfall throughout the year due to the area’s high altitude.

Aberdare National Park Fees, Entry Fees, or Cost

The park is open daily from 0600hrs to 1700hrs. Entry on foot isn’t allowed, and tourists aren’t permitted after 1615hrs. Payment is made online through the ecitizen portal only.

Aberdare national park charges change from season to season, but you can expect to pay the following when traveling during the peak season. 

  • Non-Resident Adult: USD 80
  • Non-Resident Child: USD 35
  • Rest of Africa Adult: USD 30
  • Rest of Africa Child: USD 20
  • Citizen/Resident Adult: Kes 500
  • Citizen/Resident Child: Kes 250

The above rates may change from time to time, depending on the on-off/peak season. This link lets you view the latest Aberdare National Park entrance fees and rates.

Aberdare National Park Accommodation & Facility

Visitors to Aberdare can find different kinds of accommodation according to their preferences and taste. They include the Ark (built like Noah’s Ark), Treetops (a treehouse lodge), eight special campsites, a public campsite in the moorland, and three self-help banda sites.

From Treetops and the Ark, you can enjoy incredible nighttime animal viewing. You can view different animals from the hotels, including Cape Buffaloes, Rhinos, and Elephants, which come to quench their thirst. 

The park also features two airstrips at Nanyuki and Mweiga.

Aberdare National Park Activities & Wildlife

You can indulge in picnics, walking, camping in the moorlands, and swimming in the river during your Aberdare safari.  Bird viewing is also a spectacular event in Aberdare, with over 250 bird species in the park, including Sparry Hawk, Jackson’s Francolin, and the endangered Aberdare Cisticola.

Animals easily seen in this park include Elephants, Leopards, Giant Forest Hogs, East African Wild Dogs, Waterbucks, Elands, Mountain Reedbucks, and Bushbucks. You will also find Cape Buffalos, Duikers, Side-striped Jackals, Sunnis (Nesotragus Moschatus), Olive Baboons, Sykes Monkeys, and White and Black Columbus Monkeys.

Rare viewings include those of the Bongo, an elusive forest antelope that dwells in the bamboo forest, and the African Golden Cat. Animals such as the spotted and melanistic Serval Cats and the Elands can also be seen on higher grounds in the moorlands. The park also features a considerable population of Eastern Black Rhinoceros.

It’s a traditional belief of the Agikuyu that Aberdare Ranges, where this reserve is situated, is the home of Ngai, Agikuyu’s name for God. Also, note that the African Lions have been relocated to other national parks to protect the endangered Bongo Antelopes.

Aberdare National Park Weather - Best Time to Visit

The dense forests and highlands of Aberdare National Park Kenya captivate visitors in Kenya 365 days, but I want to educate you on the weather patterns around this area. The most significant effect of weather in equatorial Kenya is the ease or difficulty with which you can view the animals.

During the dry season or weather, the animals gather around the remaining water holes and, thus, are easier to spot and view. Insects are also fewer during this season, so you don’t need to contend with annoying mosquitoes as much, although I recommend you carry prophylaxis and repellent protection.

For these reasons, I recommend you plan your trip to Aberdare, Kenya, during the dry season.

On the other hand, the rainy season isn’t an ideal time to visit the Aberdare National Park, although it has its advantages which you should consider when planning your trip. First, the vegetation changes into a deep rich green color, and the beautiful colors of the flowers color the landscape.

Second, some animals, especially the mammals such as the Antelopes, give birth during the rainy season, and you can witness the first few hours of Aberdare’s newest arrivals. It’s both amazing when the newborn survives and frightening when they fall into the predator’s jaws.

When the rains come, more water spots crop up, and the animals tend to spread out all over the park. You might not view the small area’s concentration of wildlife like you would during dry weather.

Furthermore, the trails and roads in the park might be difficult to navigate due to the sticky black cotton soil. The situation might negatively affect your game drive, walk, and hike safari.

Global warming has changed the weather pattern on this side of Africa, so the following guide should be used as a general guideline. The game park experiences a cycle of rainy seasons and dry seasons.

  • The long dry season, which runs from July to October, is the best time to visit the reserve. This is the coolest season of the year, with an average temperature of between 21 degrees (70 F) to 23 degrees (73 F) during the day and 11 degrees (52 F) during the night. Therefore, you should carry an extra layer of warm clothes for your morning and evening activities.
  • The short rains pour from November to December. These rains should not affect your activities as the moisture usually evaporates quickly.
  • The short dry, and humidly hot season runs from January to March with minimal rainfall.
  • The long rains kick in from April to May. This is the most challenging time to move around the park.
  • In late March and June, you might experience some light showers, but this is the begging of the best season for traveling to the Aberdare National Park.
  • From November to March, the average temperature varies from 21 degrees (70 F) to 25 degrees (77 F) during the day and 9 degrees (48 F) to 11 degrees (52 F) during the night.

Aberdare National Park Entrance - How to Get Here

At ajkenyasafaris.com, we recommend that you travel through any of the following means:

By Road

Aberdare, Kenya, is only 99 miles (160km) from Nairobi. The best route runs from the towns of Naivasha and Nyahururu. However, a smooth tarmac road from Naro Moru and Nyeri towns is on the eastern side.

Gates are located at Treetops, Ark, Ruhuruina, Wandare, and Kiandongoro if you come from Nyeri. If you approach the park from Nyahururu, you should use the Shamata or Rhino Gate. Mutubio gate is perfect for visitors coming from Naivasha.

By Air

There are two airstrips for chartered crafts at Mweiga and Nanyuki, next to the Aberdare National Park Kenya.

Aberdare National Park - bongo
The Elusive Bongo Are Found at Aberdare

The Top 10 Things to Do in Aberdare - Aberdare Tourist Attractions

Aberdare National Park activities and things to do near Aberdare are not just limited to a wildlife safari. The park provides many tourist attractions, activities, and animal viewing safaris. 

See Black Leopards, Elephants, Rhinos, Bongo Antelopes, and other animals indigenous to Kenya. Bird watching is another great activity you can engage in, with over 250 bird species recorded in the Aberdares.

Trout fishing in the cold Chania and Guru Karuru Rivers is another activity you should try. You can also decide to admire the Kinangop and Lesatima peaks or just visit the breathtaking waterfalls and walk through the moorland.

Additionally, do a nocturnal wildlife viewing from the Treetops lodges or Ark. Finally, climb the Table Mountains, Elephant Hills, or Twin Hills. Here is a more detailed list of things to do in Aberdare, Kenya.

1. Experience Ol Pejeta Conservancy

Ol Pejeta Conservancy is located at the amazing snow-capped Mount Kenya and the Aberdares Ranges foothills. It features a superb variety of wildlife, including the Big 5 (Lion, Buffalo, Leopard, Elephant, and the endangered Rhino) and the non-indigenous chimpanzees.

The stunning views and combination of amazing animals across the open lands of Ol Pejeta guarantee a memorable safari experience. One of the major attractions of the conservancy is the Chimpanzee Sanctuary. Another attraction is a famous blind Rhino known as Baraka and the last two of the northern white rhinos.

The reserve is home to 2 endangered northern White Rhinos, 73 endangered Black rhinos, 0ver 40 Chimpanzees, Lions, Elephants, Buffalos, and Leopards. You will also find Giraffe, Grevy Zebra, Ostrich, Cheetah, Thomson’s Gazelle, Grant’s Gazelle, Oryx, Black-Back Jackals, Waterbuck, Baboons, eland, and several dozen bird species.

2. Explore Kereita Waterfall and Cave

Kereita Forest is located south of the Aberdares Ranges and has many natural features and hiking trails. Carbacid trail, one of the major trails, leads to Keraita Waterfall on Gatamaiyu River and the neighboring cave that is a shelter for a small bat colony.

The trail passes by the Elephant Pool, a vast natural reservoir where Elephants love to drink and relax. Also, you can enjoy the bamboo walk and view a few Skyes and Black and White Columbus Monkeys. 

To make your adventure exciting, I would recommend you consider visiting the site during the dry season.

3. View Lake Ol Bolossat

Lake Ol Bolossat is the only lake in Nyeri County and is highly recognized as a bird habitat, with over 180 bird species. It’s also home to over 15 animal species, including the Hippos. The lake is a dream destination for people who love birds.

In addition to the lake, you can also visit the Dedan Kimathi Shrine in Tetu, the Scout’s Information Center, and the Lord Baden Powell Garden in the same venue.

The Mau Mau Caves in Naru Moru forest, the historic Italia War Memorial Church, Game Sanctuary, and Solio Ranch also make a good list of places to visit. Mountain lovers can also hike Mount Kenya from Nyeri County using three distinct routes: Chogoria, Sirimon, and Naru Moru.

4. Visit the Lord Baden Powell's Grave

Lord Baden Powell was a writer, lieutenant-general of the British Army, founder of the Scout Movement, and Chief Scout. He was rested at St. Paul’s Cemetery in Nyeri, and his grave is among Kenya’s National Shrines.

His tombstone bears a small circle with a dot in the middle, “ʘ,” which is a sign for “I have gone home” or “going home.” When his partner Olave died, her body was burnt, and the ashes were sent to Nyeri and interred beside her partner.

Due to the tarmac road leading to Lord Baden Powell’s grave, I recommend you visit this site any time of the year.

5. Tour Solio Game Reserve or Solio Ranch

Solio Game Reserve is a privately owned ranch in Nyeri County, Naru Moru. It is a fenced, protected area that aims to protect the endangered Rhinos. It is a 17,500-acre reserve lying 22km north of Nyeri Town and plays a significant role in breeding Black Rhinos.

Other animals living with the Black Rhinos include Zebras, Giraffes, Buffalos, and plains game such as Oryx, Waterbucks, Eland, Warthog, Impala, and Thompson’s Gazelle.

6. Visit Thomson’s Falls

Thomson’s Falls is a 243 feet (74m) scenic waterfall on the amazing Ewaso Ng’iro River, which flows from Aberdare Mountain Ranges. It is located 2 miles from Nyahururu town in Nyandarua County, at 7,750 feet (2,360m). 

In 1883, Joseph Thomson, the first European to visit the Falls, named them after his father. Joseph was a Scottish naturalist and geologist who was also the 1st European to walk to Lake Victoria from Mombasa in the 1880s.

The Falls’ mist feeds the beautiful forest below. You can view the Falls from the top or use a trail to move down the ravine. Upstream from Thomson’s Falls is among the biggest hippo pools in East Africa.

The site is breathtaking and is a good place for people who want to unwind after a tiring week. The best time to visit Thomson Falls is during the long rainy season when the Ewaso Ng’iro River is full. 

You will experience an astonishing waterfall from top to bottom during this time. The Falls featured in the television movie The Man in the Brown Suit in 1988.

7. Learn About Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary

Sweetwater’s sanctuary is a non-profit organization and the only project of its type in Kenya. It was established by  Jane Goodall Institute for Conservation Projects for Chimpanzees Throughout the World and KWS.

It introduces you to 2 communities of Chimpanzees, one of which can be seen on the Ewaso Ng’iro River and the other from a timbered hide. And the attraction is a charm and gentle diversion for adults and kids alike.

The sanctuary has a total of 35 chimpanzees; most were rescued from captivity in war-torn countries such as Burundi and now have adjusted to a new world of harmony and peace within their natural environment. 

The chimps’ sanctuary provides a great interactive info center where you can learn about the chimpanzees using movies and hands-on activities. You can also take a boat ride via the refuge, one square km in size, and view some of the orphaned chimps that control the forest.

I recommend you visit the sanctuary between July and October to avoid getting stuck in the sticky black cotton soil.

8. Visit Kikuyu Village

Kikuyu Village is situated on the foot of the Outspan Hotel. This extraordinary village features traditional Kikuyu dancers dressed in traditional costumes. Experience the tradition of the Agikuyu in this village, which is explicitly designed for the visitor to enable them to explore the culture of the indigenous communities.

9. Visit Bantu Mountain Lodge

In addition to being a reception for climbers and trekkers headed to Mt. Kenya, Bantu Lodge features a vast collection of entertaining, educational, and exciting activities. These include fishing, boating, horse riding, and much more.

The lodge also offers a variety of entertainment for its guests ranging from animal dance drama, disco music, pool table, and traditional dances.

Bantu Lodge is an ideal stopover for visitors traveling from Nairobi to other parks. That’s because it is halfway along the northern wildlife attraction of Meru National Parks, Buffalo Springs, and Samburu National Park,

Its central location also enables guests to make day visits to other major attractions such as El Karama Game Reserves and Sweetwaters Game Reserve. While at Bantu, you can also visit Aberdare National Park Kenya, Mount Kenya, Ken Trout Fisheries, and Mkogodo Maasai Village.

They are just under 2 hours drive from the lodge. Solio Ranch and Bantu Lodge have semi-arid climate conditions, which make them ideal for visiting all year round.

10. Climb Mount Kenya

Rising as high as 5,199m, Mt. Kenya is the tallest mountain in Kenya and second in Africa. The view surrounding this recognized World Heritage Site is superb.

It is a perfect wilderness with glaciers, dense forests, lakes, mineral springs, tarns, and a selection of endangered and rare wildlife species. The mountain also boasts a high altitude and a unique collection of game, alpine, and montane vegetation.

You can enjoy mountain camping, caving, and climbing, with the mountain’s rocky glacier-clad peaks offering the ideal backdrop.

Expert Tips from a Guide to Climbing Mount Kenya

Your Aberdare National Park safari cannot be complete if you don’t visit Mount Kenya National Park and climb this mountain. Mount National Park consists primarily of three peaks of the mountain.

This gives it a completely different landscape from the other parks, but the usual animals are still present, including Monkeys, Elephants, and hundreds of bird species.

It was gazetted in the late 1940s to protect Mount Kenya and the surrounding area from development and destruction. The Forest Reserve encircles the park, and the two sites, combined, became a UNESCO World Heritage Area.

The forest reserve covers an area of 272 sq miles (705km2), and the park covers 276 sq miles (715km2).

How to Get to Mt. Kenya

Mount Kenya is 175 km north of Nairobi and is easily accessible by road or flight to Nanyuki or Mweiga. These options will take you to the nearest towns like Naru Moru, Chogoria, and Nanyuki, where you will find the Naru Moru Route, Chogoria Route, and Sirimon Route, respectively.

The last stretch from the towns to the trails (often + 25km) will be on rough roads, which might be in poor condition (more challenging during the rainy season) and require an approach on foot or a 4WD. The best time to climb Mount Kenya would be during the dry season.

Mt. Kenya Climbing Itineraries/Routes

As seen above, three main routes run through the forest and the moorland. Each of these routes has something unique to offer.

  • Naru Moru Route – This is the fastest itinerary to Lenana point, but it isn’t as amazing as the other routes. It is usually overcrowded with thousands of climbers since it is the most popular way compared to the Sirimon route and Chogoria.
  • Chogoria Route – This is the most unique and exciting route compared to the other two. It passes the scenic Hall Tarns and looks below cliffs into the beautiful Gorges Valley and onto the spectacular Lake Michaelson.
  • Sirimon Route – This is the least used route but features the most gradual slope profile and the best acclimatization alternatives. The route meanders through the beautiful Yellowwood forest on the lower side, featuring dozens of wildlife and exceptional alpine viewing higher up. Above all, it’s the most interesting because it’s on the drier side of Mount Kenya.

You will find four other routes that climb to Point Lenana, but they are the least used. They are Kamweti Route, Meru Route, Burguret Route, and Timau Route.

The Best time to Climb Mount Kenya

You can experience a Mount Kenya day hike all-year round; however, it isn’t advisable to hike during the long rains. Maximum rainfall pours on the mountain’s southeast side and in the forest belt, reaching about 2500mm/year at 3000m.

Rain and snow can, however, be encountered throughout the year – even in dry seasons. Typically, the drier period is associated with dry and clear weather, which can last for months.

Temperature varies according to the height and the time of the day. The perfect weather is usually in the mornings, and light showers, if any, often occur in the afternoon. At 3000m, you can encounter frost during the night while the day temperature ranges from 5-15 degrees.

The night temperature on the peak of Mount Kenya is usually below the freezing point. The southern part of the mountain experiences more sunshine between December and March, making it the perfect time for rock climbing (ice and snow usually hinder climbing).

The weather changes between June and October, which is the perfect time for ice climbing. It is safest to climb Mount Kenya during the dry season: January to February and August to September are the best time to hike the mountain. 

The major routes are likely to be crowded during these periods, but it is also safer. If possible, avoid the short and long rains between March, October, and December. 

The typical weather pattern on Mt. Kenya is clear mornings, with mist experienced from 1000hrs, although this clears by evening.

Therefore, dawn climbing of the mountain is often the order of the day, with a 0200hrs start for the final climb to point Lenana (if you want to experience the sunrise). Go to Mt. Kenya now and catch the spectacular sunrise over the mountain.

Experience the Beauty of Mt. Kenya

Mt. Kenya is home to some of the best high-altitude alpine vegetation, including Lobelias and Giant Groundsels. These attractions will make you forget asking “how long does it take to climb mount Kenya?”

In the lower altitude, the trekkers might encounter frightening African wildlife such as Buffalos and Elephants – luckily, these are usually active after sunset. Leopards, Lions, Rock Hyrax, different Antelope species, and a wide collection of other small and large animals are also found around the mountain.

Mt. Kenya Vegetation

  • Forest – 32 percent
  • Bamboo and forest mix – 23 percent
  • Bamboo – 10 percent
  • Bushy Forest – 11 percent
  • Grassland – 8.5 percent
  • Plantation – 9 percent
  • Other – 6.5 percent
Aberdare National Park - Mount Kenya
Explore the Various Lakes at Mount Kenya

The Local Culture at Aberdare National Park

The main ethnic communities around Mt. Kenya and the Aberdares Kenya are Maasai, Embu, Ameru, and Kikuyu. The last three are closely related. They all see Mt. Kenya as a significant part of their lives. 

Several ethnic communities that lived around Mt. Kenya believed that the mountain was a sacred thing. They used to construct their shelters facing the mountain – the doors faced the mountains.


The Kikuyu community lives on the western and southern sides of Mt. Kenya. They are mainly agriculturalists and utilize the high-fertile volcanic soil on the mountain’s slopes.

They believe that Mwene Nyaga or Ngai, Kikuyu’s name for God, lived on Mt. Kenya when He descended from the sky. The Kikuyu believe that Mount Kenya is God’s throne on earth.

It’s where Gikuyu, the father of their community, used to meet and speak with God. Therefore, the Kikuyu records show that Gikuyu was the first man to climb the mountain.

In the Kikuyu language, Mwene Nyaga can also mean “Owner (Mwene) of the Striped (Nyaga) one.” The snow on Mt. Kenya represented God’s crown. Nyaga can also mean an Ostrich. Therefore, the Kikuyu used to believe that God owned this rare Bird.

The Kikuyu name for Mt. Kenya is Kirinyaga (Kiri-Nyaga), meaning that which has Ostrich – Stripes. The mountain is therefore accepted as God’s living or resting place.


The Embu community lives to the southeast of Mt. Kenya and believes that the mountain was God’s shelter. The Embu community’s word for God is Mwene Njeru or Ngai. The mountain was considered sacred, and they constructed their shelters with doors facing it.

The Embu tribe is closely related to the Mbeere and Ameru people. The Akamba and Mbeere are the settlers of the southern part of the mountain.


The Ameru community occupies Mt. Kenya’s north, northwest, and eastern slopes. They are generally farmers, keep cattle, and occupy one of the most fertile lands in Kenya.

Their God, Murungu, came from the sky. Their name for the mountain is Kirimara, which translates to “Mountain with white features.”


The Maasai community is semi-nomadic and uses the land north of Mt. Kenya for grazing their animals. They believed that their forefathers ascended from the mountain at the start of time.

The Maasai name for this mountain is Ol Donyo Keri, which translates to “mountain of stripes” – refers to the dark shades seen from the plains. They also have a prayer that refers to Mount Kenya.

Maasai’s prayer is “God bless our children, let them be like the olive tree of Morintat, let them grow and expand, let them be like Ngong Hills, like Mt. Kenya, like Mt. Kilimanjaro and multiply in number.”

The Top 3 Must-Visit Counties Near Aberdare National Park

I recommend you consider touring the following counties when planning your Aberdare National Park safari.

Nyandarua County

Nyandarua County is primarily an agricultural zone in the northwest part of the former Central Province of Kenya, west of the Aberdares Mountains. It borders five counties, Kiambu to the south, Nakuru to the southwest and west, Nyeri and Muran’ga to the east, and Laikipia to the northeast and north.

The county covers a massive area of about 3,245 sq. km with a population of about 638,289 (2019 census; the growth rate is 3.3%). It is situated 100km from Nairobi.

In the Agikuyu language, the name Nyandarua means “pegged hide,” perhaps due to the Aberdare Mountain Ranges resembling an animal skin pegged out to dry.

The major tourist attractions in this County include Lake Ol Bolossat, Thomson’s Falls, the Aberdare National Reserve, and Aberdare Mountain Ranges.

  • Aberdare Mountain Ranges – Located 150km from Nairobi, these ranges offer amazing waterfalls and views and are superb places for bird-watching, hiking, and camping.
  • Thomson’s Falls – Located 160km from Nairobi, these falls offer an excellent stopover for people traveling to the Aberdare National Park Kenya from Nakuru.
  • Lake Ol Bolossat – This is an internationally recognized habitat for over 180 bird species.

Nyeri County

Like Nyandarua County, Nyeri County is mainly an agricultural zone located about 150km from Nairobi in the former Central Province of Kenya.

It covers a huge area of 3,337 sq. km and shares its border with five other counties; Meru to the northeast, Laikipia to the North, Muran’ga to the south, Nyandaru to the west, and Kirinyaga to the east.

The name Nyeri comes from the Maasai word nyiro, which means red. The Maasai community who lived in this county called it nyiro after its red volcanic soil. Later, the white settler farmers named it Nyeri.

Nyeri County offers various attractions, such as the Aberdare National Park, which provides a wide variety of animals and birds. In addition, you can visit the Dedan Kimathi Shrine, Lord Baden Powel Gardens, and the Scouts Information Center in this County.

Also, the Mau Mau Caves, Italian War Memorial Church, and Solio Ranch are found in this County. You can also climb Mt. Kenya using Nyeri County’s three routes: Chogori, Sirimon, and Naru Moru.

Laikipia County

Laikipia County is mainly a pastoralist zone located in a semi-arid area that extends to Samburu County, Aberdares, Mt. Kenya, and Meru. The County has the biggest number of wild animals outside the Gazetted protected reserves in Kenya.

Most of these animals are found on huge ranches, which occupy about 50 percent of the total land. The rest are found on small farms owned by the local communities and in the recognized forests of Marumanet, Rumuruti, and Mukogodo.

The Top 10 Aberdare National Park Hotels & Lodges

You will find many Aberdare National Park lodges and hotels to stay in during your wildlife safari to this region. Here are some of the top accommodations:

Chaka Ranch Tented Camp

Chaka Ranch Tented Camp is located in Kiganjo, Nyeri County, and offers one of the best experiences in luxury accommodation. Situated between the Aberdares Mountain Ranges and Mount Kenya, it’s set within natural surroundings and beautiful gardens.

Accommodation is available in 12 luxury tents in an exclusive and intimate environment. The Chaka Tented Camp is within walking distance of the magical Chaka Ranch Leisure Park. 

The attraction features Kenya’s best collection of quad bikes and off-road buggies, offering breathtaking rides for various ages. You can take the driver’s seat and enjoy a variety of spectacular off-road buggies on a 2km race track.

Rhino Watch Safari Lodge

Rhino Watch Safari Lodge is situated along the Nyeri-Nyahururu highway, just 6km beyond Mwiga Town. The lodge is located at a central point of the Rhino Watch 30 hectares estate.

It provides comfortable and beautiful chalets designed like a traditional Kikuyu house. The roofs are covered with makuti, a form of grass, and feature a 25 sq. meter bed and living room.

Each room has two beds which you can put together to form a king-size bed. There is also a small desk and a few seats. It also has a huge bathroom with a hot shower.

Treetops Hotel Aberdare

Treetops Hotel Aberdare is situated in Aberdare National Reserve and is the original treehouse in Kenya. It is famous for its location facing a salt lick, a waterhole in the park, and a historic royal connection.

It lay at 6,459 ft. above sea level, was established in 1932, and has now expanded to 50 rooms. The hotel features five triple rooms, 43 twins, and two suites. It sits in the middle of the dense lichen-hung Aberdare forest to offer a spectacular view of the snowy peak of Mt. Kenya, a salt lick, and a waterhole.

Solio Lodge

Solio Lodge rests on a private animal sanctuary tucked in the valley between the peaks of the Aberdare Mountains and the lofty slopes of Mt. Kenya. It offers a fantastic view of the two mountains.

The lodge was opened in 2010 and is the only accommodation center in the over 45,000-acre Solio Game Reserve. It features six large thatched cottages, each solely decorated in a superb style, and fireplaces to offer warmth on cold, high-altitude nights. 

It is a luxurious hotel and takes advantage of its location. Guests often meet for dinner and are served outside, under the moon with shining stars, and enjoy a view of grazing Impalas, Zebras, and Waterbucks.

Tafaria Castle and County Lodge

Tafaria Castle and County Lodge is situated on a hill facing Kenya’s rooftop, Mount Kenya, Aberdare’s Ranges, and Laikipia plains. The hotel features amazing guesthouses, a delicious local community, and international culture food that you should try.

Outside the hotel, Aberdare portrays itself as stunning like wallpaper, and there is no perfect place to gaze at it as well as Mt. Kenya from this hotel.

Ark Tree Lodge

Ark Tree Lodge was established in 1969 and faces the Yasabara waterhole – one of the largest salt licks in the Aberdare National Reserve.

The hotel is carefully shaped to resemble a real Ark and fitted with decks from which lounges and balconies offer spectacular vantage points for watching the wildlife visiting the waterhole and salt lick.

Ark Tree Lodge features six single rooms, ten double rooms, seven triple rooms, and 37 twin rooms.

Sangare Tented Camp

Sangare Tented Camp is situated about 166km north of Nairobi, 50km from Nanyuki, and 27km from Nyeri town on Sangare Game Reserve. It rests on a 6,500-acre property at the foot of the Aberdares National Reserve.

The hotel features seven luxurious tents facing a superb lake against the background of Sangare hill. The huge tents offer the utmost relaxation and comfort and are carefully furnished with rustic African furniture and four-poster beds.

Mboi Farmhouse Homestay

Mboi Farmhouse Homestay is situated high up in the Aberdare Mountains in central Kenya; just a few minutes’ drive from the Aberdares National Park Kenya. It is a 3-bedroom house that is well designed with a large kitchen, waxed wooden floor, a veranda where guest relaxes, and a laundry area.

The hotel is in a magnificent valley with a fall and a stream where visitors can enjoy their delicious meals. While at Mboi, you can enjoy stimulating activities such as game drives, river fishing, tea, and coffee picking, village touring, playing football, and even farming using local tools.

Fishing Lodge Guest House

Fishing Lodge Guest House is a beautiful cabin (actually, there are 2 of them about 100m apart) located in the southern half of the Aberdares. The lodge is owned and run by KWS, which manages Aberdare Park.

Each of the two cabins has three rooms, two doubles, and a single and two bathrooms. The hotel also has a lounge with a superb fireplace and a kitchen with a gas burner.

The lodge is an excellent place to spend time with a lover, family, or friends, with amazing access to the different ecologies of the park and close to breathtaking waterfalls.

Aberdare County Club

Aberdare County Club is a 2-hour drive from the capital, Nairobi. The club rests on the slopes of Mweiga Hills. It features fabulous views of the plains, with Mount Kenya to the east and the Aberdare Mountains to the west.

The club is located in the 1300-acre wildlife sanctuary with Leopards, Giraffes, Zebras, and Grant’s Gazelles. It boasts a standard suite room, a five-bedroom cottage room, a three-bedroom cottage room, and 19 two-bedroom cottage rooms.