The Aberdare National Park was created in 1950 to protect the forested slopes and moors of the Aberdare Mountains which is about 160 k.m.in length with a range of almost 13,000 ft. Aberdare National Park is a 767 sq. Kilometers and is part of Kenya's central highlands, running roughly from North to South between Nairobi and Thomsonís Falls with altitudes from about 7,000 feet to 14,000 feet above sea level. The topography is diverse with deep ravines that cut through the forested eastern and western slopes and many clear streams and waterfalls that give way to gentler valleys separated by steep hills and rocky outcrops. At lower altitudes give way to moorland, bamboo forests and rainforests . The park is an important water catchments area providing water to the Tana and Athi rivers and part of the Central, Rift Valley, and Northern drainage basins. The climate is wet and moist.
The park is surrounded by a predominantly indigenous forest. The unusual vegetation, rugged terrain, streams and waterfalls combine to create an area of great scenic beauty in the National Park. Animal life is most abundant in the forest zone. There are large mammals such as elephants, buffalo, bongo and black rhinos; carnivores including lions and leopards; and primates such as baboons, black and white colobus and Sykes monkeys. The park is rich in bird life with over 250 species recorded.
Aberdare National Park is famous for its tree hotels - Treetops and The Ark. With walkways and accommodation raised into the forest canopy, you can watch animals from a unique vantage point. Positioned by waterholes and natural salt licks, animals provide constant entertainment and seem undisturbed by the stream of curious visitors, some of whom stay up all night to catch sightings of shy animals by floodlight. There is even a viewing hide dug below ground with windows level with the waterhole, where elephants feet come within inches of your face.
The Park is open daily from 6.00 am to 7.00pm and no entry is allowed after 6.15 pm.