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Aberdare National Park, Kenya

Hills and streams, cliffs and waterfalls – you find it all in Aberdare, an isolated volcanic range at the eastern edge of the Rift Valley. Located conveniently between Nairobi and Thomson’s falls, this park is well worth a visit, especially if you are fond of climbing, scrambling and hiking in the deep ravines, between the two highest peaks of Aberdare, Ol Donyo Lesatima and Kinangop. At lower altitudes you will find thick bamboo forests and moorlands, while higher in the mountains dense tropic jungle will bring you on a real adventure.

 

The scenic Mau Mau caves add more mystery to the beauty of Aberdare Park, and every hilltop opens a fantastic view over the mountain forests and rivers. The park hosts one of the largest populations of black rhinos in Kenya, as well as most of big mammals found around the country: elephants, colobus monkeys, sykes monkeys, waterbucks, giant forest hogs, bushbucks, striped jackals, olive baboons and cape buffalos. If you are lucky, the wild jungle may surprise you with leopards and big reptiles, as well as some endemic bird species (over 250 of them: goshawks, sparry hawks, eagles, sunbirds and plovers). Among the most elusive inhabitants of this forest are rare wild dog and endemic mole shrew, golden cat and bongo – forest antelope.

 

Local Kikuyu tribes believe that Aberdare Mountain Range is the home of God Ngai: maybe this attitude protected the wildlife of Aberdare from being hunted down in the old times. The trails are conveniently dotted with mountain huts and campsites equipped for hardcore long-distance trekkers and wildlife enthusiasts.

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