Beautiful Guereza Colobus monkeys, commonly known as the black and white Colobus, in the Aberdare National Park, Kenya.

Getty Images/AWL Images RM

Aberdare National Park


Herds of wildlife thunder over an open African horizon, elephants emerge from a thicket of plants and the mysterious black rhino munches tranquilly on leaves. This is Aberdare National Park, packed with 300m-high waterfalls, dense forests and serious trekking potential. Also commonly seen here are buffaloes, black rhinos, spotted hyenas, bush pigs, black servals and rare black leopards.

Aberdare can claim some of Kenya’s most dramatic up-country scenery. The fuzzy moors, in particular, possess a stark, wind-carved beauty, wholly unexpected after driving up from the richly cultivated plots of the eastern Aberdares. The park has two major environments: an eastern hedge of thick rainforest and waterfall-studded hills known as the Salient; and the Kinangop plateau, an open tableland of coarse moors that huddles under cold mountain breezes.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Kenya attractions

1. Karura Falls Lookout

12.86 MILES

The lookout gives a breathtaking view of the 50m waterfall dropping down through the forest. If you are short on time, enter via the Mutubio West Gate,…

2. Baden-Powell Museum

20.81 MILES

Lord Baden-Powell, the founder of the Boy Scout Association, spent his last three years at Paxtu cottage in the Outspan Hotel, where this museum is…

3. Baden-Powell’s Grave

21.6 MILES

The scoutmaster’s grave is tucked behind St Peter's Church, facing Mt Kenya and marked with the Scouts trail sign for ‘I have gone home’. His more famous…

4. Solio Game Reserve

23.33 MILES

This family run, private 71-sq-km reserve, 22km north of Nyeri, is Kenya's oldest rhino sanctuary and an important breeding centre for black rhinos. The…

5. Kariandusi

25.86 MILES

Kariandusi is signposted off the A104 Hwy near Lake Elmenteita. It was here in the 1920s that the Leakeys (a family of renowned archaeologists) discovered…

6. Lake Elmenteita

28.71 MILES

Serene and framed by shaggy hills, Elmenteita is quieter and prettier than the lakes to its south, although its relatively open surrounds ensure that it…

7. Ol Pejeta Conservancy

29.43 MILES

Ol Pejeta Conservancy was once one of the largest cattle ranches in Kenya, but is now a 365-sq-km, privately owned wildlife reserve. It markets itself as…