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Aberdare National Park

One of Kenya’s oldest protected reserves, the Aberdare National Park was established in 1950 to safeguard the country’s rarest forest ecosystem and its major watershed. Within its 766 square kilometres are some of Africa’s richest alpine landscapes, with ancient cedar forests, heather moorlands and bamboo groves divided by icy streams and deep waterfalls. The Aberdares’ highest peaks, which rise to 13,120 feet, were famous as a hideout of the Mau Mau freedom fighters in the late 1950s. They contain Kenya’s tallest waterfall, the 1,000-foot Gura Falls, which together with neighbouring Karura Falls formed the famous aerial scenes in Out of Africa. The higher slopes, however, should be avoided during July and August due to thick ‘mountain mist’.

The Aberdares provide a fascinating stopover between Kenya’s northern deserts and its southern parks. The deep forests are home to a unique range of wildlife, from elephant, lion and giant forest hog to rare melanistic leopard and Serval cats - whose coats have turned black in the rarefied air - and Kenya’s rarest antelope, the shy chestnut-coated Bongo 

 
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