Aberdare N.P. Travel Guide

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The Aberdare Park covers most of the Aberdare mountain range in central Kenya. The range has Kenya’s 2nd and 3rd highest peaks, extraordinary waterfalls, and some of the most scenic flora in the country. In fact, although I’m biased because I lived a half hour from the Aberdares, I think the Aberdare Forest is the most beautiful forest in all of Kenya.

The park is not so commonly visited by tourists for several reasons. First, it gets huge amounts of rain and the roads turn to mud slides during the rainy season. This also means that you need your own 4WD vehicle, and if you’re planning to camp, you need good equipment. If you don’t want to camp, you only have two options for lodges, Treetops and The Ark, and both are expensive. You cannot drive into these lodges yourself, but have to make reservations and be driven into them by the lodges’ transport.

The Treetops Lodge isn’t all that special, with small rooms and shared bathrooms. I the high season (Dec 16 to Jan 3), singles/doubles run US$ 124/248 with full board. In the low season (April 9 to June 30, also the rainy season), prices drop to US$ 62/124. Any other time during the year, expect to pay somewhere in-between these prices. You have to book in advance through Block Hotels in Nairobi (# (02) 540780). You then have to meet at the Outspan Hotel in Nyeri the day you arranged.

The other lodge is The Ark, which is nicer but more expensive. Singles/Doubles with full board and transportation are US$ 270/321 in the high season and US$ 147/173 in the low season. Again, you must book in advance through Lonrho Hotels Kenya in Nairobi (# (02) 216940). Turn up at the Aberdare Country Club in Mweiga, a town 12 km north of Nyeri, the day you arranged for transport to the lodge. You can arrange game drives from the Aberdare Country Club if you want to see the park but don’t want to stay inside it.

Even if you choose to camp, you need to make reservations at Park Headquarters at Mweiga (# 24 in Mweiga).

If you’re a backpacker looking to explore the Aberdares without the hassle, there is another way. If you’re interested, email me at: nikobesti@yahoo.com and I’ll tell you how.

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