The Aberdare National Park is a big game wilderness which includes most of the Aberdare Mountains, starting at tea farms around 5,000′ and extending above 13,000′. The park features two of Kenya’s most famous tree hotels, The Ark and Treetops. Tree hotels turn around the routine of normal game viewing: here, the animals come to you! Built over natural salt licks and water holes, floodlights come on at dusk and don’t seem to disturb the game. All night long you can watch a never-ending parade of Africa!
But there is much more to the park than just the tree hotels which sit at its low perimeter. This is a highland rain forest and its beauty is unmatched. The game is concentrated in the lower areas in lush and thick forests that remain verdant year-round and which contain rarer animals and birds like the brilliant colobus monkey and spectacular chicken-sized turacos. As the tracks ascend from the forest, there are sweeping, thick jungle valleys with towering trees and draping lianas, and then multi-colored bamboo forests that emerge onto the tundra. Up here there are a dozen spectacular waterfalls, perfectly safe for swimming if you can handle the frigid water! At this elevation are several very rare animals like the gentle mountain reedbuck often found in the beautiful high grass meadows amid spectacular displays of wild flowers.
While there are areas of beauty that rival the Aberdare, few has its abundant game. Huge buffalo families, large numbers of elephant, and gorgeous antelope like bushbuck and duiker are regularly seen. Above all, it is a strikingly beautiful place, which many first-time visitors simply don’t expect Africa to be, because it is so unlike the great plains.