Aberdare national park

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Altitude: 1829 to 4001 m.a.m.s.l.

A national park in central Kenya covering an area of 767 square kilometers.

Originally known as 'Nyandarua' — kikuyu for 'the drying hide', due to the distinctive folds of its mountain's silhouette.

Its name was changed to Aberdare in 1884 by the explorer, Joseph Thompson, after Lord Aberdare, the President of the Royal Geographical Society.

Encompasses most of the Aberdare ranges and was believed by the Kikuyu to be one of the homes of God or 'Ngai'.

Known for its unique ecosystem, which includes moorlands, rain forests, mountains and a number of waterfalls, all of which are part of rivers with crystal clear water.

It also is where much of the fighting between Mau Mau freedom fighters and the British soldiers took place in the 1950s

What to do thereHiking and trekking that does not require special skills, picnics, fishing and sports fishing, mainly for trout.

Also possible are camping, game viewing, safari drives, bird watching, glam-ping, lodging, or just visit the many attractions within its borders.

Animals you may see here include elephants, buffalo, the rare bongo, lions, leopards, warthog, black rhino, red duiker, bush buck, eland, serval cat, giant forest hog and about 250 species of birds.

Best time to visitAny time of the year, though a 4x4 as well as rain proof gear may be required during the rains.

Location of Aberdare national parkAberdare national park is just a few kilometres south of the equator, and a few hours from the country's capital Nairobi - by car.

This is a region that receives high amounts of rainfall all year round, with vegetation ranging from moorlands in the higher altitudes to rain forests as you move lower.

A number of large rivers originate from this area, including the Gura — deemed the fastest in Africa.

How to get thereBy air, hiking or vehicle.

4x4s are usually the recommended vehicles as the roads there can get inaccessible during the frequent rains.

There are a number of cities and villages around it from where one could hike, though a KWS ranger's escort as well as permission to hike would be required.

The park has a few less used airstrips within its borders, with the more popular ones being outside the park, such as the Mweiga airstrip and Nyeri airport.

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