Aberdares National Park
The Aberdares are an isolated volcanic range that forms the
eastern wall of the rift valley, running roughly 100km north
south between Nairobi and Thomsons Falls. Soils are red and of
volcanic origin, but rich in organic matter. There are two main
peaks, Ol Donyo Lesatima (3,999m) and Kinangop (3,906m)
separated by a long saddle of alpine moorland at over 3,000m.
The topography is diverse with deep ravines that cut through the
forested eastern and western slopes and there are many clear
streams and waterfalls. The Aberdares are an important water
catchment area providing water to the Tana and Athi rivers and
part of Central Rift and Northern drainage basins.
There is a road which traverses the
Aberdares National Park mountains from Naivasha to Nyeri which can be handled by a
sturdy car in good weather. At its maximum elevation the road
passes through misty moorlands at about 3350m where strange six metre tall mutants of alpine plants groundsel, erica, hypericum,
lobelia and sennecio - grow in profusion. Icy rivers plunge in
glorious cascades and spectacular waterfalls. The Salient which
thrusts a dense forest through rich farmland is where both
Treetops and the Ark are situated.
As the Aberdares mountain range slopes off to the east you'll
find the well-known safari lodges;
These lodges are also one of the main attractions of the
Aberdares as both are built above the ground beside floodlit
waterholes with salt licks. Elephant, buffalo, rhino, leopard
and bushbuck are regular visitors to the waterholes at night.
This area was put on the tourist map in 1950 when Princess
Elizabeth became Queen of England while she was on safari in the
Other Kenya National Parks