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Parks & reserves: Aberdare National Park


Aberdare National Park is open to self-driven visitors like most other parks in Kenya, but only four-wheel-drive vehicles are allowed into this park. The reason is that the tracks on the high mountain area are very rough and can be in bad condition specially after heavy rains, which are frequent in the Aberdare mountains.

The park is 100 km from Nairobi and 17 km northwest of Nyeri. From Nairobi there are several buses to Nyeri, but there is no public transport from this town to the park gates.

It is worth mentioning that the most suitable access to the park depends on your final destination, since the range, that is, the park, is actually a barrier between the two main northbound roads from Nairobi. In general, the best option is to take the A2 leaving Nairobi through Thika Road, heading for Thika and Nyeri. The road is tarred and in very good conditions up to Sagana. From here to Nyeri, potholes abound and transit is more difficult. This itinerary is most adequate if you travel for an overnight stay at Treetops or The Ark, since this road leads to Nyeri, where the base hotel for Treetops, the Outspan Club, is located. From Nyeri there is a road to Mweiga, the town close to which is the Aberdare Country Club, base for The Ark. In Mweiga you will also find the Kenya Wildlife Service Aberdare Headquarters, where you can get your Safari Card, which is mandatory for Aberdare National Park.

Magura Falls, Aberdare National Park. Javier Yanes/ Conversely, if your intention is to travel through the park, you may rather use another route which is in fact shorter. In Nairobi, take the A104 north to Naivasha, where you will take a turnoff to Nyeri. Pitifully, if you just intend to travel from Naivasha to Nyeri this way is not suitable, since the road crosses the park, so you would be bound to pay the entrance fee.

Concerning the park gates, coming from Naivasha or Gilgil you can access the park through Mutubio West Gate. The steepest section of this track, formerly impassable during the rains, is now paved.

From Nyeri you can enter the park through three different gates: Ruhuruini Gate and Wandare Gate are in the Salient area, south and north respectively, whereas the Kiandongoro Gate, more to the south, leads to the Chania Falls area. Access to the park from the north is now not possible since Shamata and Ngobit (Rhino) Gates are currently closed to tourism. Besides the four mentioned gates, there are two more, Treetops Gate and Ark Gate, which are used by the shuttles carrying visitors for overnight stays at any of the two mountain lodges, but which are also open to the general public.

The park's road network cross-sectionally traverses from east to west, from Kiandongoro Gate to Mutubio West Gate, through misty moorlands that lay at an altitude of 3,350 m. Connecting the two slopes of the range, this road gives the shortest way from Naivasha to Nyeri.


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Aberdare National Park
Aberdare NP
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