Treetops Hotel is a tree hotel located in Aberdare National Park in Kenya near Nyeri town on the Aberdare Ranges and in sight of Mount Kenya. Treetops Lodge is a sister hotel to the famous Outspan hotel, the Treetops Hotel Kenya was literally built on tops of trees of Aberdare Safari Park as a tree house, offering the guests a close view of the local wildlife in complete safety, if you are staying at Treetops Lodge in Kenya you first arrive Out span Hotel where you will have lunch and leave your car on their parking as The Tree tops Hotel does not have any place dedicated for parking cars, this is done to preserve Aberdare game park , only overnight luggage being allowed and visitors are being driven for the night in from the Outspan Hotel coach services schedule three times in the evening. the Tree tops Lodge lies in the path of an ancient Elephant migratory route between the Aberdare Mountains and Mt Kenya National park, and is strategically sited right in front of a watering hole and salt lick, the famous Tree tops Hotel, which is 70 years old, was the brainchild of Major Eric Sherbrooke Walker and his wife Lady Bettie, the couple who set up the Outspan Lodge in 1926, the two had searched 6,400 kilometers throughout East Africa to find just the right spot, 5,800 feet above sea level in the beautiful Nyeri valley between two mountains, the Aberdares Mountains to the west and Mount Kenya to the east. The initial idea of Major Eric Sherbrooke Walker, who owned land in the Aberdeen Range, was to build a tree house for his wife Lady Bettie, who liked them. The idea grew, and in 1932 the couple oversaw the construction of a two-room tree house in a huge, 300-year-old fig tree as an adjunct facility to the Outspan Hotel, which they also built and owned. Initial construction was hampered by the presence of wild animals, as the tree house was purposely built beside animal trails leading to a nearby waterhole. Labourers and supervisors were often chased away by wild animals, which led to increased labour costs, While originally two rooms, and open only on Wednesday nights to overnight guests as a night-viewing platform, rising demand forced the Walkers to accommodate more visitors. The visit of Princess Elizabeth and her husband Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, to Kenya in 1952 led to their visit to the Treetops as personal guests of the Walkers. The Treetops was reinforced, and its capacity was increased to four rooms, including one for a resident hunter, The Mau Mau freedom fighters Uprising, which began as a protest in 1951 and 1952 of British control in the Kikuyu homeland quickly became a violent uprising. It was suppressed by the British over the period 1953 – 1954. In 1953, the Aberdare forest provided refuge to many hundreds of Mau Mau rebels, led by Dedan Kimathi. In June 1953, the entire region was declared off-limits for Africans, and orders to shoot Africans on sight were set in place. A major military operation in late 1953 ("Operation Blitz") left 125 guerillas dead. This was followed in January 1954 by "Operation Hammer", led by the King's African Rifles, which however failed to encounter many guerillas as most had already left the area. As a protest against the shoot-on-sight orders, and repeated military action, Mau Mau rebels burnt down the Treetops Hotel which acted as a lookout for the King's African Rifles on 27 May 1954 in a contentious military action or act of terror, The Treetops Hotel Nyeri was rebuilt in 1957 on a nearby chestnut tree overlooking the same waterhole and salt lick near the elephant migration pathway to Mount Kenya, Major Eric George Sherbrooke Walker, MC (1887–1976) was hotelier and founder of the Outspan Hotel and Treetops Hotel in Kenya, as well as a decorated military officer. He is remembered as the host of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip when they visited Treetops in 1952, shortly before receiving news of the death of King George VI and Elizabeth's accession to the throne, the son of Reverend George Sherbrooke Walker and his wife, Jessie Elizabeth Carter, Eric Walker was born in Edgbaston, Birmingham in Warwickshire on 4 July 1887, and brought up in March, Cambridgeshire where his father was rector of St Wendreda's church. He was educated at Oakham School and King Edward's, Edgbaston and then read Theology at The Queen's College, Oxford. After graduating in 1908, Walker was associated with the Scouting movement, and was a personal secretary to Baden-Powell, the founder of the movement. He was one of the first two Scout inspectors, overseeing Walesv and the South of England. He was present at Baden-Powell's first Scout camp in Humshaugh in 1908, and toured Canada with sixteen Scouts in 1910 to demonstrate Scouting. Walker was commissioned in the army in August 1914; he transferred to the Royal Flying Corps but was shot down and held as a prisoner of war in Germany. He is said to have made 36 attempts to escape. Apparently on one occasion, a German girlfriend from before the war helped him by supplying him with wire cutters provided by Baden-Powell hidden inside a piece of ham. After the War's end he was employed as a temporary captain on the General List, fighting against the Bolsheviks with the British Military Mission in South Russia alongside the White Army in the Russian Civil War. He was awarded the Military Cross for his gallantry at Ushun in the Crimea on 8 and 10 March 1920, where he attached himself to the Police Regiment and remained with them throughout the two days of counter-attacks, during which they sustained heavy casualties. By his personal example and coolness, under heavy machine-gun fire, he was largely responsible for the decisive success gained. In addition, he received the Order of St. Anna and the Order of St. Stanislaus from the grateful White Russian authorities. Walker returned to England after the war, and became engaged and ultimately married to Lady Elizabeth Mary "Bettie" Feilding (22 August 1899 – ?), the daughter of Rudolph Feilding, 9th Earl of Denbigh, on 26 July 1926, Needing money to finance his marriage, he ran a bootlegging business, smuggling liquor into America during the Prohibition era, while his fiancée Lady Bettie worked as social secretary in the British Embassy in Washington DC. When Walker shot and wounded a corrupt state trooper who had tried to steal his cache of whiskey, the couple fled to Canada.
Walker later wrote The Confessions of a Rum-Runner under the pseudonym of James Barbican about his life during this period. The couple finally emigrated to Kenya, where Walker purchased approximately 70 acres (28 ha) of Crown Land in Nyeri and - in 1928 - opened the Outspan Hotel, overlooking the gorge of the Chania River in the Aberdare Range (near the present dayAberdare National Park) . In 1932, he opened the adjunct Treetops Lodge in Kenya as a night-viewing station for wildlife. These business ventures may well have been based on profits made during his bootlegging days in America, In 1938, his former employer Lord Baden-Powell retired to the Outspan Hotel in Nyeriv (Baden-Powell once remarked "closer to Nyeri, closer to bliss"), bought a share of Walker's hotel business to pay for his cottage (named Paxtu and now home to a Scouting museum) in the Outspan Hotel Nyeri grounds, and died there in 1941. Walker was host to Princess Elizabeth and her husband the Duke of Edinburgh, during their February 1952 visit to Kenya, He retired to live inv Majorca Spain,v and died there at his home, Cás Fidavé, on 13 May 1976, Treetops Lodge in the heart of the Kenya forest is renowned as the place where Princess Elizabeth first heard the news that her father had died and that she was to be Queen. This, however, is not quite the full story. While the princess was certainly at Treetops Hotel in Aberdare on the night her father, George VI, died 64 years ago on 6 February, 1952, she was not told until the following afternoon, by which time she had returned to a fishing lodge called Sagana Lodge, 20 miles away, that she had been given as a wedding present. It was there; beside a trout stream in the foothills of Mount Kenya that Prince Philip broke the news. The princess and her husband had flown from Heathrow to Kenya on 31 January. They were seen off by the king, too ill with lung cancer to make a safari to Kenya himself, the crowd him a sympathetic cheer as he stood in the bitter cold to wave goodbye to his daughter. It was a dangerous time in the British colony. The Mau Mau campaign had just broken out across the White Highlands, the officials responsible for the princess's safari in Kenya, Australia and New Zealand felt unable to guarantee her safety while she was in Kenya, Three days after they arrived, the royal couple travelled up-country to Sagana and from there they drove after lunch on 5 February to Treetops Lodge Nyeri, the game-viewing lodge built in a tree overlooking an elephant waterhole. She was staying at Treetops, an elaborate tree house on the edge of a watering hole in Kenya's Aberdare National Park. As the legend goes, she went up the tree a Princess and came down a Queen (George VI having died in his sleep at Sandringham in the meantime). It was, by all accounts, a comfortable three-bedroom shack (plus tiny servant's quarter) built in the upper branches of a giant fig tree. They planned to spend the night watching wildlife, enjoying a respite from their duties before continuing the rest of their packaged safari, Treetops Hotel is old hat now, but in 1952 it was the only place of its kind in the world. It was the brainchild of Eric Walker, owner of the Outspan hotel in Nyeri, and his wife, Lady Bettie, daughter of the Earl of Denbigh. The two of them were hosts for the visit, along with the naturalist Jim Corbett, after whom the Corbett National Park in India is named. Retired from India, Corbett lived in a cottage at the Out span Lodge previously occupied by Lord Baden-Powell. Walker was a colourful character of the kind that gravitated naturally towards Kenya in colonial days. Private Secretary to Baden-Powell before the Great War, he had been shot down while in the Royal Flying Corps, but had escaped from prison camp with a pair of wirecutters that Baden-Powell had hidden inside a gift of ham. He then walked across Germany to the Dutch border. Needing money later to marry Lady Bettie, he had sailed four boatloads of liquor to America during Prohibition and sold his cargo over the side, just outside territorial waters. A shootout ashore had led to a warrant for his arrest after a corrupt state trooper had been wounded. Fleeing to Canada, he married Lady Bettie and immigrated to Kenya, where he built the Nyeri Outspan hotel. Walker laid down strict ground rules for the Treetops Hotel visit, No journalists were allowed, as it was believed the scent of the additional bodies would frighten wildlife. No cameras either, because the princess needed a break. Spearmen at the edge of the forest kept intruders at bay as the royals arrived at the waterhole and climbed the rickety ladder to the three-bedroomed branch hotel at the top. The nearest elephant was only eight yards away as Lady Pamela Mountbatten and Commander Mike Parker followed. There were baboons, warthog and bushbuck, too. The princess spent much of the afternoon filming with her cine-camera, so engrossed that she asked for tea to be served on the viewing platform rather than miss anything by going inside, Leopards prowled Treetops Hotel after dark, Corbett sat up all night with a rifle at the top of the ladder, the princess was up again at dawn, testing the light with her meter as two rhinos squabbled over the waterhole, after breakfast of scrambled eggs and bacon plus Kenyan Tea, In England, meanwhile, "Hyde Park Corner" was under way, the coded plan for arrangements surrounding the death of the king. At No 10, Winston Churchill was informed at once that the king had died in his sleep at Sandringham, but it was two hours before word reached the princess. A telegram to Government House in Nairobi could not be decoded because the keys to the safe holding the codebook were unavailable. At lunchtime the editor of the East African Standard telephoned the princess's secretary, Martin Charteris, at the Outspan to ask if the teleprinter reports were true. Shocked, Charteris contacted Treetops, where Prince Philip reacted as if he had been hit by a thunderbolt. Rallying swiftly, he took his 25-year-old wife for a walk where on he told her that her father was dead and she was now Queen Elizabeth and head of the Commonwealth. She reacted with the same sense of duty that she has shown ever since, immediately discussing the practicalities of getting back to England and writing letters of apology for the cancellation of the remaining tour. Charteris thought her "very composed, master of her fate", as she left towards dusk that evening. "I will come again," the princess promised happily, as they were driven away, She was driven to a nearby airstrip, where a Dakota waited to fly her home. The Queen was unmistakably under strain as she emerged from the car, but she managed a subdued smile for the crowd. She boarded the plane with none of the usual pomp and took off at once. The mask slipped once they were airborne. The Queen left her seat after a while. Her face was set when she returned, but it was obvious to the other passengers that she had been in the loo, having a good long cry, some things never change, Treetops Hotel is one of those, you can easily sense the excitement the Princess must have felt as she arrived here - no fuss, no greeting line, no dress code and just a tiny entourage. She could spend an entire night absorbed in that vast and fantastic natural theatre that is the African bush. Nothing has changed in that regard. In just one night and without trying very hard, you see just about everything you might hope to spot on a safari to Africa. Only a few hours' drive north of Nairobi, this is a very different part of Kenya from the popular perception of wide open plains with thundering herds of wildebeest. Aberdare National Park, in the Aberdare Mountains is all plunging valleys, thick with vegetation so dense that you can turn a corner and find an entire bull elephant just munching away behind a bush. And then, all of a sudden the undergrowth opens out to sweeping valley views. There are watering holes and salt licks all over the 300 square miles of park, the best-known lies next to Treetops Hotel, After the destruction of the original treehouse, the owners built a hotel on stilts on the other side of the watering hole, and it has been a major tourist draw ever since, but the hotel was getting on a bit and the shared bathrooms - acceptable back in the Fifties, - but did not suit the modern safari guest, so the Treetops hotel has undergone a major complete overhaul in time for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee and has reopened with 36 rooms, all en-suite, from here, a fleet of open-topped Land Rovers can take guests all over the park, Aberdare has buffalo galore, plenty of elephants, black rhino, antelopes, monkeys, and hyenas, driving around shortly, you will see the ultimate in safaris in Kenya treats — a leopard. You can also retrace (as long as you have an armed guide) the jungle walk which Princess Elizabeth made in 1952. These days, though, it is a walk in the open; marauding elephants have eaten some of the vegetation. The Outspan Hotel in Kenya played its own part in that famous saga in 1952. It was where the Queen's officials were staying and where the news came through that King George VI had died. It still has the same old-world atmosphere with floral sofas and a half-timbered dining room which could have been transplanted from a grand Scottish shooting lodge. The terrace has wonderful views across to snow-capped Mount Kenya while, in the grounds, sits an intriguing cottage which was the final home of Lord Baden-Powell, father of the Scout movement. Today, it is a popular scouting museum. Thanks to its high altitude there's no malaria in this part of Kenya, and the climate is delightful, too - sun block and breezes all day, log fires at night. There is also an astonishing range of landscapes all within an hour of each other; you can spend a superb afternoon at the 17,000-acre Solio Ranch where you see dozens of white rhino and a solitary, bad-tempered black one, too. At the 90,000-acre Ol Pejeta Conservancy (wide plains and rivers), you spend an afternoon watching a lions ambushing bongo antelopes and also see hippos. The rise in popularity of the Treetops is partially due to Elizabeth II's visit and accession in 1952, but also partially due to their no see, no pay policy during their early years — a common business policy on Kenya safaris of the nineteen seventies where guests on a Kenya holiday to Treetops were not charged for services and accommodation if they failed to see any big game. Visitors can observe the wildlife from the top deck, the viewing windows in the communal space, or from ground level hides. They can also take game drives from the Treetops. The Treetops remains an overnight safari destination with only overnight luggage being allowed, and visitors being driven in from the Outspan for the night, some quest who want total seclusion from the world choose to stay at Treetops for many nights, Other facilities include a thousand watt artificial moon used to illuminate animals at the waterhole during dark nights. Another unusual restriction at the Treetops is a low decibel level restriction due to the hearing sensitivity of many animals, including a ban on all hard wooden soled footwear, but who wears those…….. The visit of Princess Elizabeth cemented the fame of The Treetops. The visit of Princess Elizabeth was immortalised in Jim Corbett's (who was a resident "hunter" at Treetops) final book Tree Tops, which was published by the Oxford University Press in October 1955, 6 months after Corbett's death (19 April 1955). Archival footage of the royal visit has also survived. Following the media hype over the accession of Elizabeth II, the Treetops attracted a large number of rich and famous people every year. Some famous personalities and celebrities who visited the Treetops Lodge before or after the accession of Elizabeth II are Charlie Chaplin, Joan Crawford and Lord Mountbatten and a much-publicized return visit by Elizabeth II. Sited in the heart of the dense lichen hung forest for the Aberdare National Park's Salient, Treetops overlooks two waterholes and magnificent snowy peaks of Mount Kenya. For the safety and comfort of several observation lounges, guests can photograph at close quarters the territorial charge of short sighted rhino, a protective elephant matriarch chaperoning her calf, the graceful bounding of a bushbuck doe. Families of lions, have on more than one occasion, made a meal of some poor unfortunate warthog to the fascinated horror of Treetops diners. Dinner is served and interrupted by a party of elephants. For some, it’s the excitement of having the worlds largest land mammals in residence. Daniel Musau who has worked at the Treetops Lodge for close to two decades and welcomed prince Edward and his wife at treetops will tell you that when Mount Kenya invisible, it means the gods are having a closed door meeting. In the spotlight below, a baby elephant is busy trying to shake something off its trunks as the mother stays close bye. The silent is busy with the resident animals all scrambling for a drink at the water hole, one taking a midnight muddy bath in the shallow waters. Their antics are well- known amongst the staff.” If you look at the buffaloes, you’ll see that many are missing a tail. Its because of these hyenas,” says Daniel. The black rhino and her calf walk the exact path to the waterhole, drink, linger for a while and then disappear into the darkness. The good news is that the Aberdare rhino population is increasing. There is an estimated 165 in the 776 square kilometers park. Things have changed over time. In the 1950s, he animal migration routes were still intact between Mt Kenya and the Aberdares. Elephants and other mega- herbivores like rhinos and buffaloes have followed the grass routes for centuries, allowing the grasses to regenerate. Today, the Aberdare national park is farmed up to the fence line. In the hotel lobby, a poster catches your eye. It’s from the Rhino Ark in partnership with the Kenya Wildlife Service, the custodians of the country’s wildlife heritage. To reduce the conflict between the animals and farmers, the wildlife partners came up with the idea of fence. So far 265 kilometers have been completed with 85 to go. The reasons given for the fencing are that it will conserve the water catchment as the aberdares are one of the five water towers of Kenya; it will conserve its indigenous forest and the rhinos and other wildlife; it will bring humans in harmony with the habitat and wildlife. Anyone wishing to support the project can donate US$20 which will take care of one meter of fence or US$100 which will build five meters of fence. After a late breakfast in the company of the buffaloes at the Treetops, you depart for the Outspan Hotel which is the base hotel for Treetops Lodge. Treetops hotel have open balconies for viewing and photography; two photographic hides at ground level at either end of the lodge allow really close shots of unsuspecting animals. There is an optional buzzer in every room that alerts the guests if something special were to show up at night. As the game comes to the lodge, no game drives or walking Safaris are needed. On the roof-top, feeders are set out for the birds at afternoon tea-time, and these often attract Olive Baboons. These are so tame that it is tempting to feed or pet them, but you must not - they can become dangerous. Later, after dinner, (an experience in itself) food is put out for bush babies, which you are very unlikely to see in other circumstances. Genets are also likely to come in for food. See the big 5 coming down to the waterhole for a drink as well as many other species of animal and bird.
All Standard rooms have twin beds that can be converted to king size double bed. All en-suites also have showers and are fitted with a luggage rack for the safari suitcase. The three executive suites offer you the best atmosphere to stretch and relax. Each executive suite has a wardrobe, bathtub with overhead shower and an extended sitting area with large windows overlooking the watering hole. The Treetops is a disability friendly hotel in that it provides a disability friendly room. This room is located on the 1st floor of the Treetops Nyeri Lodge and has a ramp that enables access to other public areas; celebrate the journey of your love on the Royal Honeymoon at Treetops Lodge in Aberdare National Park. The Treetops Lodge rose to fame on 5th February 1952, when Princess Elizabeth went up the tree lodge a Princess and the following day came down a Queen.
The newly refurbished Treetops Lodge offers superior game viewing, personalized service and serene environment recipe for a perfect honeymoon. Suite accommodation is a must for the lovebirds with a special treat of Champaign breakfast in the room. An exclusive full day tour of the Moorlands is arranged to spot more wildlife and a glimpse of scenic view of Aberdare Ranges and Mt Kenya. Lunch picnic style is served at Queens’s cave (so called because the Queen Mother had lunch on her visit in 1959) near Magura waterfall. To commemorate this romantic getaway of a lifetime, the couple will plant a tree as a symbol of their union. Package Highlights: 2 night’s full board accommodation in a suite. Champaign breakfast. Full day exclusive tour of the moorlands with a guide. Tree planting and engraved congratulation plaque.
treetops restaurant dining room has a totally new look from the furniture to ambiance and fitted with large windows. You can sit on an individual table that allows privacy. The tables are illuminated by mini chandeliers making dinner a romantic affair. The Treetops Restaurant is also equipped with an active cooking station, modern salad counter and buffet counter. We also have Treetops Dinners and buffet breakfasts served at the lodge. The Treetops Lodge main bar is located next to the lounge and is a popular venue for refreshing drinks and specialty coffee. The bar also gives you an unobstructed view of animals coming to drink at the watering hole. Free Wi-Fi is now available for communication with loved ones abroad.
Treetops Meeting room is for guests needing a venue to brainstorm and share ideas in a quiet place away from the hustle and bustle of urban life. The meeting room accommodates 14 guests comfortably and is fully equipped with a flat screen for presentations, Wi-Fi internet connection, Copier/Printer and Scanner. The Meeting room is ideal for Corporate Teams (Leadership teams, Boards) or any small groups e.g. families requiring meeting in an intimate place. No. All bedrooms are en-suite with own shower and toilet. Some rooms (x5) have a bathtub as well. The room’s capacity reduced after the renovation from 50 to 36 rooms that include 3 suites and 33 standard rooms. All rooms can be set up as a twin or a double room while up to 5 Rooms can be set up as a Triple. All rooms have large windows that allow natural light and view of the animal water hole. The Lodge façade, tree concept and building size did not change. A new outdoor Jungle bar and ramp entrance enhances the walk from the car park to the Lodge. Smoking is restricted to one designated rooftop area in the Lodge. Guests can now carry normal suitcases as all rooms have either a luggage rack (standard rooms) or inbuilt wardrobes (Suites). Check-in is still at Outspan where a Gate pass is provided and lunch is served before proceeding to the Lodge. Room keys are provided at the Lodge, There is now a car park at the Lodge (not visible from the lodge), so guests are free to drive to Treetops. Directions are available on request and the Gate pass provided during Outspan check-in is required. Guests must arrive at the Lodge before 6pm, Complimentary bus transfer for guests who choose not to self-drive is still available. The transfer cost is inclusive of the accommodation rate BUT complimentary transfers are provided only at 2:30pm and 3:30pm. Any guest transfer requested outside the fixed schedule will attract a transfer fee. Breakfast is now served at the Lodge and so guests can depart at their own leisure after breakfast. The refurbishment included new Kitchen and Dining layout plus equipment. The Dining room now has individual tables with mini chandeliers above each table with Table-d’hot or cold/hot buffet service. Large windows enhance the ambience and wildlife viewing. The Waterhole was completely landscaped to improve animal visits and appearance. The two Photography hides are still available close to the waterhole. Lounge and Bedrooms have large windows for better viewing. Buzzers are still available in the rooms to wake up guests for sightings. Animal sightings continue to be superior to other similar Lodges and data can be viewed in this website, A disability friendly room is located on the 1st floor and a gradual Ramp provides access to all Lodge floors (no steep staircase), KWS launched a new 100Ha Jubilee Forest paddock with 4Km fence and capacity to hold 110,000 trees adjacent to the Lodge. This is part of the company’s “Return the Bush” initiative. Guests are invited to plant trees to support this initiative, two night stays are now possible. Activities include Game drives, Bush Meals, Coffee/Tea Farm visits, Bird walks and Paxtu Museum (latter 2 in Outspan). Two Wifi hot spots are now available for free including one in the Lounge and bar, children below 5 years are not allowed except on children’s night, being a game viewing lodge guest silence and behavior is critical to ensure animals are not driven away from the waterhole
Mount Kenya and the Aberdare Mountains, protected in a pair of national parks whose closest borders lie about 60km (30 miles) apart, comprise the highest reaches of the central highlands north of Nairobi, peaking at altitudes of 5,199 metres (17,058ft) and 3,999 metres (13,120ft) respectively. Connected by a grassy saddle, these massive mountains are also the country’s most important watersheds, and their upper reaches support a unique and largely pristine highland habitat noted for its wealth of hardy endemic plants and small animals. The two national parks of the central highlands were set aside mainly for their significance as the country’s most important sources of freshwater. And in touristic terms, their majestic upper reaches – a starkly beautiful Afro-alpine moorland studded with clear freshwater tarns and, in the case of Mount Kenya, giving way to sheer rocky crags and glaciers – are accessible only to dedicated hikers prepared for high altitude conditions, subzero temperatures, and the possibility of blinding blizzards. Of greater interest to more sedentary tourists are a trio of hide-like “tree hotels” that stud the mountains’ lower slopes, offering a superb opportunity to watch big game from the comfort of your room. Aberdares national park, established in 1950, encompasses an area of around 715 sq km and is one of Kenya's only virgin forest reserves. The Aberdare Park is the third highest massif in the country, with dramatic peaks, deep valleys, enormous spectacular waterfalls cascading down the rock face, volcanic outcrops of bizarre proportions and undulating moorlands. There is a huge amount of wildlife although birdlife is rich, and the walks around the Aberdares wildlife park offer tremendous views. The Aberdares national park is 10 km from Nyeri and 165 km from Nairobi. From Nyeri you can enter the park through three gates: Ruhuruini Gate, Wandare Gate and Kiandongoro Gate where you can obtain or reload your Park fees Smartcard. The lodges in Aberdares national park and hotels organize transfers and game drives, and there are hiking trails although a armed ranger guide is compulsory. The Aberdares is a range of mountains to the west of Mount Kenya, running in a north- south direction between Nairobi and Nyahururu (Thomson's Falls). The Aberdares come to a peak at about 4000 m and the middle and upper reaches are densely forested with thickets of bamboo, giant heath and tussock grass. The eastern and western slopes in particular are covered with dense forest and tree ferns in places. The Aberdare volcanic mountain ranges cover much of the central province of Kenya that stretches from North of Nairobi and into the east. There are two major peaks on the Aberdares; Ol Donyo Lesatima at 3,999 m and Kinangop at 3,906 m divided using a huge saddle of Alpine moorland within 3,000 metres, among the Kikuyu people they are very sacred and are traditionally believed to be the home of their god also called Ngai. Aberdare National Park covers the higher part of the ranges at 2100m to 4100m above sea level, shaped by deep valleys, water streams, rivers, Thompson falls, and dense rain forests. The park is managed by the Kenya Wildlife service is one of the most visited Kenya national parks and game reserves. Animals easily observed include the African leopard, African bush elephant, East African wild dog, giant forest hog, bushbuck, mountain reedbuck, waterbuck, cape buffalo, suni, side-striped jackal, eland, duikers, olive baboon, black and white colobus monkey and sykes monkey. Rarer sightings include those of the African golden cat and the bongo - an elusive forest antelope that lives in the bamboo forest. Animals like the eland and spotted and melanistic serval cats can be found higher up in the moorlands. The Aberdare National Park also contains a large population of the black rhino. Visitors can also indulge in walking, picnics, in the rivers and camping in the moorlands. Even the bird viewing is rewarding, with over 250 species of birds in the park, including the endangered Aberdare cisticola, Jackson's francolin, sparry hawk, goshawks, eagles, sunbirds and plovers. It is a traditional belief of the Kikuyu that the Aberdare Mountain Range, where this park is located, is one of the homes of Ngai, or God. In order to protect the bongo antelope the lions of Aberdare have been moved to other national parks, The park is basically divvied up into two zones. The western part is dense forest and mostly interesting for the beauty of its terrain; here, on the Aberdare slopes, is where hikers and climbers may set out on foot accompanied by an armed ranger. Most visitors, however, stick to the developed Salient region, which occupies the eastern part of the park and is where the, Treetops Lodge is located and where there's far greater opportunity to spot animals. While trekking through the woods and enjoying the natural Kenyan habitat, one would probably not expect to come face to face with the largest living land mammal. The African elephant can grow to be 13 feet tall and weigh up to 26,000 pounds! “In the thick high altitude forest of the Aberdare National Park in Kenya, it is not uncommon to come round a corner and startle a bull elephant such as this one. Aberdare National Park is open daily from 6am till 6pm. You can either drive to the Aberdares on paved roads all the way from Nairobi, or fly to Nanyuki and then drive via Nyeri (154km/95 miles from Nairobi) or Naro Moru to get to the park's eastern entrances; your ground operator can make all such arrangements for you. Smaller, less commercial airstrips (Mweiga airstrip and Nyeri) are also available for charter flights to points much closer to the park. There's a road that wends its way across the park, linking the eastern boundary with entrances to the west, where you can drive in from Naivasha (87km/54 miles from Nairobi) in the Rift Valley; this requires tremendous stamina, however, as the roads that cut through the park's mountain regions are tricky and seemingly endless -- although not without great vistas. If you stay inside the park, it'll be at Treetops Lodge and you'll be shuttled there as part of the hotel package. Once you arrive, there's seldom any reason to move on or around until departure. If, however, you're staying for 2 nights or more you can arrange for daytime game drives at an extra cost. These days, it's also possible to explore the park under your own steam -- a 4X4 is essential, and you will definitely need to get up-to-the-minute details on road accessibility, particularly following any rain. Set midway between Mount Kenya and the Aberdare national park, Solio is Africa's most successful private rhino breeding reserve. It started with the introduction of 23 critically endangered black rhinos in 1970 and 10 years later the first white rhinos were imported from South Africa. Today Solio has 67 black rhinos and 150 white rhinos – the highest density in East Africa. Among them is Hoshim, born in Tsavo 40 years ago and said to be East Africa's oldest black rhino, and Otoro, a white rhino with East Africa's longest horn – measuring an incredible 1.75 metres. The reserve itself is roughly the size of Nairobi National Park and is also home to lion, leopard, buffalo and a host of plains game including animals normally associated with northern Kenya such as beisa oryx and reticulated giraffe. Of all the big game only elephant are absent – which explains why so many of Solio's magnificent yellow-barked acacias are still standing, From the moment you arrive it is clear that Solio is a bird watcher's dream, a long-crested eagle with chocolate plumage and yellow talons glared from a dead tree, Montagu's harriers sail on outstretched wings over the lion-coloured grasslands and a pair of tame crowned cranes (known, inevitably, as Will and Kate), engaged in a graceful courtship dance on the lawn, But the rhinos are the main attraction and at Solio they are hard to miss, The only cloud on the horizon is the surge in poaching fuelled by China's hunger for rhino horn. Used in traditional Chinese medicine, rhino horns are worth more than their weight in gold and are currently changing hands at up to $60,000 (£37,484) a kilo. With thousands of Chinese at work in Kenya on new roads and other development projects, Solio has become a prime target for poachers and the reserve lost at least 12 rhinos last year. Visitors are safe because the poachers operate at night when tourists are safely tucked up in bed, but the rhinos are vulnerable in spite of round-the-clock foot patrols by armed rangers. To beef up security, the 30 miles of electric fencing at Solio is being upgraded and fitted with an automated intruder alarm system that will cost at least US $500,000 (£312,316). Meanwhile, the Kenya Wildlife Service is planning to translocate a dozen black rhinos to the Aberdare national park, just a 20-minute drive away. Unlike the rolling savannahs and flat-topped thorn trees of lowland Kenya the Aberdares is a mountain world whose deep ravines and dense cloud forest provide a refuge for all kinds of animals including some seldom seen elsewhere. The bongo – a shy chestnut antelope the size of a pony – lingers like a legend in the bamboo groves. Melanistic serval cats roam the alpine moorlands above the tree line, and the giant forest hog – 500lbs of pork encased in a bristly black hide – snuffles about in the leaf litter. "This is the only place in the world where you are ever likely to see a black leopard," says Colin Church, in the Aberdares, who is more concerned about the fate of the park's black rhinos. Church's love affair with the Aberdares began when he was 14 and on a trout fishing expedition during the Mau Mau uprising. Today this former journalist and Nairobi PR guru heads the management committee of Rhino Ark the organisation responsible for the electric fence that now protects the park. The first post was sunk in 1988, a time when poachers were driving the black rhino to extinction, and the idea was to protect the park's eastern salient which lies right up against some of Kenya's most fertile farmlands. That was when Ken Kuhle, a qualified engineer with a bee in his bonnet about conservation, kick-started the Rhino Charge, a rip-roaring, off-road four-wheel racing event that now raises more than $1 million (£624,500) a year. A 7ft-tall electric fence seemed like the most effective way of keeping the wildlife safe. At the same time it prevented elephants breaking out on crop-destroying sprees, and the idea is was popular with the local communities that what began as a crazy dream to ring-fence the rhino ended up by saving a whole mountain range. When completed in March last year it encircled 2,000 sq km (772 sq miles) of indigenous forest and high alpine moors, including the entire Aberdare national park. "The sheer size of the task was mind-blowing," says Church. "If you were able to unravel all the wire cable strung around the Aberdares it would stretch from Nairobi to London." Its importance cannot be overestimated – not for the Aberdare rhinos of which only a handful remain – but in protecting the mountains that catch the rains. With its 4,000m (13,123ft) summits and mist-shrouded forests the Aberdare range is a giant sponge feeding five of Kenya's major rivers. One in three Kenyans depends upon it for power and water, including the entire city of Nairobi. No wonder Church calls it "one of our most precious water towers". The result has been a win-win situation for everyone except the illegal loggers, land-grabbers, grazers and poachers. The park's wildlife enjoys greater protection and the 40,000 families living within a mile of the fence no longer have to put up with crop-raiding elephants. Most visitors to the Aberdare Park end up at one of its two forest lodges – Treetops Lodge and the Ark Lodge. Both are situated in the eastern salient, a beautiful area of flowering chestnuts, lofty cedars and podocarpus trees with massive fluted trunks. Treetops, founded in 1932, is the oldest tourist lodge in Kenya, and in 1952 it became the world's most famous tree house when Princess Elizabeth learnt of the death of her father while she was there on an official visit. Jim Corbett, the legendary hunter who was resident at the time, recorded the event in the Treetops logbook. "For the first time in the history of the world," he wrote, "a young girl climbed into the tree as a princess and climbed down next day as a queen." There is no need to go jolting around in the bush when you stay at this snug redoubt. Instead the animals come to you – lured by a natural salt lick. Darkness falls with a shrilling of frogs as the waterhole, with its ghostly herons, is transformed into a floodlit arena, a theatre in which all kinds of dramas are enacted nightly. Big Cats, Elephant, Hynes, buffalo and giant forest hog all put in a regular appearance and there is a buzzer in your room to wake you if nocturnal superstars such as leopards put in an appearance. Beyond the salient, winding trails climb higher into the park beneath centuries-old hagenia trees dripping with moss and lichens. Wooded ravines echo to the hiss of 900ft waterfalls; and when at last you emerge from the bamboo zone it is to find yourself high in the clouds, where the summit of Oldoinyo La Satima broods over a desolation of sombre moorlands. You could almost think you were in Scotland; perhaps somewhere in the high-tops above Ullapool or Loch Maree. And then you notice the giant lobelias, the clumps of heather as tall as your head, and a herd of eland trotting over the skyline and know you are standing on the roof of Africa. Aberdares National Park Fees, Adults pay $70 and children $35 to enter Aberdare National Park (euros and sterling are also accepted); entry is by Safaricard only, which can be purchased and recharged at park headquarters not far from The Ark Gate near Nyeri. Note that shuttle buses going to the lodges inside the park will stop at park headquarters first -- so that guests can load sufficient credit onto their cards -- before proceeding to the gates. This can be a time-consuming and infuriating ordeal, and the fewer people who need to charge their cards, the shorter the wait will be. Visitors to Solio Game Reserve pay $40 each, plus there's a Ksh800 charge per vehicle and you'll pay a Ksh500 entry fee for your driver and/or guide. The park is open daily from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm. Entry on foot is prohibited and visitors are turned away after 6:15 pm. Entry to the park is by smart card only, obtained and loaded at the main gate. The park has varieties of fauna, flora and scenery not found anywhere else. Elephants and buffalos dominate, but other species including black rhino, spotted hyenas, bongo antelopes, bush pigs, giant forest hogs, black servals and rare black leopard, can also be seen. Look out for the few remaining lions (most were removed from the park to protect the endangered bongo antelopes) from the viewing platform next to the dramatic Chania falls and Karura falls. Gura falls which drops down a full 300 m drop to a thick forest are less accessible. Hundreds of bird species thrive, including giant king fishers and regal crowned cranes. Viewing wildlife here is not like you find it on the open savannah of Amboseli and Maasai Mara. The dense rainforest of the salient provide excellent cover for the animals, so it's best to take your time and stay a few nights. Thanks to rough terrain and minor roads turning in to mud traps during the rain, the KWS (Kenya Wildlife Service) restricts entry to all but 4WD vehicles. The park thus rarely features in safari itineraries and is even less visited by independent travelers. However, if you are prepared tohire a vehicle, join the lodge's tours', or hoof it on foot, your effort will be rewarded. KWS currently advises against trekking in the salient, as the dense cover does make walking safaris dangerous for visitors, but the high moorland and four main peaks (all 3500m to 4000m) are excellent trekking safari spots. As is the case on Mt Kenya, heavy rain can arrive at any time, so you must be prepared. Mud and reduced visibility are two good reasons not to trek during the heavy rains (from March to May). You'll need advance permission from the warden at park headquarters, who'll provide an armed ranger (Ksh 3000 per day) to guide you and protect you against inquisitive wildlife. Fishing in Aberdare National Park and Trout fishing is very popular, especially high up on the moors, but requires a permit from park headquarters (Ksh 100) kiagondoro makes a good base and the Chania river is great for brown trout, but watch your back-there are tales of fishers being stalked by lions! Lions or not, best get an armed ranger to escort you. Other activities that can be carried out in the park include camping. Kindly note that there are lions here and the thick forest bush means you can be extremely close to one without having an idea. Mist and rain occur throughout much of the year, with precipitation varying from around 1000mm yearly on the north western slopes to as much as 3000mm in the south east. Heavy rainfall occurs through most of the year.
A popular stopover for safaris heading further north and an increasingly important wildlife viewing destination in its own right, the Laikipia Plateau extends northward from the central highlands to form an ecological stepping stone to the barren badlands of Samburu. Unlike Kenya’s other safari destinations, Laikipia has no official protected area at its core (unless you count an as yet undeveloped 70-sq-km/25-sq-mile national park proclaimed in November 2011) but is instead composed of a patchwork of small reserves of which the best known are Lewa Downs, Ol Pejeta and Solio Ranch. The region collectively hosts Kenya’s most important populations of black rhino, white rhino, cheetah, Grevy’s zebra and greater kudu, alongside most other typical safari favourites.
The highest mountain in Kenya and second highest in Africa (after Kilimanjaro), Mount Kenya is an extinct volcano that formed within the last five million years and has two main peaks: Batian (5,199 metres/17,057ft) and Nelion (5,188 metres/17,022ft). The entire area above the 3,470-metre (11,375ft) contour line, together with two salients stretching down the western slopes, are protected within Mount Kenya National Park, which covers an area of roughly 715 sq km (275 sq miles), and is encircled by a 2,100-sq-km (810-sq-mile) forest reserve. Gazetted in 1949, the national park and forest reserve were jointly inscribed as a Unesco World Heritage Site in 1997. The salients excepted, Mount Kenya
The highest mountain in Kenya> and second highest in Africa (after Kilimanjaro), Mount Kenya is an extinct volcano that formed within the last five million years and has two main peaks: Batian (5,199 metres/17,057ft) and Nelion (5,188 metres/17,022ft). Mount Kenya
The highest mountain in Kenya and second highest in Africa (after Kilimanjaro), Mount Kenya is an extinct volcano that formed within the last five million years and has two main peaks: Batian (5,199 metres/17,057ft) and Nelion (5,188 metres/17,022ft). Mount Kenya National Park begins where the upper forest merges with the heath zones of mostly Erica arborea, a weirdly shaped bush often as large as a tree and covered with moss and lichen. From above 3,300 metres (11,000ft), this giant heather is replaced by open moorland covered in tussock grass and studded with many species of giant lobelia and groundsel growing to a height of about 4 metres (15ft). The ground is a rich profusion of everlasting helichrysums and alchemillas, interspersed with gladioli, delphiniums and red-hot pokers. The many mountain ridges resemble the spokes of a wheel meeting at a central hub formed by the gigantic spikes of Batian and Nelion. These are surrounded by many other smaller peaks, snow fields and glaciers, tarns, lakes, waterfalls and imposing scree slopes. The peaks are the remnants of a central core of an ancient volcanic crater, the rim of which has long since eroded away. Below these jagged summits are intersecting glacier routes up 4,985 metres (16,355ft) to Point Lenana, the highest peak attainable to visitors without specialised climbing equipment or experience. The mountain’s wide variety of birds ranges from the mighty Verreaux’s eagle and lammergeyer (bearded vulture) to the delicate multicoloured sunbirds. Other distinctive species include crowned eagle, mountain buzzard, Mackinder’s eagle-owl, Jackson’s francolin, golden-winged sunbird, scarlet-tufted malachite sunbirds and moorland chat. The forests below the moorlands contain a rich abundance of wildlife including elephant, buffalo, lion, leopard, bushbuck, giant forest hog, bushpig, several species of duiker, black-and-white colobus, and Sykes’ monkeys. The remains of an elephant and several buffaloes have been found in the peak region above 4,300 metres (14,000ft) but no one knows why they ventured into these high zones. Tracks of leopards and wild dogs have occasionally been recorded in the snow at around 4,600 metres (15,000ft) above sea level. The attractive features of the mountain are 32 small lakes and colourful tarns. Hall Tarn is superbly situated, overlooking a valley and Lake Michaelson, well over 300 metres (1,000ft) below. At the Curling Pond, beneath the Lewis Glacier, it’s possible to skate and the game of curling has been played there. Dense rainforests cover the lower salients and slopes of the mountain and the main tree species are the cedar, olive and podo (podocarpus). Above this lies a bamboo zone at approximately 2,400 metres (7,800ft), which in turn gives way to a belt of glorious rosewood (hagenia) trees and giant St John’s wort (hypericum) before dying out at the heath zone at 3,200 metres (10,400ft).
The 265-sq-km (93-sq-mile) Lewa Wildlife Conservancy has been the home of the Craig family since 1924. It operated solely as a cattle ranch until 1983 when part of it was set aside as a wildlife sanctuary, was followed by the rest of the property a few years later. Based at Lewa Safari Camp, adjacent to the family ranch house, the Craigs and their staff offer a choice of guided game walks, horseback rides, daytime game drives and night drives through an area of craggy hills inhabited by plentiful wildlife. Lewa is a vital stronghold for Grevy’s zebra (an estimated population of 400 to 500 individuals represents 15 to 20 percent of the global total), and it also harbours more than 100 rhino, with both species likely to be seen over the course of a two-night stay. Also likely to be seen are lion, cheetah, elephant, buffalo, reticulated giraffe and a wide variety of antelope including the localised sitatunga antelope, which was translocated to Lewa from Saiwa Swamp National Park in the 1980s. The sanctuary is run as a non-profit-making organisation, with proceeds being pumped back into conservation, or diverted to local community projects and economic development.
Day visitors are also welcome at Ol Pejeta Ranch which is the busiest conservancy in Laikipia thanks to the presence of a 40-room tented camp, and the closest to Nanyuki Airport. Ol Pejeta incorporates the original Sweetwaters Game Reserve, which was set aside in 1988 as a rhino sanctuary, but it now incorporates the entire 365-sq-km (140-sq-mile) ranch following its acquisition by the UK-based conservation organization Fauna and Flora International. Game viewing here is excellent, with a good chance of encountering lion, elephant, buffalo, and black and white rhino over the course of an overnight stay. Also present are reticulated giraffe, Beisa oryx, Thomson’s and Grant’s gazelle (the latter an unusually dark form), Jackson’s hartebeest and Beisa oryx. Both Kenyan species of zebra are present and it is the one place we are aware of where they regularly hybridise. Two smaller sanctuaries and more specialised sanctuaries lie within Ol Pejeta. The better known is theSweetwater’s Chimpanzee Sanctuary, which was founded in 1993 to protect orphaned chimps, housed at the Jane Goodall Institute in Burundi prior to the outbreak of civil war there. This is Kenya’s only population of chimpanzee (which does not occur in the country naturally) and it can be viewed from the footpath forming part of the sanctuary’s boundary that follows the opposite bank of the Ewaso Nyiro River. Rather more esoteric is the White Rhino Sanctuary, where four of the world’s last eight remaining northern white rhino have lived since they were transported there from a European zoo in 2008. Easily distinguished from their southern counterparts by their hairier ears, the sanctuary’s northern rhinos have all been dehorned, a move that makes them less vulnerable to poachers (and, it must be said, less attractive to photograph).
Starting early morning or late afternoon, this 2hr Game Drive in the Salient Zone of the Aberdare National Park is taken with an experienced Driver Guide and 4WD Vehicle. This zone is truly spectacular as it is the home of a large population of animals including four of the big five including the Black Rhino, the Leopard, Elephant, and Buffalo. You can also view the Spotted Hyena, the Sykes, Colobus and Black-faced Vervet monkeys. Lastly, one can view very rare animal species including the Bongo Antelope and the Giant Forest Hog. This is due to its abundance of pastureland and watering holes
The Full day Moorlands Game Drive is your opportunity to view undulating hills, bogs, clear mountain streams, numerous waterfalls and magnificent scenery. Animals are the biggest highlight of this game drive with visitors set to see four of the big five including the Black Rhino, the Leopard, Elephant, and Buffalo. You can also view the Spotted Hyena, the Sykes, Columbus and Black-faced Vervet monkeys. Lastly, one can view very rare animal species including the Bongo Antelope and the Giant Forest Hog. During this game drive, you are also poised to visit the spectacular Karuru Falls which fall into three steps and cascade 300m into an impenetrable ravine. You will also be able to visit the Chania Falls, Magura Falls and the Queen’s Cave.
The 4 Hour Solio Ranch Game Drive is your chance to view the black and white rhinos at the Solio Game Reserve which is a privately-owned wildlife conservancy geared toward rhino conservation. The 17,500-acre reserve, 22 km north of Nyeri town plays a major part in the protection and breeding of black rhinos in Kenya. It is recognized as one of the most successful private rhino breeding reserves in Kenya. Besides the black and white rhino, our visitors can view some unique wildlife species including the Buffalo, Zebra, Giraffe, Eland, Oryx, Impala, Waterbuck, Thompson’s Gazelle and Warthog. The Salient zone is indeed spectacular since all these wild animals co-exist together. This game drive taken with our experienced Drivers/Guides and 4WD vehicles allows visitors to explore the magnificent Solio Ranch.
The 2hr late afternoon Sundowner Game Drive is a perfect time to enjoy the beautiful sunset at the Aberdares while watching all the animals found in the Aberdare National Park. It is also a chance to see the beautiful indigenous flora and fauna that is synonymous with the Aberdares. The Sundowner Game Drive is taken with 4WD Vehicles and is guided by experienced Drivers / Guides who are experts in helping the visitors spot wild animals even from their hideouts. Their expertise will leave you cherishing your time on the game drives for a long time to come. During the Sundowner, you are poised to see four of the big five including the Black Rhino, the Leopard, Elephant, and Buffalo. You can also view the Spotted Hyena, the Sykes, Colobus and Black-faced Vevet monkeys. Lastly, one can view very rare animal species including the Bongo Antelope and the Giant Forest Hog. Last but not least, as you complete the Sundowner Game Drive, Treetops Lodge serves refreshing cocktails and dry bitings as you bask in the glory of the spectacular Aberdare sunset.
Explore the fauna and flora of the Aberdare National Park with a 30mins Naturalist guided tour within the fenced off “Jungle” adjacent to the Lodge
With prior booking enjoy an outdoor customized banqueting experience for either Dinner, BBQ and/or Cocktails at the Dining Room, Jungle Bar or Roof Top. TROUT FISHING
Full Day Fishing excursion to Moorlands in Aberdare National Park. Guest to self-drive with KWS Ranger Guide. Fishing Gear not inclusive. Treetops Kitchen will prepare the “Guest” Catch as preferred for free
With prior booking and availability, enjoy a 7km horse ride expedition from Treetops to “Prince Charles” Campsite and Jungle Bar Tea / Coffee and back. Enjoy scenery and game viewing. It is limited to 2 pax and the availability of KWS rangers and horses.
Treetops Lodge offers the choice of the best hotel and other accommodation in Kenya. Our hotel reviews will help you find the best deal in Nyeri and Aberdares Region, whether you are travelling last minute, as a family safari or need a accommodation in Aberdares while on holiday in Kenya we have the right hotel deal for you, we also have a 24 hour phone line if you would prefer to speak to someone at the reservations, don't forget about our Price Match Guarantee to ease your mind with your next booking, find, compare and book great accommodation at great prices all at Treetops safari Lodge, we provide you with some of the best hotel deals in Nyeri, Discover cheap rates on rooms, tucked away in the mountains or scattered in the countryside. With Treetops Lodge your Kenya hotel reservation options are endless, whether you plan a short trip with many stops, or a long trip with few stops, we have accommodations for that and anything in between. It’s easy to find cheap Kenya hotels deals for your Kenya vacation on Treetops Hotel. Choose your Kenya tour with Treetops Hotel and save on hotel stays, freeing up cash for Kenya holidays activities. The Treetops Hotel price guarantee ensures that you’ll get the cheapest available rates for this hotel in Kenya. Find the best hotels in Kenya: Treetops Lodge calls honeymooners, adventure seekers, and those looking to simply relax. Optimal year-round temperatures, cool breezes, from cheap hotels to luxury suites, you’ll find the perfect Kenyan destination, Plus, the Best Price Guarantee ensures you’re getting the best rates available right now, please contact us through telephone number provided oremail address on this Treetops Hotel website, Still revered as God’s abode when He was not on Mount Kenya; it was originally known as Nyandarua by the Kikuyu, which means ‘the drying hide’ because its contours have features akin to the folds of an unspread hide. Throughout history for the Kikuyu people it has been a holy mountain and one of the abodes of Ngai or God and till today people from the land below take the effort to climb to its peak for consultation of God. On its foothills near Murang’a, myth has it that the daughters of Gikuyu, the progenitor of all Kikuyu were born under a massive Mugumo tree which can still be visited today. Now known as the ‘Aberadares’ by many,the once upon a time Sattima Range is third highest mountain range in the country and the second highest ground in Central Kenya which forms the eastern wall of the Rift Valley where the former ‘white highlands’ were situated. It was named the Aberdare Range in 1884 by the famous explorer Joseph Thomson in honour of the 1st Baron, Lord Aberdare, before it became well known as the headquarters of Field Marshall Dedan Kimathi, the legendary leader of the 1950s Mau Mau Uprising. This region is a must for landscape lovers and has been a major attraction which continues to be a favorite destination of travelers who love the outdoors and wildlife. Although it is separate, the range is volcanic like most of the other mountains in Kenya and serves as a vital water catchment area providing water to the Tana and Athi rivers and part of Central Rift and Northern drainage basins. The Aberdare Rainforest feeds the entire local and Nairobi water supply. The Aberdare National Park is part of the higher areas of the Aberdare Mountain Range. It is surrounded by a predominantly indigenous forest which stretches over a wide divergence of terrains. This 160 km long mountain highland is about 2,100 m to 4,300 m above sea level with an average elevation of 3,500 metres with Ol Doinyo Lesatima which reaches a height of 3,999m and Kinangop 3,906m poised as its two key main peaks: Ranked as the highest park in Africa, since most of the plateau is located above an altitude of 3,000 m, Aberdare National Park contains a wide range of landscapes. Its unique features from its endemic flora to its atypical geography blend to create an environment of great ambient beauty equal only to that of Mt. Kenya itself. Managed under a MoU between Kenya Wildlife Services and the Forest Department; it was established in 1950 to protect the forested slopes and moors of the Aberdares Mountain. The Park was awarded an additional 584 km²extension onto the gazetted area and afterwards enlarged to around 770 km², making it the third largest park in the country. This area contains a rich botanic fortune which is a mixture of tropical affluence and alpine greenery composed of lichen-hung forests, groundsel, erica, hypericum and the fascinating seneccio which grow up to the 18 feet high,whose brilliant yellow flowers bloom but once in twenty years! The high moorlands of the Aberdare range which are evocative of the European highlands are a mosaic of thistles, tussock grass, lobelia and giant heathers camouflaged with moss surrounded by beautifully landscaped fields. Wild flowers such as gladioli and daisies. Red, pink, purple, yellow and orange everlastings are also abundant within its grassy fields during intervals of the year. Its remarkable topography is characteristically diverse with yawning ravines that curve through the arboraceous eastern and western slopes; presenting myriad of terra firma ranging from high moorland to deep gorges topped with rugged peaks, teeming mountain streams, undisturbed rivers and cascading waterfalls. As most of the country’s outstanding mountains, the Aberdares are composed of former volcanoes that were active some 5 to 6,5 million years ago. This is hard to recognize today though, since its Western flanks crumbled in a massive landslide 2 million years ago, when the neighboring part of the Rift Valley was caving in. The impressive result is visible as you approach the Aberdares from Naivasha through South Kinangop. When climbing the steep 600 meter walls and zigzag your way up through dense rainforests and bamboo thickets with your car, you will shout ‘ah’ and ‘oh’ for the spectacular views back into the Rift. The Eastern side of Nyandarua rolls out more gently into the plains towards Mt. Kenya. The Park consists of two distinct surroundings i.e. the Kinangop Plateau which is in the western portion of Aberdare National Park and comprises of moorland, bamboo forest alongside its peaks and the Salient with its dense rainforest to the east. The Salient has its origin in an ancient migratory route of elephants between the range and Mount Kenya. This rich diversity of vegetation is due to the rich, red volcanic soil which provides excellent growing conditions for the indigenous forest. From some vantage points the high altitude forests also provide sensational views of the resplendent crown of Mt. Kenya and the natural treasuries of the Great Rift Valley. Although game-viewing is not that easy due to the tall trees and obscuring undergrowth in the Park. The Aberdare National Park is a conducive home to most of the larger mammals, hosting the second largest population of black rhinos in Africa and over 200 species of birds including the Jackson’s Francolin, renown birds of prey, nectar eating sunbirds,waders like the plovers and some species of owls. Some rare sights include lions, the golden cat and the near extinct mountain Bongo, an elusive forest antelope that lives in the bamboo forest. At about 3,000m , the bamboo gives way to moorland where animals like the eland, the spotted and melanistic serval cats can be spotted. The albino zebra which is another curiosity has also been sighted here on few occasions. This a typically ideal haven to a number of endangered species such as the giant forest hog and rare wild dogs including Sunni Buck. Other animals easily seen in the park include the, leopard, baboon, black and white colobus monkey and Sykes monkey. The Aberdare National Park offers the ideal environment for exploring as one can go trekking throughout the forests and across the moorlands or even go horse riding at the foothills of the Aberdares. If you want to enjoy the nighttime wildlife viewing, both Treetops, also famous for its historical royal connection, and The Ark are the best choices. Visitors can observe different animals, such as elephants, lions, leopards, buffalo, rhinos and the like from here. These animals frequent the waterhole and can be seen from the comfort and security of the places nearby. There are five picnic sites available for those who enjoy picnicking. The park also provides favorable fishing opportunities in the cool mountain streams. Both brown and rainbow trout abound in these streams and provide excellent angling and a sport-fishing license can be obtained at the Park’s office. Visitors can also indulge in trout fishing in the ice-cold Guru Karuru and Chania Rivers or go camping in the moorlands. Photography and Bird viewing are other very rewarding pastimes you can also delight in. Elephants can still be seen occasionally although the dense vegetation makes it a challenge to see most of the animals. The Aberdares spectacular waterfalls include the famous Thompson’s Falls; Chania Falls and Karura Falls which have viewing platforms nearby to from where you can watch the hundreds of bird species found in the Park. It is also worth mentioning the Queen’s Caves which were made notoriously famous by the Mau Mau freedom fighters who used the caves as their hideouts and to preserve their meat due to their coolness during those historic days prior to independence. Another particularly exciting attraction is the Dedan Kimathi post office which is a giant mugumo tree where the rebels would leave messages for Kimathi’s attention. Other attractions apart from the Ol Doinyo Lesatima and Kinangop peaks are the Twin Hills, Elephant Hills and Table Mountains.In the surroundings there are a number of small farms and coffee estates that you can visit to get a better taste of Kenya.