Birding in Aberdare National Park – Kenya
Birding in Aberdare national park is one of the major tourist attraction done with in the park and best encountered in bamboo forests and moorlands home that attracts various beautiful bird species. The most spotted and attractive bird here is the hartlaub’s turaco which can be seen at the feeding platform at the tree hotels as well as Aberdare cist cola an endemic which can be viewed at the higher altitudes. Other notable sun birds to encounter in the park include the rare scarlet-tufted malachite sunbird which can easily be spotted on the mountain peaks of Ol Donyo Lesatima that raises 3,999 meter to the North and Kinangop raises 3,906 meters to the south divided by a long saddle of the land raising over 3,000 meter. More so, the park is also comprised of small peak of Kipipiri at 3,349 meter flanks with is the main range to the west connecting to the formerly forested valley rising up to 2,700 meter above the sea level .Although the forested eastern and western flanks gives clear streams and waterfalls where various bird species can be sighted .In fact ,the area receives annual rainfall with precipitation varying from 1,000 millimeter on the drier side of north western slopes to 3,000melimeter in the southeast ,due to its vegetation that varies with altitude.
Aberdare national park is a wild game which was created in 1950, popularly known for its treetops where the name Aberdare is derived from .This treetops is located above the tree line with few forest vegetation and scrub at lower altitudes in the area of salient close Nyeri .More then, the park contains forest reserve of about 103,300 hectares that occupies the lower slopes and the three main blocks that surround the park close to Kipipiri Forest Reserve of 5,100 hectares that connect to the East.
The park also boosts with water catchment to the Tana River system that connects to various water bodies like River Ewaso, lake Naivasha which has turned into a famous water supply to Nairobi and other districts in the country.
Aberdare national park is a home for birders with more than 300 bird species and over five of eight species recorded as endemic bird species and 53 out of 70 bird species of the Afro-tropical Highland biome can be encountered in Kenya. The Aberdare region also consists three other birding sites namely ;Mukurweini Valley that lies in south-east of the Aberdares a great site to see Hinder Babblers .The Kikuyu Escarpment forest sits in the southern part of the park forest where tourists can sight see variety of species such as Orange Graund Thrush ,Long-tailed Cuckoo ,Barred long tailed Cuckoo ,Abbott’s Starling ,Red chested Owlet among others .There is the Kinangop Grasslands which is found in west of Aberdares ,a best place to view the Sharpe’s long claw one of Kenya’s national endemics.
Bird species to view in Aberdare national park include; Bar- tailed trogon, Augur buzzard, Ayres’s hawk eagle, African goshawk, Crowned eagle, Cinnamon chested bee-eater, Golden winged sunbird, Hunter’s cist cola, Moorland francolin, Mustached green tinker bird, Olive ibis, White headed wood-hoopoe, Tacazze sunbird, Golden winged sunbird, Olive ibis, Silvery cheeked hornbill, Sharpe’s long claw, Rufous chested sparrow hawk, Narina trogon many more.
Traveler may opt to do game viewing and such wild species to see with in the park include; African lion, Leopard, Golden cats and rare Bongo Antelopes best viewed in the bamboo forest, primate’s species to see in the forest include Baboon, Black and white colobus monkey and Sykes monkey.
Best time for Birding in Aberdare – Kenya Safaris
Birding in Aberdare national park can be done all year around but the best convenient time for birding is from the month of May to April and November to April when the migrate bird species from the Europe and north Africa are present in the park. Above all, birding is best enjoyed during wet season when the fruits are in abundant and the species can be easily seen in breeding plumage as they are nesting. Then from the month of June to September and December to February are drier months, good for forest hiking and watching residential bird species and game viewers.
Accessibility-Aberdare National Park
Aberdare national park can be easily accessed by road covering a distance of 150 kilometers by drive using 4×4 wheel safari vehicle.
Alternatively, you can use a domestic charter flight from Wilson Airport in Kenya to Mweiga Airstrip or Nyeri Airstrip which is located near at the park headquarter.
Book now your Birding Kenya Safari to Aberdare national park and enjoy the most beautiful bird species on planet, endeavor to carry a pair of binocular for your rewardable sights and comfortable hiking shoes.