Birdwatching in Aberdares National Park: Aberdares National Park is home rich in wildlife species, covering an area of about 767 square kilometers. The park was established as a national park in 1950 and famous for treetops where it drove its name from the Aberdares or Nyandarua mountains. Aberdares mountain ranges are isolate volcanic range that forms the easternmost wall of the Gregory Rift Valley to the east of the high Laikipia plateau. However, there are two main peaks, OL Donyo Lesatima at 3,999meter to the north and Kinangop measures 3,906 meter to the south divided by a long saddle of land above 3,000 meter.
More then, the small peak of Kipipiri raises 3,349 meter flanks the main range of the west that links to it by a formerly forested valley at around 2,700 meter. Deep ravines that divides through the forested eastern and western flanks and there are many clear streams and waterfalls.
The area has precipitation that varies from 1,000 millimeters on the drier north-western slopes and goes higher to 3,000 millimeters in the south-east. The vegetation varies with altitude.
Aberdares national park is located above the tree line with some forest and scrub at lower altitudes in the so-called salient near Nyeri. The forest reserve offers around 103,300 ha large occupies the lower slopes, the three main blocks that almost surround the game with Kipipiri Forest Reserve of 5,100 ha tacked on to the east. The park is a watery area that connects to Tana River system, for the northern Ewaso Nyiro River and for Lake Naivasha that provides much of the water supply for Nairobi and other adjoining districts, Birdwatching in Aberdares National Park .
Birding in Aberdares National Park
The park hosts with over 300 species bird checklist with a globally threatened names such as Sharpe’s Long claw, Aberdares Cisticola, Abbott’s Starling and Jackson’s widowbird. The best inhabits to spot birds in Aberdares include moorlands, high peaks and lower altitudes. Despite the park boosts of five of the 8 species of this endemics Bird Area and 53 of the seventy bird species of the Afrotropical Highlands biome that occur in Kenya while on Kenya Safaris Tours.
List of bird species to see in Aberdares National Park include ;Aberdares cisticola ,African green pigeon ,African goshawk ,Ayres’s hawk eagle ,Bar-tailed trogon ,Bronzy sunbird ,African paradise flycatcher ,Cinnamon chested bee-eater ,crowned eagle ,Moorland chat ,Mustached green tinker bird ,Narina trogon ,Montane white-eye ,Jackson’s francolin ,Hartaub’s turaco ,Golden-winged sunbird ,Doherty’s bush-shrike ,Crowned eagle ,Narina trogon ,Tacazze sunbird ,,Tambourine dove ,Silvery-cheeked hornbill ,Rufous –chested sparrow hawk ,Olive ibis ,Scarlet-tufted malachite sunbird ,white-headed wood-hoopoe but mentioned few. Although the most, African thrush, Crowned hornbill, Baglafecht weaver, Greater blue-eared starling, Hartlaub’s turaco among others.
Best time for Bird Watching
Aberdares National Park is a good birding destination which can be done throughout the year but the best time starts from November to April when the migrants from Europe and north Africa are present. During wet season many bird species can be viewed and many can be seen in breeding plumage as they are nesting. Forested bird species and some of moorland species are however resident all year around, so the drier months from June to September and December to February are good seasons for bird watching and forest hiking since the park can be out of watery and slippery.
Apart from birding, there are other activities you can do while on safari holidays in Aberdares National Park which include; Horse riding, Hiking, Nature walk, Spa activity, sundowner, Solio game ranch, bush breakfast, Birdwatching in Aberdares National Park .
Where to stay on birding safari in Aberdares National Park
Aberdares National Park has a nice outstanding accommodation units with good amenities that attracts visitors during their stay at the park, lodges ranges from luxury –Mid-range and Budget. They include; Ark lodge, Maverick Camp, Aberdares Fishing Lodge, Aberdares Cottage and Fishing Lodge among others.