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For other destinations and types of holiday, visit Kuoni
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Things to do in Kenya

Discover highland forests, moors and royal roots in Aberdare National Park

Explore on a game drive to see everything from black rhinos to colobus monkeys, leopards, baboons and wild cats…

By Helen Austin
Purchasing Manager for Alfred&

The Aberdares feels like nowhere else in Kenya. Picture cool, crisp air and mist swirling from the tops of tropical forests that go on for miles. The volcanic, 13,000-foot peaks of the Aberdares range stretch across Kenya’s central highlands all the way to the Great Rift Valley. Treks or game drives in the Salient will take you through afro-montane forests dotted with crashing waterfalls, where elephants and giant forest hogs emerge from the trees and on occasion, you can spot the shy bongo – Kenya’s rarest antelope.

This forested wonderland is a complete contrast with the Aberdare’s Kinangop plateau, which is covered with heather-spotted moorland that resembles Scotland. Explore the national park on a game drive for a chance to see everything from black rhinos to colobus monkeys, leopards, baboons and wild cats. Bird watchers will find plenty to love in the forests, which are home to over 250 species, while trout swarm the gargling rivers, drawing fishermen to its shores.

Aberdare is also a reminder of Kenya’s colonial past. It’s cool climes and dense forests were a magnet for British colonists, including Queen Elizabeth II, who was famously holidaying here in 1952 when her father King George VI died and she ascended the throne. Iconic colonial hotels like the Ark still stand as a reminder of this moment in history, boasting treetop rooms that overlook salt licks and waterholes teeming with wildlife. Later, the Aberdare’s dense forests became a fierce battleground during Kenya’s fight for independence in the 50s, when Kikuyu Mau Mau guerrillas waged war among the trees.


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  • Wildlife

Alfred & Helen Austin

Helen was fascinated by travel from an early age, avidly watching holiday programmes and dreaming of future travel plans. Fantasy became reality when she joined Kuoni just over 20 years ago, and she has continued to explore ever since. She fell in love with Africa on her first safari experience in Zambia, watching an elephant herd meander across a dusty track as the sun set dramatically. Subsequent trips to South Africa, Namibia, and Kenya have further fuelled her passion for the wildlife, diverse cultures, and beautiful landscapes of her favourite continent.

Plan your holiday withAlfred&

Your journey will start with one of our UK team – someone like Becky, who's travelled extensively in Kenya. They’ll shape your ideas into the trip of a lifetime. But they won't do it alone. They'll draw on the expertise of our contacts on the ground, connecting you to the people who'll make your holiday one you'll always remember - the safari rangers, local village chiefs and camp managers you'll be talking about for years to come. Start planning today, call us, email an enquiry or arrange a phone or video appointment for ideas and advice.

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