Wildlife & Animals – Aberdare NP

Anthony Ham
Expert
By Anthony Ham

Anthony is a renowned Africa expert and author of many Lonely Planet guidebooks, including the guide to Kenya.

Anthony is a renowned Africa expert and author of the Lonely Planet guide to Kenya.

Anthony is the author of the Lonely Planet guide to Kenya.

Aberdare NP is home to all of the Big Five. However, it is not a typical Big Five destination. Bushbuck and defassa waterbuck are very common and sightings of elephant and buffalo are almost guaranteed. Leopard and black rhino are sometimes spotted at one of the tree hotel’s floodlit waterholes at night. Lion is rarely seen.

Abundant
Common
Occasional
Rare
None
ElephantCommon
HippoNone
BuffaloCommon
ZebraNone
LionRare
HyenaCommon

Wildlife Highlights

The park is a refuge to many interesting forest creatures, including several primates such as black-and-white colobus monkey and sykes monkey. Nocturnal animals, including giant forest hog and large-spotted genet, often visit the waterholes at night. The forest is also home to the very elusive and beautiful bongo antelope. Unfortunately, numbers have decreased over the last few decades and sightings are extremely rare.

Best Time for Wildlife Viewing

Wildlife viewing in the Aberdares is good throughout the year. Heavy rain occurs year-round, but June to September and December to February are the driest months. When staying at one of the tree hotels, the rain shouldn’t interfere with your safari. Elephants and some antelopes disperse to the higher altitudes during the Dry season.

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