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south africa

national parks (back to intro)

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Nairobi National Park
Hell's Gate National Park
Mount Longonot National Park
Lake Nakuru National Park
Lake Bogoria National Reserve
Lake Kamnarok National Reserve
Masai Mara National Reserve
Aberdare National Park
Mount Kenya National Park
Ol Donyo Sabuk National Park
Mwea National Reserve
Mount Elgon National Reserve
Saiwa Swamp National Park
Kakamega Forest National Reserve
Meru National Park
Samburu and
Buffalo Springs National Reserves

Tsavo East National Park
Tsavo West National Park
Amboseli National Park
Aberdare National Park

This park is located 180 km from Nairobi and stretches over a wide variety of terrains because it covers altitudes from about 7,000 feet to 14,000 feet above sea level. Established in May 1950, the Aberdare National Park covers an area of 767 square kilometers and forms part of the Aberdare Mountain Range. The park offers a wide range of beautiful landscapes - from the mountain peaks that rise to 14,000 feet above sea level, to their deep, v-shaped valleys intersected by streams and rivers, waterfalls, and even moorland, bamboo forests and rainforests as one goes down to lower altitudes.

Visitors to the park can find different types of accommodation according to their taste, ranging from the Treetops tree-house lodge, to the Ark - built in the shape of Noah's Ark - and three self-help banda sites, eight special campsites and a public campsite in the moorland. There are also five picnic sites. Both Treetops and Ark provide excellent nighttime wildlife viewing. From here, visitors can observe various animals, such as elephant, buffalo, lion and rhino, which get attracted to the waterholes. The park also includes two airstrips - at Mweiga & Nyeri.

Animals easily observed include the lion, leopard, baboon, black and white Colobus, and sykes monkey. Rarer sightings include those of the 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 the second largest population of the Black Rhino, unique to Kenya. Visitors can also indulge in walking, picnics, trout fishing 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 Jackson's Francolin, sparry hawk, goshawk, eagle, sunbird and plover. Completing the lovely picture is the belief of the traditional Kikuyu that the Aberdare Mountain Range, where this park is located, is one of the homes of Ngai, or God.

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