Aberdare National Park is in a cloud forest in some of the higher areas of Kenya's central highlands marked by deep ravines and forested mountain slopes. Because of its altitude -- mostly above 10,000 feet -- it's often shrouded in mist.
Animals often observed in the park include the black rhino, leopard, baboon, black and white colobus monkey and Sykes' monkey (Cercopithecus albogularis). Rarer are lions and the bongo, an elusive forest antelope that lives in the bamboo forest. Animals like the eland (a type of antelope) and serval cat (a solitary, nocturnal feline) can be found higher up in the moorlands.
Birders will note that there are more than 250 species of birds in the park, including the Jackson's Francolin (Pternistis jacksoni), sparrowhawk, goshawk, eagle, sunbird and plover.
Less than 100 miles from Nairobi, Aberdare National Park is near Nyeri and Naro Moru on its eastern side. Admission to the park for non-Kenyans is $50 for adults and $25 for children. Hours are 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. The iconic Treetops Hotel (built on stilts) is here. One can sit on the veranda and watch the animals at a nearby water-hole. The hotel on the path of an ancient elephant migratory route between the Aberdare Mountain Ranges and Mount Kenya National Park. Other choices include the Ark Lodge, also overlooking a water-hole, the Fish Lodge Guest House (trout fishing is popular in the park) and public campsites.