Aberdare National Park
Covering 766kmē, the Aberdares are a densely wooded mountain range rising to over 4000m with magnificent views over nearby Mount Kenya to the north, and the Rift Valley to the south. The mountain slopes are covered in dense stands of rare Afro-montane forest, while the high grasslands feature Afro-Alpine and sub-Alpine heath and groundsels. The vistas are often more like those of Scotland than of Africa. A number of crystal clear streams and rivers, all stocked with rainbow trout, criss cross the plateau, with some spectacular waterfalls as the rivers tumble off the escarpment.
The plateau is rich in game, with Elephant, Leopard, Lion, Giant Forest Hog, Bushbuck, Blue Monkey, Colobus Monkey, Black Rhino, Buffalo and Suni being some of the characteristic species. Lucky visitors may catch a glimpse of the rare melanistic (pitch black) strain of Leopard. This is one of the last strongholds of the critically endangered bongo. Walking is allowed, but only with an armed guard, as the Lions here are aggressive and there have been several attacks in the past.
Amboseli National Park
A small park by Kenyan standards, covering just under 400sq km at the center of the border with Tanzania, 220km (136.7 miles) from Nairobi. The view of the Amboseli plains, with elephant moving below the snow-capped peaks of Mount Kilimanjaro, is one of the most photographed vistas in Africa. A network of swamps and wetlands ensure excellent game viewing year-round. There are 425 recorded bird and 56 mammal species in the park, including Lion, Leopard, Cheetah, Elephant, Hippo, Black Rhino, Maasai Giraffe, Gerenuk, and Zebra.
Situated between the north Kenya deserts and the Aberdare Mountains, the Laikipia Plateau stretches from Mount Kenya to the edge of the Great Rift Valley. Made famous by Kuki Gallman in her book , I Dreamed of Africa, the region is home to some of the most luxurious camps in Kenya. 'The place, teeming with wildlife, green with pastures, rolling hills, rivers and springs, appeared as a mirage to the weary traveller.' Kuki Gallman, I Dreamed of Africa. Predators, including the rare caracal, and plains game are abundant and where it is possible a night drive, provides the opportunity to see the shy aardvark and aardwolf.