Buffalo fights and Giant forest hog in the AberdaresJanuary 13, 2014
The central highlands of Kenya are cool and fertile – quite different to what most people associate with Kenyan safaris. Overlooked by craggy peaks and equatorial glaciers, it is Africa, but with a difference. The Aberdares, a range of mountains running roughly north south, provide a section of the eastern rim of the Great Rift Valley. Rising to 4,000m above sea level, this mist-laden massif is among the oldest in Africa, pre-dating the dinosaurs. Afro-montane forest and Afro-alpine moorland provide the habitat for a variety of species, from primates and forest antelope to large numbers of elephant and buffalo.
Game viewing in the Aberdares is eminently possible by vehicle, but the real joy in visiting this area is to indulge in a little more relaxed game viewing at one of the legendary tree-lodges in the area. Spending time on balconies and viewing platforms that overlook busy waterholes is the perfect antidote for those who fancy a break from bumping around in a 4×4.
In late 2013, Patrick Shah (Managing Director of Journeys Discovering Africa) stayed at The Ark, a timber lodge built on the higher slopes of the Aberdares, and generally considered to offer the best ‘in-house’ wildlife viewing in the area. Elephant and buffalo are both regulars, and occasionally big cats or nocturnal rarities such as genet or white-tailed mongoose are also spotted. Patrick was not lucky enough to spy any of the latter, but a dramatic stand-off between two buffalo, and some quality time observing the rare and elusive Giant forest hog more than made up for it. Finally, watching the full moon rise over a snow-capped Mount Kenya was a very special moment.
To plan a Kenya safari incorporating a visit to the Aberdares, contact one of our team at firstname.lastname@example.org
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