Aberdare National Park Guide To Trout Fishing
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Is fishing one of your go-to hobbies? Then Aberdare National Park should be one of your next bucket list experiences. One of the best experiences is preparing freshly caught fish. Not only freshly caught fish but fish that you caught by your hand. The Aberdare National Park offers some of the best trout fishing locations in the world.
Located in the Central Highlands of Kenya, the park is surrounded by shaded river bends, mossy overhangs and meandering reaches. To make your fishing experience smooth you will need a non-transferable fishing license that is obtained at the entrance of the park.
The higher areas of the park were christened Scotland with Lions by early settlers. Here you will find the Brown and Rainbow Trouts that have equally adapted to the environment in the tropics. These trouts were initially brought to Kenya in 1900 by pioneering settlers.
Where To Fish
The best fishing areas are found above the 2,000-meter level where the rivers drop down through the mountain forests and open glades. As you go higher you will discover that the higher you go the smaller the fish. Three rivers are offering easy access to fine fishing within the park. These rivers include The Amboni River, Chania and Gura rivers.
Who To Take With You
You must engage the services of a (Kenya Wildlife Service) KWS ranger. Their advice is invaluable which include not going astray and bumping into one of the many dangerous animals that love to lurk by the river banks. KWS rangers’ services will be payable before you set out. It is preferred that you call KWS first to inform them of your intention to plan better.
At this point, you will also give the Warden the details of your trip and what you require from them. You will pick the Rangers from the Park’s headquarters. If going camping for more than one day, you will have to plan to provide for their accommodation and food. They will provide their gear and sleeping bag.
Where To Stay
There are lodges both in and around the Aberdare National Park. If you want to enjoy your trout fishing experience, you can hire the Kiandogoro Fishing Lodge. This Lodge is located 2km inside the Kiandogoro Gate. The lodge was specifically constructed by the KWS for angling while fishing. It is set high on the moors with beautiful views. It is made of timber and simply and efficiently equipped.
The accommodation comprises of two stone-built three bedroomed cottages each provided with a kitchen with gas stove, crockery and cooking equipment. There is also a sitting area with a log fire, veranda, and two double en suite bedrooms with double and single beds and one single bedroom. The lodge has a caretaker, beddings, towels, kerosene lamps and hot water.
How To Get There
By road, the park is 180kms north of Nairobi. Take the A2 out of Nairobi towards Thika and into Nyeri. From Nyeri, take the Nyahururu road and follow the signs to the entry gate of your choice. The most common gate here is the Treetops Gate.
If you are coming from the Rift Valley – Naivasha, follow the signs for the park near the uplands road. Drive as if you are going to Nairobi. Go as far as the junction for Kinangop on the north side of town. From here climb approximately 14km to another junction to Kipipiri junction and the Ndunyu Njeru shopping centre. From here you can access the Matubio Gate.
If going by air, there are airstrips both at the Park headquarters at Mweiga and at Nyeri.
How To Prepare The Aberdare Bush Trout
- Make a fire and let it burn until there is a substantial amount of glowing embers
- Gater several clumps of sturdy grass.
- Prepare your trout by washing it and salt it both inside and outside
- Sock the tussock grass in water and wrap it around the trout to make a well-padded package.
- Bury the wrapped trout in the embers of the fire.
- Cooking time varies according to the size of the trout and heat of the fire but in general, the trout will be cooked when the grass begins to burn.
Dos and Don’ts of Kenya Trout Fishing
- DO ensure that your trout fishing license is valid
- DO enter your name and address in the Fish Scouts Book and give the full details of your catch.
- DO NOT use natural bait this includes meat, worms, grasshoppers or cornmeal. These are prohibited within the National Park and reserves.
- DO NOT use spinning lures or any lure with more than one hook. Both are prohibited.
- DO take a short rod of 7-8 feet, the streams are narrow and the banks are overgrown.
- DO take a net you may get a big catch
- DO return all small fish to the water.
The Bag limit for all public rivers stands at 6 rainbow trout per license per day and four brown trout per license per day. While there is no closed season, some rivers are closed from time to time and fishing within forest reserves is generally not permitted. Closed rivers and reaches are normally clearly marked.
Most fishing can be done from the bank, the wearing of waders is not necessary although long trousers are recommended as protection against scratching and stinging grass and plants.
The park is open daily from 6.00 am to 7.00 pm. Visitors will not be allowed into the park after 6.15 pm. Current charges for Nonresidents can be found here.
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