Aberdare National Park

Aberdare National Park Guide To Trout Fishing

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 Aberdare Fishing Lodge. Aberdare Fishing 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.

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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.

Operating Times 

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. Here are more details on current park entry fees to Aberdare National Park

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Aberdare National Park

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  • Sinjana Ghosh

    That’s a lovely experience. Thanks for the useful tips.

  • Jen Morrow

    Being out on the river (or hanging out on the riverbank) is my favorite part of fishing! Such a relaxing activity, plus fish for dinner – bonus. This sounds like a fun camping and fishing spot.

    • Sharon Lumbasi

      Hey Jen, yes it is I recently discovered this activity and love it too. I previously associated Aberdares with Elephant viewing and hiking.

  • Karen

    I’m not a lover of fishing although I do love the idea of the earthiness the safari inspires and cooking your own food.

    • Sharon Lumbasi

      Yes it does, a bit of adventure here and there makes travelling worthwhile.

  • Karen

    Africa is a land of the undiscovered for me and holds a primal experience that I need. I know so little about these regions that each blog fills me with curiosity. Thank you for sharing.

    • Sharon Lumbasi

      Thanks, Karen I hope to share more undiscovered places in this platform.

  • Ann

    Oh haha this article so remind me of a fishingtrip I did with my late father 😀
    Firstly he wanted to teach me how to collect mushroms in the woods, but he made me go sit in the car instead as I only stept on them 😛 So fishing then, well that ended with me cating my father with a hook 😀

    • Sharon Lumbasi

      I love that you have wonderful memories of the fishing trip with your late father. 🙂

  • Jay Artale

    Fish always tastes better when you’ve taken the time to catch it yourself. Love that you’ve included how to cook it, which sounds like a delicious way to enjoy your day’s catch. Did you include any herbs or other seasoning besides the salt?

    • Sharon Lumbasi

      Yes I did add curry powder and onions.

  • Natalie

    Unfortunately I don’t see us getting to Kenya anytime soon but I love your instructions for cooking a Aberdare Bush Trout. Thank you 🙂

    • Sharon Lumbasi

      Thanks. At least you will be getting to Kenya through the stories in my blog. 🙂

  • Nancy Hann

    Hi Sharon, Thanks so much for sharing this post. I love trout! I love how you have it organized and provide so much awesome detail. Even a recipe for how to cook it.
    [Just a thought – for those who may come upon it through a search, I’m wondering if it might be good to add the country here… “Located in the Central Highlands…of…”? I didn’t see the country listed]

    • Sharon Lumbasi

      Hey Nancy, thank you so much for the feedback. Will add the country [Kenya] 🙂 It didn’t occur to me as I was writing. Appreciated.

  • Sarah Wilson

    I’ve never thought about trout fishing before but I do love trout. My BF and I are planning a trip to Kenya next year, this might be a fun alternative on our trip. Thanks for the inspiration. I know he will love it.

    • Sharon Lumbasi

      Thanks, Sarah, there’s so much to explore in Kenya.

  • Karthika

    What a lovely experience. I have seen so many people spend hours on end fishing and seems like such a great way to just relax and be one with nature.

  • Leah

    Aberdare National Park looks like a lovely place to visit. I have so many fond memories of going trout fishing with my grandfather. I haven’t fished in years, but I would love to take my daughter so that she could have the same experience!

    • Sharon Lumbasi

      She will have the same fond memories that you do and this will make it a family tradition. Love the idea 🙂

  • Jennifer Mostert

    The stone cottages sound right up my alleyway! I haven’t picked up my fishing rod in years but thanks to you I might just pick it up again. Thanks for the great recipe.

  • Georgina

    Sounds like a fun experience and you have given very useful tips to consider. Thank you.

  • Anna Intrepid Scout

    My daughter loves to fish and I accompany her occasionally. Your post is full of useful tip! Thank you for sharing!

  • Sharon

    I love eating fish, and fresh-caught is the best. These trout sound yummy!

    • Sharon Lumbasi

      Yes they were delicious and I agree with you fresh caught trout by yourself is very delicious.

  • Melissa

    Wonderful post with so much detail! Do’s and don’t’s are very helpful!

  • menty

    This is a practical post! I never go fishing :DDDD
    Hope I can manage it when I’m going for the try!

  • supal

    I’m saving this because my 2021 goal is to do more of Africa, which includes much of Kenya and Zambia because I have family who lived there (dad was born in Zambia)! Also, love that you need a fishing license. Very up the environmental regulations!

    • Sharon Lumbasi

      Thanks, I am also planning to do more of Africa, this and next year and hoping to do Zambia too. You will enjoy Kenya with its great diversity

  • Albi

    I have never been patient enough for fishing, but it looks like a very peaceful experience. I’m glad that you enjoy it.

  • Smita

    We’ve visited a few trout lakes in England and Switzerland and while we didn’t fish – the experience in nature was wonderful. This National Park sounds amazing too and at 2000 metres, it must be beautiful too!

    • Sharon Lumbasi

      Yes It is, I went there again a few weeks ago and it was amazing, I got the chance to go for a game drive to see wild animals in the National Park.

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