Meru National Park is a Kenyan Game park located east of Meru, 350 Kilometers from Nairobi. Covering an area of 870 km², it is one of the most famous known parks of Kenya. It has abundant rainfall. The rainfall results in tall grass and lush swamps, which make it difficult to spot game. It has a wide range of wild beasts like elephant, hippopotamus, lion, leopard, cheetah, black rhinoceros and some rare antelopes.
Meru was one of the two areas in which conservationists George Adamson and Joy Adamson raised Elsa the Lioness made famous in the best selling book and award winning movie Born Free. Elsa the Lioness is buried in this park and part of Joy’s ashes were scattered on her gravesite. Joy Adamson released Pippa the cheetah in this park.
Meru National Park is 348km from Nairobi, the capital of Kenya. Its natural scenery is diverse, from the wide-open plains with many rivers, to the woodlands on the slopes of the Nyambeni mountain range, to the northeast of Mount Kenya.Meru National Park
Meru National Park incorporates Bisanadi, Kora, Rahole and Mwingi National Reserves. It is situated right on the equator at an altitude of between 1000-3400 feet (304-1036meters) and covers 870km². The park was established in 1968.
At Meru, you will find excellent views of snow-capped Mount Kenya and the park’s beautiful landscape is a camper’s paradise. The roads are suitable for vehicles and there are many rocky outcrops that provide great lookout points for the abundant Kenyan animals.
Game viewing includes elephants, hippos, lions, leopards and cheetahs. There are also some rare antelope, including the Lesser Kudu, duiker and dik-dik, a tiny African antelope that stands just twelve inches high and is notoriously shy. Meru National Park also has some of Kenya’s largest herds of buffalo, along with hartebeests, giraffes and gazelles.
These animals are easily spotted from safari vehicles and, because the park is less visited than some of Kenya’s better-known parks, you do not have other vehicles of tourists sharing the sights with you. Over 300 species of birds have been recorded in Meru National Park, including the Peter’s Finfoot, the Pel’s Fishing Owl, kingfishers, rollers, bee-eaters, starlings and numerous weavers.
There is also an abundance of ostriches, hornbills, secretary birds, eagles and other smaller birds. It is a good idea to carry a bird book to identify the many species you will see.
Meru National Park borders Bisanadi National Reserve, a true wilderness. It is only accessible by four-wheel-drive vehicles, and it covers a further 606km². The border between the two parks is known as “Kinna” and marks the division between the lands of the Meru and Boran tribes.
How to get to Meru National Park Climate and weather at Meru National park
Rainfall is higher in the west than in the eastern sector of the park. It is generally cooler than the coastal plains and varies with the altitude. The west has 635-762mm of annual rainfall, and the east has 305-356mm.
By Road: Use your own vehicle, take public transportation, or book an open-topped minibus or safari van tour with a tour guide. Meru National Park is 348km northeast from Nairobi.
By Air: Chartered light aircrafts may land at the main airstrip at Kina, Mulika next to the lodges.
Meru National Park Attractions
Game Viewing is excellent and includes four of the “Big Five” -elephants, lions, leopards and buffalo – as well as cheetahs, antelope, hippos and crocodiles. The roads are well graded and Meru National Park is quieter than some of the other parks.
Bird Watching – over 300 species of birds have been recorded recorded within the park, including the Peter’s Finfoot, which inhabits the Murera and Ura Rivers, the Pel’s Fishing Owl, kingfishers, rollers, bee-eaters, starlings and numerous weavers. Larger birds include the secretary bird, ostriches and hornbills. Take a spotter’s guide so that you can identify the many species you will see.
Scenic Safari – to enjoy the beautiful scenery and landscape – stroll through or view the dense vegetation, forests and savannahs with long grass, rivers and swamps.
Mount Kenya crowns the beautiful scenery of Meru National Park.