Meru National Park
Meru National Park
Meru National Park covers an area of 870 square kilometers (340 square miles) and was established in 1966. The Park ranges from 3,400 feet in the foothills of Nyambene Ranges on the northern boundary, to less than 1,000 feet on the Tana River in the south eastern section of the Park. The area is well watered by River Ronjerwero, River Ura and Tana River. All the three rivers have encouraged growth of riverine forests and magnificent dom and raphia palms. Most of the Park is covered by bush of varying densities. The north-eastern sector is open dom palm country, grassland and acacia woods, and in the extreme north there is a small patch of rain forest, Ngaia Forest.
Meru National Park is located east of Meru, 350 km from Nairobi. There are two routes to Meru National Park from Nairobi. The first one is through Nyeri, Nanyuki and into Meru. The Second is Embu-Meru Road. In addition to access by road, visitors can fly to airstrips located near the lodges and camps. Straddling the equator, it is an especially beautiful area of Kenya. It is a paradise for birdwatchers and home to several rare bird species. A section of the park has been designated a wilderness area with no roads, which adds to the air of wild, remote seclusion that is characteristic of Meru National Park.
Meru National Park has three main attractions. The first one is the fame bought about by Elsa the lioness. This is mainly made known by Joy Adamson in her books especially Born Free which was turned to a movie by the same name. In this book, Joy Adamson describes her experience raising Elsa. Elsa’s Camp on the banks of Ura River in the south of the Park is a worthwhile place to stay in your visit to the Meru National Park.
The second attraction is a section of the Park that has been designated as a wilderness area, in which there are no roads. Visitors who have the energy to explore proceed on foot, escorted by an experienced ranger guide and with porters to carry camping equipment and food. This kind of expedition gives the opportunity to experience the pleasures of a walking safari. Viewing approaching elephants, rhinos and buffalos while on foot is very different from doing the same on the safety of a motor vehicle.
The third attraction is the White Rhino introduced in the Meru National Park.
There is well-planned network of roads in this Park that ensures excellent game-viewing. Big game include Elephant, Black Rhinoceros, plenty of Hippopotamus in Tana River and River Rojerwero, Reticulated Giraffe, Grevy’s and Common Zebra, Grant’s Gazelle, Lesser Kudu and Gerenuk. Lion, Leopard, Cheetah and Beisa Oryx are also found here in plenty. In addition to game viewing on land, a motor boat is available for anyone wishing to explore the country from the rivers. This is probably the best way to locate the shy African Finfoot, a very elusive bird to seek from the river banks.
Birds are abundant and colorful. In dom palm area the Red-necked Falcon can be seen. There are at least three species of Courser, but Heuglin’s Courser is seldom seen because it is a nocturnal bird. Pel’s Fishing Owl occurs on the Tana River. Brown-backed Woodpecker frequents fig trees along the rivers.
In the acacia woodlands along some of the rivers lives the smallest of the long-tailed Sunbirds, the Smaller Black-bellied Sunbird, which gathers insects and nectar from the branches of red-flowered parasitic Lornthus growing in the trees.
Accommodation in Meru National Park include Meru Mulika Lodge, Leopard Rock Lodge and Elsa Camp.
Meru National Park can be conveniently included on an itinerary that takes in iconic safari destinations such as the Masai Mara and Amboseli or even beach holiday in Lamu Island or Zanzibar. Browse our recommended tours and safaris or contact us and we will tailor-make a personalized safari itinerary for you.