Meru National park Kenya – “Complete Wilderness” Brilliant on a magnificent scale, the Meru and Kora sister parks feature luxuriant jungle, coursing rivers, verdant swamp, khaki grasslands and gaunt termite cathedrals all under the sky’s great blue bowl. Little visited and utterly unspoilt, few places are comparable to the remote and rugged atmosphere found here. Visitors can see Grevy’s zebras, elephants, Bohor reedbucks, hartebeests, pythons, puff adders, cobras, buffalos and more than 427 recorded species of birds.
General national park information.
Meru National Park Kenya is located in central Kenya about 220 miles (350 km) northeast of Nairobi. It sits northeast of Mount Kenya. The national park encompasses an area of 336 square miles (870 sq km).
The park provides visitors with a variety of nature encounters including jungle, grasslands, swamps, rivers, and landscape with an abundance of termite created mounds. The Kenyan Wildlife Services describes Meru as “Complete Wilderness.” The elevation varies across the park with the lowest spot occurring in the southeastern part of the park along the Tana River. The foothills of the Nyambeni Range account for the highest point at 3,400 feet (1,036 m).
The national park receives an abundance of rain allowing for the growth of tall grasses and the development of rich swamps. This makes it a wildlife haven. The Tana River referenced above combined with the Rojerwero and Ura rivers are the leading sources of water. Each of these rivers and related tributaries is lined with riverine forest along with stands of dom and raphia palms.
The northern section of the park features rainforest with the majority of the park covered in an array of density with bushes and grasslands. The famous Acacia trees that Africa is known for are all found in much of the park.
Wildlife is varied and plentiful. Some of the more common species include elephant, giraffe, black rhino, white rhino, kudu, gazelle, hartebeest, reedbuck, zebra, and hippo. Each of the above-referenced rivers is highly populated with hippopotamuses. Predator species include lion, leopard, cheetah, jackal, African wild cat, and hyena.
Birdwatchers are happy to learn that there are 427 species of birds to check off during an exploration of the park area. Snake enthusiasts can hope for a chance to see pythons, puff adders, and cobras. River safaris are one of the best ways to capture sightings of some of the bird species that live along the banks. Ostrich can be found in some of the bushy grasslands.
Meru National Park Kenya is the location where the famous George and Joy Adamson raised the lioness named Elsa. The story was shared via the book and movie of which both were named Born Free.
The Tana River and Adamson’s Falls are also key features of the national park. Adamson’s Falls is a cascading waterfall across rugged rocky terrain.
The wildlife of Meru is the highlight of the national park. Visitors can also see the home where George and Joy Adamson lived. The waterfall named after the family is also a nice tourist attraction.
The park also has a proximity to the tallest mountain in Kenya giving visitors a view of Mount Kenya.
Meru is a national park set aside for game viewing. There are no trails or trekking in the park apart from exploring the immediate area near the Adamson’s home. The wilderness area of the park has no roads and can only be explored on foot. It requires trained ranger guides as well as porters for carrying tents and supplies. It is not a hiking trail so to speak, but it is certainly trekking through the wilderness.
Meru National park has a diverse avifauna, with over 300 species recorded. The threatened Jungle Babbler, which has a very restricted-range in central Kenya, has recently been documented, near Kindani and Nyati Camps in the south-west part of the park. Meru has one of the eight species of Kenya Mountains Endemic Bird Area and fifty-nine of the 94 Somali-Masai biome species that occur in Kenya. Regionally threatened species recorded here, include the Martial Eagle, African Finfoot (an Intra-African migrant), Pel’s Fishing-Owl, Grant’s Woodhoopoe and the Saddle-billed Stork which is known to breed in this area.
Game to view includes: lion, elephant, cheetah, leopard black rhino, zebra, gazelle, oryx and some of the rarer antelope, Lesser Kudu and duiker, also the more common dik dik, one of Africa’s smallest antelope. Large prides of lion can be seen and some of Kenya’s largest herds of buffalo. The rivers abound with hippo and crocodile, fishing for barbus and catfish is permitted at camp sites and along the Tana River. In the mid 1980’s, the Park suffered from poaching, however KWS armed wildlife security patrols have driven out the poachers and the elephant population has stabilized with breeding herds settling down.
Access from Nairobi (348 kms) is via Nyeri-Nanyuki-Meru or via Embu all weather roads. Access into the park from Maua to Murera Gate (35 km) and 348 km from Nairobi..
The other access is via Embu to Ura Gate (120 km), 290 km from Nairobi
Main airstrip at Kina, Mulika next to Meru Mulika Lodge and Elsa’s Kopje airstrip
-ikweta safari camp.
-Rhino river camp.
-Merera springs Eco-Lodge.
Meru can be visited throughout the year, but wildlife viewing is best in the Dry season from June to September. Wildlife watching is usually more difficult during the long rains (March to May), and the short rains (October to November).