Described as a complete wilderness, Meru National Park is a beautiful paradise that has attracted visitor from all the corners of the globe. Also called Elsa's Country, Meru National Park is a destination of choice for nature and culture lovers and features a Rhino Rhino Sanctuary
The Park is located in Meru Country in Kenya's Eastern Province below the eastern slopes of Nyambene Hills. The Park lies 85 Km east of Meru town. It is managed by Kenya wildlife service on behalf of the Central Government.
A Complete Wilderness
Often referred to as "a complete wilderness", Meru Park National Park is wild, one of the most beautiful in Kenya, ideal for camping, picnics, adventures and safaris. With 14 permanent rivers and numerous springs, it is a green paradise compared to dry savannah of Kenya’s parks. Meru is also referred to as “ Born free” country, Kenya's best kept secret. In the wilds of Meru Park , Joy Adamson wrote the book “Born Free”, detailing her relationship with the lioness, Elsa. It is here that Elsa the lioness of born free fame was raised, released to the wild and buried.
The greater Meru Conservation Area comprises of 40,000 km2 covering Meru, Bisinadi and Kora parks, Mwingi, North Kitui and Rahore Nature Reserves. Meru alone has an area of 870 km2 and lies at an altitude of between 1,000-3,400 Ft above sea level and comprise of that triangle between Rivers Murera and Tana.
When to Visit Meru National Park/ Meru Game Park:
Meru can be visited throughout the year. A visit to the Park is best combined with the nearby attractions. These include Mt Kenya National Park, Lewa Down, Samburu, Buffalo Springs and Shaba Reserve, Sweet Waters game sanctuary. Just email us and let us organize a wonderful safari to these places including MERU , Serengeti, Manyara, Ngorongoro and Lake Nakuru Combinations.
The main Woodlands, wide open plains and riverine.
Getting to the Park:
Meru is accessible from any part of the world. Whether you are in New York, California, Beijing, Tokyo or Sydney you can easily visit Meru. Just fly into Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta.
Fly/Flight From Nairobi.
The park has a total of 16 airstrips. However only 4 (Kinna, Mulika, Masanduku, Murera) are mostly used. Currently there are no scheduled flights into the park. Every airstrip has a gate to facilitate visitor entry.
Flights From Nairobi ( WIL)- Meru National Park
Daily flights depart Nairobi Wilson Airport. The flight schedules are as follows
Driving from Nairobi:>
The park is linked to Nairobi by all whether road via Murera gate. There are two routes:-
a) From Nairobi (348 kms), via Nyeri-Nanyuki-Meru-Mau-Murera Gate via all weather road.
b) From Nairobi (348 kms), via Embu-Meru- Mau-Murera gate via all weather roads. The junction to the park is before you reach Mau town.
Meru National Park Gates include
Murera, Bisanadi, Ura, Kinna
All the main roads to the Park have been upgraded. Thus it can be accessed by a standard vehicle. A sedan can access Mulika Lodge, Leopard Rock Lodge, Kina Park headquarters and Bwatherongi Bandas . However to fully enjoy the park, you need a 4WD. From Meru town you can easily hire a car to the park from the tour operator office:-
Meru National Park Car Hire
R&N Car Hire, 1st Flr. Doris House, Tom Mboya Street, Meru, Kenya, Tel:+254 723 684 974, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org . Open throughout the week between 08:00-17:00 Hrs.
Meru National Park Attractions- Physical Features
Attractions in Meru National Park are both natural and artificial. Meru is naturally endowed with wildlife-animals and plants. The landscape is attractive with Mt Kenya clearly visible from the park. The diverse human investments constitutes the artificial attractions. Every visitor to Meru national park needs to appreciate the human effort undertaken to restock the park. After intense poaching of the late 70's and early 80's most of the wildlife was completely wiped out. Most of the animals you come across in the park have been Trans-located at heavy cost, including well whole families. Heavy capital investments have gone into infrastructure developments- upgrading of roads and airstrips not to forget security. The local communities especially the Meru and the Boran have set up cultural centers where visitors can sample their ways of life. Below are the Attractions in brief,
- Mammals includes- Lion, elephant, cheetah, leopard ,Lesser Kudu, duiker, Dik Dik, buffalo, reticulated giraffes (Endangered), black and white rhinos, Grevy's zebra (Endangered), eland, Oryx, Impalas, buffaloes. Black and white Rhinos ( Endangered).
- Aquatic life include hippo and crocodile.
- Fishing for barbus and catfish is permitted at camp sites and along the Tana River.
- Uninterrupted view of Mt Kenya.
- Over 300 species of birds recorded.
- Adamson's grave and camp
- Pippa's Grave- Pipa was Cheater brought up by Joy Adamson.
- Elsa's Grave-Elsa was the lioness of the born free fame.
- Swamps- Mughwango, Mulika, Bwatherongi, Mururi and Leopard Rock. Animals congregate in the swamps during dry season
- Rivers- a total of 14 permanent rivers and numerous streams including Murera, Rojowero, Kiolu, Ura, Bwatherongi. Tana River forms its southern boundary.
- Rhino Sanctuary: The rhino sanctuary can be accessed from Murera gate.
- Cultural centers- Meru cultural center outside Murera gate and Malka (Boran) cultural center outside Bisanadi Gate.
Meru National Park Attractions Activities/ What to do and see
Attractions determines what to do (activities) in any destination. Meru park is about exclusivity. Activities in Meru National Park include:
- Bird Watching- over 300 species of birds recorded. Game and bird watching are best undertaken at dawn or at dusk.
- Picnics and sundowners are organized with the local hotels
- Camping- lots of campsites spread out within the park
- Game drives and wildlife Safaris
- Cultural safaris to visit local borana and meru people.
- Nature walks or bush walks
- rafting and fishing can be organized along Tana River
- Climbing Mt. Kilimanjero
- Mountain Biking
Afternoons are best spent on cultural tours, fishing, rafting or just relaxing at the hotel swimming pools.
Restocking of Meru National Park
In the 1970's the park boasted of more than three hundred Black Rhinos. By 1997, this population had been reduced to zero. The plan right now is to re-introduce about 30 Black Rhinos. After the 1989 massacre of the white Rhinos, the lone survivor Mukora was re-located to Lake Nakuru. In 2002, seven White Rhinos, including Mukora were once more re-introduced from Lake Nakuru National Park.
Restocking Meru National Park will go in conservation books as one of the largest big mammal translocation undertaken in human history. In total 66 Elephants trans-located from Laikipia Private- Sweet Waters game sanctuary & Ol Pejeta Conservancy. Whole families have been trans-located to avoid disruption of family bonds. Besides Elephants and Rhinos other translocations include:-
20 Grevy's Zebra. The Grevy's Zebra is highly venerable to extinction.
In 2003, 39 reticulated giraffes were trans-located from Lewa Conservancy making a total of 51 of these rare species in Meru park.
Bisanadi National Reserve
To the East park lies Bisanadi National Reserve. It is located at the border of Meru and the Borana people. Opened in 1979 it occupies an area of 606 Km˛. It accessible by 4WD vehicles is ideal for camping. There is an airstrip at Korbessa.
Kora National Park
Kora National Park : Across Tana River covering an area of 1,787 square kilometers. It is in Kora National park that George Adamson was murdered in his camp. Kora is full of Inselbergs, rocky outcrops covered with vegetation that seem to appear randomly above the plains. Mammal life include elephant, Lesser Kudu, wild dog, striped and spotted hyenas, leopard and cheetah. 21 species of fish have been recorded, with 500 species of insect, 33 molluscs and 40 reptiles.