Meru National Park is wild and beautiful. Straddling the equator and bisected by 13 rivers and numerous mountain-fed streams, it is an especially beautiful area of Kenya. It has diverse scenery from woodlands at 3,400ft (1,036m) on the slopes of Nyambeni Mountain Range, north east of Mt. Kenya, to wide open plains with meandering riverbanks dotted with doum palms.
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.
Over 300 species of birds have been recorded, including: Red-necked falcon, Heuglins courser, brown-backed woodpecker, sunbirds Peter’s Fin foot, inhabiting the Murera and Ura Rivers; Pel’s Fishing Owl, kingfishers, rollers, bee-eaters, starlings and weavers.
The Park is most famous as the setting for Joy Adamson’s book “Born Free”, the story of the Adamson’s life and research amongst lion and cheetah. “Elsa” the lioness was the most well-known and her grave is marked here. There is one lodge (132 beds) and two tented camps are planned. There are 8 special campsites which must be pre-booked, one public campsites; Elsa camp, KWS self-help bandas and Leopard Rock bands.
There are two routes to Meru national park from Nairobi. The first is the main road via Nyeri, Nanyuki and Meru, the second is via Embu-Meru road. It offers the best approach via the Ura gate. Dry weather route from Meru is through Mathara and Kangeta towards Maua turning left on the Kinna road leading to the National park gate. There are airstrips and leopard rock or Meru Mulika lodge.