Meru National Park
Meru National Park is famous as a complete wilderness area that is why most tourists on Kenya safari consider it a must-visit destination. It was founded in 1968 and it is popular for the orphaned lioness Elsa that was reared by George and Joy Adamson. It is from this park that the popular book Born Free was documented by Joy.
This magnificent protected area lies in the Northeastern foothills of Kenya, about 370kms-approximately 3 hours’ drive from Nairobi. Meru National Park sits in an area of 1810sq.km, featuring largely open plains, doum palms, belts of tropical riverine forest, swampland, 13 rivers and chain of mountain springs that empty their water into Tana River which serves as a source of water for the park’s wildlife.
Like most parks in Kenya, Meru National Park is managed by Kenya Wildlife Services. Initially, this park was affected by poaching up to early 2000 when the International Fund for Animal welfare collaborated with Kenya Wildlife Service to restore it. Today, it features among the outstanding wildlife safari destinations in magical Kenya.
Attractions in Meru National Park
- Wildlife in Meru National Park
Meru National Park boasts of its diverse wildlife species including a complete list of the big five African games; leopards, buffaloes, rhinos, elephants, lions as well as zebras, cheetahs, hyenas, Kudus, gerenuk, hippos, crocodiles.
An estimated 300 avifaunal species are recorded in Meru National Park making it an ideal birding tourist site to explore on Kenya safari. The various birds to identify in this park include African finfoot, fish eagles, wattle starling, Boran cisticola, ostriches and many others. The park features numerous habitats where its distinct bird species thrive.
- Adamson’s Falls
This waterfall is 50m high and it is set in the caves of Hastings. It takes its name from Gorge Adamson and Joy Adamson the first Europeans to live in the park. The waterfall is best explored on a guided nature walk.
Activities to do in Meru National Park
- Wildlife viewing
The majority of visitors on Kenya safari in Meru National Park come mainly to view the park’s diverse wildlife species. They include leopards, buffaloes, rhinos, elephants, lions as well as zebras, cheetahs, hyenas, Kudus, gerenuk, crocodiles, and hippos on the river banks.
There are over 300 bird species to identify on Kenya safari in this park alone and birders visit different habitat for amazing bird sights. The birds to keep your eye include African finfoot, fish eagles, wattle starling, Boran cisticola, ostriches and many others.
- Guided nature walks
Guided nature walks in Meru National Park lets you uncover the hidden secrets behind the park’s beauty. You also have a chance to visit iconic sites like Adamson’s falls which is a 2 to 3 hours walk. You will be accompanied by an experienced park ranger guide.
Explore the burial site of Joy and Elsa the Lioness
A visit to Meru National Park isn’t only about viewing its wildlife but also to discover its history. The burial site of Joy and Elsa the Lioness is an incredible historical site to explore in this park. It gives visitors an insight into the renowned conservationist and the Lioness which is documented in the Born Free book.
- Best time to visit Meru National Park
While Meru National Reserve is considered as an all-year-round safari destination, game viewing tours are best carried during the dry months starting June, July, August, and September. The wet season which occurs in March, April and May are ideal for birding and you have the opportunity to spot out migrant bird species as well. While on a birding tour in the park, don’t forget to come along with a camera and a pair of binoculars.
- Accommodation in Meru National Reserve
The best accommodation options to consider for your night stay include Elsa’s Kopje Lodge, Meru Camp, Leopard Rock Lodge and many more.
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