Meru National Park

Discover the beauty of Meru National Park in Kenya. This wildlife reserve boasts diverse landscapes and abundant wildlife, including lions, elephants, and rare species such as Grevy's zebra and reticulated giraffe.

Meru National Park

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Meru National Park-Kenya was established in 1966 on the eastern side of Meru, approximately 350 km from Nairobi at an elevation of 870 km², it is one of the most famous National Parks in Kenya with abundant rainfall, 635–762 mm in the west of the Park and 305–356 mm in the east, resulting into tall grass and lush swamps. Meru National Park is wild and beautiful straddling the equator and split by 13 rivers and numerous mountain-fed streams. Simply a stunning wildlife arena

Meru National Park-Kenya boasts for its astonishing scenery ranging from woodlands at 3,400ft (1,036m) on the slopes of Nyambeni Mountain Range, north east of Mt. Kenya, to wide open plains with bendy riverbanks dotted with doum palms. This scenery is filled with a wide range of animals including the African bush elephant, East African Lion, African leopard, Kenyan Cheetah, Eastern black rhinoceros, southern white rhinoceros, Grevy`s zebra, Hippopotamus.

Over 300 species of birdlife have been recorded in Meru National Park-Kenya, 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 among others.

Meru National Park-Kenya was one of the two areas in which conservationists George Adamson and Joy Adamson raised Elsa the Lioness made famous in the bestselling book and award-winning movie ‘Born Free’. Elsa the lioness is buried in the park and part of Joy`s ashes were scattered on her gravesite. Elsa`s Kopje can be sighted in the middle of the park, on a small rocky Mughwango hill that affords 360degree views stretching from the peak of Mt. Kenya to the east, to virtually infinity. Below the hill is the site of George Adamson`s camp, and the hill was the playground of Elsa the lion. There is a fertile spring below the hill and guests can watch vast herds of elephant, buffalo and giraffe make their way across the plains. Meru means ‘people and place’ in Amiiru Language of the bantu Ameru or Ngaa people who inhabit the Meru region

Best time to Visit Meru National park in Kenya

The sunniest months are January and February, followed by June through September. Rainfall is low, especially in the eastern sector of the park so the rainy seasons are not a major problem

Attractions in Meru National Park are both natural and artificial, Meru is naturally endowed with wildlife-animals and plants. The landscape is attractive with Mount Kenya clearly visible from the park the diverse human investments constitute the artificial attractions. Every visitor to Meru national park needs to appreciate the human effort undertaken to restore the park. After intense poaching of the late 70`s and 80`s, most of the wildlife was completely wiped out. Most of the animals you come across in the park have been translocated at the 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 lifestyle. The following are the attractions;

Wildlife in Meru National Park-Kenya.

Mammals in Meru National park-Kenya include; Lion, elephant, cheetah, leopard, Lesser Kudu, duiker, Dik-Dik, buffalo, reticulated giraffes, black and white rhinos, endangered Grevy’s zebra eland, Oryx, Impalas, buffaloes, rare Black and white Rhinos). Aquatic life includes hippo and crocodile. Fishing for barbus and catfish is permitted at camp sites and along the Tana River.

Birdlife in Meru National Park-Kenya

Over 300 species of birds have been recorded in Meru National Park-Kenya some of these include; 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 weaver.

Elsa`s grave in Meru National Park-Kenya

Experience this remarkable TRUE story of a lion cub in transition between the captivity in which she was raised and the wild to which she is returned and captures the abilities of both humans and animals to cross the seemingly unbridgeable gap between their radically different worlds.
It clearly shows that even wild animals are individuals capable of great trust, understanding and affection. You shouldn’t miss Elsa’s headstone! 

Lush Swamps of Meru National Park -Kenya

The big swanky swamps of Meru National park like Mughwango swamp, Mulika swamp, Bwatherongi, Mururi and leopard rock swamp, where a diversity of bird species and wildlife congregate especially in the dry season. Feed your eardrum with serene voices of birds woofing in the tall grasses and swamps.

Rivers in Meru National Park-Kenya

Meru national park has a total of 13 permanent rivers and numerous streams including Murera, Rojowero, Kiolu, Ura, Bwatherongi.  Tana River forms its southern boundary. The park is fully packed with enough food and water which feeds the large herds of nutritious animals and diverse bird species.

Rhino sanctuary in Meru National Park-Kenya

Meru’s 48-sq-km Rhino Sanctuary, one of the best places in Kenya to see wild rhinos. At last count, this fenced portion of the park was home to 25 black and 55 white rhinos, many of whom were reintroduced here from Lake Nakuru National Park after the disastrous poaching of the ‘80s. This Rhino sanctuary can be accessed from Murera gate.

Bird watching in Meru National Park-Kenya

Birdlife in Meru National Park-Kenya is as special as unmistakable Ostriches and smartly plumaged vulturine Guinea fowl that you will glimpse as you drive around, peep out for red-necked falcons, which house in the stands of doum palms and after dark the remarkable Pel`s fishing owl, a big endangered owl with a wingspan of around 1.5m. easily identified by its unique call- a deep, horn-like note, audible for a distance of about 3kilometres. Characteristic of the streams is the African finfoot (much sought after by birdwatchers), though these are hard to see from the banks, on a lucky day you will be able to see kingfishers, including the abundant pied and more elusive giant kingfisher.

The forested areas along the waterways are also good for specialist flower-feeding birds, including the smaller black-billed sunbird that feeds on parasitic Loranthus flowers growing in the riverbank acacias. If you’re a keen birder, you won’t be reminded to look out for flocks of gloriously colored golden-breasted starlings, that inhabit in Meru National Park-Kenya.

Take a spotter`s guide so that you can identify the many species you will see.

Game Driving in Meru National Park-Kenya

Meru National Park is a house to an astonishing display of wildlife. Explore the bush at your own pace in a pop-up four-wheel drive vehicle and professional guide to enjoy a vivid, personal connection with most of the magnificent creatures that inhabit this area.

Seen in their remote natural habitat, the animals of Meru offer a wonderful experience of African wilderness and raw, virgin nature, accompanied by the beautiful landscapes visible at every turn.

Be hopeful to see rhino, lion, cheetah, elephant, buffaloes, reticulated giraffes, and many more.

Hiking in Meru National Park-Kenya

Meru National Park is a new world in particular! Endowed with different landscapes, including the thrilling Kilimanjero hill, an extinct small volcano at just 4km away. From the foothills, the crater can be climbed to discover the small forest hidden inside the hill as well as to enjoy 360views over the park from its rim. The more energetic could walk (about 5 Km) to the discovery of the Kiolu river falls-magnificently encompassed by a steep rock Amphitheatre, the falls are a hidden secret reward.

Mountain Bike Riding in Meru National Park-Kenya

A charming mountain bike ride on many paths and dusty roads surrounding river rhino camp-traverse the farms of Maize and bananas, through the small villages, or you can get wet crossing of one of the rivers of Meru. Your honored to enjoy the typically African stunning scenery and rhythms of life!

Sundowners in Meru National Park-Kenya

End your day with an exciting sundowner as you upload your mind with drinks and charming views from the small crater “Kilimajero”. The sunset on Nyambeni Hills will enhance your enjoyment. Just a stress-free ambiance!

Visit to Villages around Meru National Park-Kenya

There are many small villages around the park and interested visitors can visit them to understand the culture of the Meru people and their traditions. Guided trips to nearby villages can be arranged for you.

Bush Meals in Meru National Park-Kenya

You want to spend more time on your game drive or you wish to have a meal in African wilderness? Simply ask us to make arrangements for you!

Two main access routes to Meru National Park-Kenya,

  • Through the Murera Gate – the main gate (tarred all the way)
  • Through the Ura Gate (tarred up to Chiakariga Market and murrammed from there to the gate).

Access through Murera Gate

By public transportation; Maua is well served by public transportation. Buses and Matatu shuttles depart at all times of the day from the neighbourhood of downtown Nairobi popularly known as “Tea Room”, off Accra Road. Transfers from Maua to iKWETA Safari Camp can be arranged. Travel by Matatu is also possible.

 By private vehicle; Meru is accessible along the Mount Kenya ring road; from the south, around the east side via Embu (A2 from Nairobi to Makutano/Nyeri/Embu junction; B6 to Embu and Meru/Makutano junction); and from the north-west, around the west and north side of the mountain via Nyeri and Nanyuki (A2 from Nairobi to Marwa/Nyeri junction, just after Karatina; A2 to Nanyuki and Isiolo/Meru junction; B6 to Meru/Makutano junction). Maua is to the north-east of Meru.

On the C91 Meru-Makutano-Maua highway, the turnoff to Meru National Park is just after Maili Tatu market, at a place popularly known as “Farm”. There is a bend on the road and some speed bumps before the junction on the left to the E817. You will see the signage for Meru National Park and iKWETA Safari Camp. The road is tarred to the Murera Gate.

Access through Ura Gate

Access to Meru National Park through the Ura Gate is during dry weather. From Nairobi, take the A2 highway in the direction of Nyeri. Drive for about 87 km to Makutano. Turn right to the B6 in the direction Embu-Meru. Drive past Embu town for about 18 km. At Ena market, turn right on the C92 Ena-Mitunguu highway in the direction of Ishiara-Chiakariga. You will see the signpost – Meru National Park: Ura Gate, 116 km. The road is tarred up to Chiakariga.

This route to Meru National Park takes you through stunning landscapes of the Mbeere and the Tharaka areas of Embu and Tharaka-Nithi Counties.

Indicative distances

Nairobi via Embu-Ura gate-Meru National Park-Murera gate: 312 km.

Nairobi via Embu-Meru-Murera gate: 295 km.

Nairobi via Nanyuki-Meru-Murera Gate: 331 km.

Makutano (Jct Embu-Meru-Nanyuki B6 Highway & Meru-Maua C91 Highway) 70 km

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