Unlike most of the national parks in the magical Kenya, Meru National Park features as one of the most spectacular safari destinations that reward visitors with true wilderness experiences of lifetime. This protected is undeniably the remotest and rugged and interestingly, the least crowded offering visitors with untapped diversity of attractions. Meru National Park is located on the Equator and bisected by 13 most remarkable Rivers and numerous mountain fed streams that rank this protected among the very few most incredible tourist sites that shouldn’t miss out in your bucket list.
This park consists of Rahole, Kora, Bisanadi and Mwingi National Reserve and it extends about 870 square kilometers. It is also known for its amazing adventure experiences especially on how the 2 (two) conservationists (Joy and George Adamson) brought up the lion cabs (Elsa), weaned them up to their maturity stage. It is from this that Meru National Park became popular especially after the worldwide release of the 1966 film “Born Free.” When Elsa passed on, Joy buried her and she was also buried in the same area, Adamson’s falls near the Tana River. tour
Meru National Park was established in 1968 and it features diversity of habitats and wildlife species and this makes it a natural wonder of its own for you to explore and discover while on safari in Africa. The prominent wildlife species for visitors to catch a glimpse at this park include leopards, cheetah, elephants, zebras, lion, buffaloes, leopards, hippos, lesser kudu, Oryx, gerenuk, hartebeests, gazelle, rhino, giraffe and many more. Meru National Park also refuges reptiles especially the cobra, python and puff adder. Meanwhile its Rivers feature several hippos, crocodiles and many more water species. About 300 bird species thrive within the park and the notable ones include the pel’s fishing owl, Kingfishers, rollers, bee eaters, starlings and weavers, the unique palm nut vulture, sunbirds peter’s fin foot, red necked falcon, Heuglins courser, hornbills, secretary birds, eagles, brown backed woodpecker and many more.
Meru wildlife conservation area also offers visitors a chance to catch a glimpse of its sceneries and landscape, view the thick vegetation (the park is famous for its 5 distinct categories of vegetation), forests and savannas with long grass, swamps and Rivers. This national park also features diversity of sceneries that range from woodland at 1036 meters along Mount Nyambeni slopes, northeast of Mount Kenya to vast plains which also come with the meandering riverbanks plus scattered doum palms. Given its numerous rivers, the key fish species that thrive and can be caught while on safari to the park include tilapia, catch and barbell. Alternatively, you can embark on guided walks to the summit of Mughwango hill where you will have 360 degree views of Mount Kenya in the west to the large Meru plains in the east.
Getting to Meru National Park
This park lies east of Meru, about 350 kilometers from Nairobi. You can take a route via Nyeri, Meru, Nanyuki and this is the first road and the second route is via Embu to Meru. This leads you up to Ura gate. For safaris in Meru National Park, you will need a strong 4wd due to the nature of the roads. You can hire 4wd car in Nairobi from as low as US$60 per pay without a driver. Another alternative route takes visitors from Meru that takes visitors via Kangeta and Mathara to Maua where you will turn to the left on the Kinna road that takes visitors up to the national park. You can also take a flight and land in Kenya’s airstrips in Kina, Meru Mulika Lodge.
Best time to visit Meru National Park
Meru National Park experiences the dry season from the month of January to February and June to September. This season is characterized by low amount of rainfall especially around the eastern area. From June to August, the park experiences coolest daytime temperatures and the warmest temperatures take place from January to March. The low temperatures range from 12 to 14 degrees Celsius and you may need a warm fleece or sweater. The longest cool dry season starts from July to October and this is regarded as the best time for travelers to visit Meru National Park. During this period, the roads and tracking trails can be dry. The short wet season takes place between November and December. The heaviest amount of rainfall is experienced between April and May. The mount of rainfall received at the park ranges from 635 to 762 mm in the west and 305 to 356 mm in the east.
Lodges in Meru National Park
The prominent lodges for you spend a night over at Meru National park include; Leopard Rock Lodge, Mulika Lodge, Elsa’s Kopje Lodge, Murera Springs Eco Lodge, Rhino River Camp, Ikweta Safari Camp. You can camp in any of the 8 remarkable campsites within the park or spend a night at the bandas.
In conclusion, Meru National Park is undeniably one of the hidden secretes that are worth exploring and discovering while you are vacation holiday in Kenya.
For more wildlife adventures in Africa, you can extend your trip to Uganda. According to most travellers, an African safari is incomplete without trekking gorillas in Bwindi National Park – Uganda. After your safari in Meru National Park, connect to Uganda for 8 day gorilla and wildlife safari to compare the experience in both destinations! Its such a life time adventure experience you can imagine!