A Guide To Meru National Park Kenya
Few places offer a more genuine wilderness ambiance than the remote and rugged Meru National Park Kenya and Kora National Parks. Little – visited, utterly unspoilt and the most geographically diverse Parks in Kenya, they are the favorites of safari professionals and wildlife experts alike. Brilliantly painted on a magnificent scale, these sister Parks feature luxuriant jungle, coursing rivers, verdant swamp, khaki grasslands,gaunt termite cathedrals and an ever-evolving dance between clouds and sky.
Facts About Meru National Park
Altitude – Meru: 366-914 meters above sea level.
Area – Meru: 870 sq km
Location – Meru: Meru District, Eastern Province
Distance from Nairobi: 348 km north-east of Nairobi
Gazetted – Meru: opened 1968
Climate: The Parks are part of the semi-arid zone and have irregular rainfall. The wet seasons are April-June and November-December.
Vegetation: Mainly thorny bushland in the north, wooded grasslands in the west and open grasslands elsewhere. The Parks also feature dense riverine forests of doum and raffia palm.
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Wildlife Includes: buffalo, lion, leopard, cheetah, elephant, zebra, rhino, giraffe, hippo, lesser kudu, oryx, gerenuk, hartebeest and gazelle.
Reptiles: python, puff adder and cobra.
Birds: More than 300 recorded species.
Roads: 4WD is essential during the rainy seasons and recommended at other times to best enjoy the Parks.
What To See At Meru National Park
A classic savannah landscape
A ﬁne example of the classic savannah landscape, Meru National Park character is defined by the rivers that form its perimeters: the mighty Tana to the south, the Ura to the south-west and the Rojeweru to the east. Meru National Park is also scored by T4 permanent streams which drain off the nearby Nyambeni Hills.
A rich diversity of habitats: Thanks to the diversity of its habitats, Meru National Park offers unique wildlife watching opportunities.
The northern plains: One of the most rewarding areas for wildlife viewing, the northern plains boasts of Elephant, Lion and Cheetah. Both species of Zebra, Grant gazelle and Thomsons gazelle, Impala, Beisa Oryx, hartebeest and Reticulated Giraffe are also easily seen.
The kopjes: Meru National Park is renowned for its rocky outcrops (known as inselbergs or kopjes),where baboons cavort and leopard lurk among the boulders.
The swampy grasslands: Are grazed by Defassa Waterbuck and shifting herds of Buffalo.
The rivers: Hippo and Nile crocodile are common in the slower streams of the Tana River.
A brilliance of birds
Meru National Park birds are abundant and colorful; common river birds include Ibis, Heron and African Fish Eagle while the riverine acacia woodland shelters the smallest of the Long-tailed in birds, the Black-bellied Sunbird. Flocks of glorious golden- breasted starlings are also often encountered as well as loudly honking groups of hornbills.
The setting for ‘Born Free‘
Meru National Park is where Joy and George Adamson released their most famous lioness, Elsa, back into the wild. Her tale is told in the book and the ﬁlm ‘Born Free‘. The Park was also the site of their alter experiments with orphaned cheetahs.
Attractions And What To Do At Meru National Park
- Former home of Joy and George Adamson and Elsa the lioness
- Views of Mt Kenya
- Rivers and riverine habitats
- Tana river
- Adamson’s falls
Accommodation And Hotels At Meru National Park
Where to stay when at Kora National Park
Elsa’s Kopje Tented Camp: This exclusive lodge offers 9 stone and thatch cottages, international cuisine, swimming pool and game viewing.
Contact: Cheli and Peacock, Tel: +254(20)603090, 604053/4.
Leopard Rock Lodge: Overlooking the Murera River, this authentic lodge offers African and international cuisine, swimming pool and game viewing.
Contact: Tel: +254(20)60003l/6, 862527/0733333100.
Self-catering accommodation: Murera Bandas: Four simple two bedroom stone chalets located by Murera Gate. Contact: KWS H0, Nairobi.
Bwatherongi Bandas: Four simple one and two bedroom wooden chalets, 22km from Murera Gate and next to the Bwatherongi River. Contact: KWS HQ, Nairobi.
Camping at Meru National Park
Public campsite. 18km from Murera Gate, this site lies in a stretch of open ground beside a wooded stream lavatories and showers are provided.
‘Special’ campsites: A number of ‘special‘ Campsites are seasonally located along the rivers. Special campsites have no basic amenities and must be booked in advance on an exclusive use.
Kora National Park Kenya
Meru’s sister Park, the adjoining Kora National Park is famous as the former home of naturalist George Adamson. A vast area ofacacia bush land from whose alluvial plains rise stark granite kopjes and low hills, it is bordered to the south-east by the Mwitamisyi River, which supports an abundance of lizards, snakes, tortoises and crocodiles.
When to Visit Meru and Kora National Park
The Parks are accessible all year round.
Meru National Park Kenya – What to take with you
Drinking water and picnic items (and camping equipment ifyou intend to camp overnight). Also useful are: camera, binoculars, hat, sunscreen, sunglasses, insect repellent and Guidebooks.
Daily 6.00am – 7.00pm including public holidays.
Note: no entry is allowed on foot and visitors will not be allowed entry after 6.15pm.
Current entry charges:
obtainable via KWS HQ, Tel: (Nairobi) +254 (20) 6000800, 6002345.
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.kws.go.ke
At present the Parks do not operate the SafariCard system.
Entry is by cash only (KShs or US$).
How to get to Meru National Park Kenya
Access from Nairobi (348 kms) is via Nyeri-Nanyuki-Meru or via Embu all weather roads. Access into the park from Maua to Murera Gate (35 km) and 348 km from Nairobi..
The other access is via Embu to Ura Gate (120 km), 290 km from Nairobi
Main airstrip at Kina, Mulika next to Meru Mulika Lodge and Elsa’s Kopje airstrip
Accommodation and Hotels in Meru National Park Kenya
KWS Self Catering
Campsites in Meru National Park Kenya
- Golo 1
- Golo 2
- Kampi Baridi
- Ekime (Kora N. Park)
Privately Owned Lodges & Hotels in Meru National Park
- Elsa’s Kopje
- Leopard Rock Lodge
Meru National Park Entrance Fees and Charges
Adults KSH: 350
Child KSH: 250
Adults KSH: 1200
Child KSH: 600
Non – Resident
Child USD: 40