Meru National Park Travel Guide: Everything To Know : Only the phrase “paradise in the wild” can adequately describe this wonderful refuge. In every way, Meru National Park is breathtaking. It tops every list of “great national parks in Kenya“
Despite being made popular by Joy Adamson’s “Born Free” books, Meru National Park is still largely unexplored and untamed. Its untamed jungle, rivers, swamps, and grasslands provide excellent opportunities for game viewing. It has been restored to its former glory while avoiding the throngs of safari tourists, despite being neglected on safari bucket lists for years.
OVERVIEW OF MERU NATIONAL PARK
Despite the park’s establishment in the late 1960s, it wasn’t until it was highlighted in the movie Born Free that it became widely known. Meru National Park epitomizes the terms “wild and beautiful.” The park, which covers an area of 870 km2 and is covered in lush green grass, has solidified its place among Kenya’s top tourist safari attractions.
The Meru National Park is without a doubt beautiful, but we shouldn’t have been surprised given that it is gorgeously divided by 13 rivers and some streams from Mount Kenya and the Nyambeni Mountain Range.
It may be at the top of its game thanks to its three talents in one. The Kora National Park, Bisanadi National Reserve, and Mwingi National Reserve are all accessible to visitors who pay an entrance fee through the Meru National Park’s Ura or Murera gate.
MERU NATIONAL PARK WEATHER AND CLIMATE
All year round, Meru National Park experiences warm, muggy weather. The typical temperature range during the dry season, which lasts from November to April, is between 16°C (60°F) during chilly nights and 34°C (93°F) during scorching days.
The rainy season typically begins in May and lasts until October, bringing with it higher humidity and more frequent showers. Temperatures are still fairly high during this time, but there is typically a drop in the afternoon when showers start.
Periodic winds are also present in Meru National Park, and depending on their direction, they can bring dust storms and cooler temperatures. Days and nights are roughly equal in length throughout the year due to its proximity to the equator.
MERU NATIONAL PARK WILDLIFE
This park offers a wide range of wildlife, including all of the renowned Big Five (although it can be difficult to spot a leopard among the frequently dense vegetation).
There are sizable elephant herds, and lion sightings are becoming more frequent. Additionally, there are about 40 black and white rhinos.
However, buffalo are the species for which the park is best known. These dangerous, grumpy cattle are in great numbers, including the largest herds of buffalo in Kenya. More than 300 different species of birds, as well as antelope and zebra, are present.
Despite the abundance of animals, this park’s dense vegetation makes it more difficult to see wildlife than parks with more open vegetation.
THE EXPERIENCE: MERU NATIONAL PARK
In contrast to the dry savannah of Kenya’s other parks, Meru Park, which straddles the equator, is divided by 13 rivers and numerous mountain-fed streams, making it a lush paradise. It has a variety of landscapes, including dense forests, open plains, meandering riverbanks, kopje-dotted terrain, and rich volcanic soil deposits. Elsa the lioness, on whom the movie “Born Free” was based, was released into this wilderness by George and Joy Adamson.
Large herds of elephant, buffalo, gerenuk, lesser, and greater kudu can all be seen while game viewing in Meru. Beautiful lions, leopards, and black and white rhinos.
Since there are so many rivers in this area, you should bring your fishing gear along. Enjoy some canapes and a good book while relaxing on the riverbank. It’s easy to catch catfish, tilapia, and barbell. You can also take a guided hike to the top of Mughwango Hill if you’re feeling particularly spirited. From there, you can take in the uninterrupted 360-degree views, which range from Mount Kenya in the west to the vast Meru plains in the east.
This is one of the best places in Kenya to see these endangered animals because a portion of the reserve has been fenced off to create a sanctuary for 40 White Rhinos and 20 Black Rhinos.
THE BEST TIME TO VISIT MERU NATIONAL PARK
The best time to visit Meru National Park is in the dry season, which lasts from mid-June to mid-October. The weather is more tolerable and there is less rain during this time of year, which both facilitate easier wildlife viewing.
It’s also a fantastic opportunity to get close to the animals because there are fewer visitors at this time. However, it’s important to keep in mind that the wet season (November to March) is known for its lush green landscape and heavy rains, making it an interesting time of year if you’re looking for a distinctive experience. In either case, travelers can anticipate warm weather all year.
GETTING TO MERU NATIONAL PARK
From anywhere on the planet, including New York, Sydney, London, Beijing, Tokyo, or California, one can reach Meru National Park. All you need to do is take a direct flight to Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, from which you can either take a road trip or an airplane to get to the park.
By Road: Between the park and Nairobi, there are all-weather roads. Two routes lead to the park:
- Route 1: Nairobi to Murera Gate’s main gate via Nyeri, Nanyuki, Meru, and Mau 384 kilometers are covered by this route.
- Route 2: Murera Gate is the main entrance after passing through Nairobi, Embu, Meru, and Mau. 350 kilometers are covered by this route.
By air: Despite having 16 airstrips, only four are used to enter the park. They are the airstrips at Kinna, Masanduku, Murera, and Mulika. There are daily flights from Wilson Airport to the park.
MERU NATIONAL PARK ACTIVITIES
Visitors can participate in a variety of activities at Kenya’s Meru National Park. Game viewing, bird watching, and fishing are a few of the most popular pastimes.
The amount of game life is impressive for a park that once had to deal with a poaching threat. Some of the rarest game animals in the world can be seen casually in the National Park.
Dik-Dik antelope, lions, cheetahs, elephants, black rhinos, Oryx, Grevy’s zebras, leopards, buffalo, giraffes, and hartebeest are just a few of the animals that can be found there. Animals like hippos and crocodiles can be found in great numbers in the park’s rivers. Along the Tana River and for campers, catfish and Barbus fishing are permitted.
Meru National Park will capture the hearts of birders. Weavers, Red-necked falcons, bee-eaters, kingfishers, rollers, Pel’s Fishing Owl, sunbirds, Heuglin’s Course, and the Brown-backed woodpecker are just a few of the over 300 bird species that can be found in the park.
Visits to Cultural Sites
Through cultural visits, visitors to Meru can learn more about the local way of life. These visits feature traditional pottery-making demonstrations as well as music and dance performances.
Fishing, hiking, and camping
The park’s stunning landscapes, which range from rocky hills to rolling plains, can be explored by hikers. Camping in the park is another option for visitors who want to enjoy the breathtaking views of the surroundings. Those who want to stay in Meru for a few days can choose from a large selection of campsites. Fishing is also possible at Meru, with a range of freshwater species available.
ATTRACTIONS AT THE MERU NATIONAL PARK
Meru is a park that should be enjoyed slowly, savoring each serene moment. Meru is by far the least visited of all the major parks and reserves in the nation, which means you may frequently have this vast area of Africa almost entirely to yourself.
Both in terms of the landscapes and the wildlife, this park is very diverse. Kenya’s north, which is more arid and desolate, is sandwiched between the wet, cool, and densely vegetated central highlands, creating a region with a variety of habitats and a home for a wide range of animals. There are even rumors that this area has more animal species than the Masai Mara.
The view from here is unforgettable. Huge doum palm stands, dense riverine forests, expansive plains, scrubby acacia woodlands, a network of thirteen rivers, and countless streams, pools, and swamps can all be found there. And mountains with broad views and rocky outcrops surround the entire area.
Meru is home to a healthy population of both black and white rhinos, which are kept in a sizable reserve that is fenced off and heavily guarded within the park. The rhino sanctuary is a park within a park. Since the majority of these rhinos were relocated from other regions of the country, this area is one where rhino sightings are very likely and frequently occur up close.
MERU NATIONAL PARK ACCOMMODATION
A breathtaking natural paradise can be found in Kenya’s Meru National Park. Meru has something to offer everyone, from its incredible wildlife to its distinct culture and history. Visitors need high-quality lodging options that can serve as the ideal home base for their stay in this amazing region because it has so much to offer. Five of the best lodges in Meru National Park are listed below:
Elsa’s Kopje Lodge
Elsa’s Kopje, a luxurious lodge perched atop Mughwango Hill with a view of Meru National Park, is named after Elsa the lioness, made well-known by Joy Adamson’s book Born Free. Here, visitors can go on private game drives throughout the park and take guided Maasai warrior walks.
Leopard Rock Lodge
Leopard Rock Lodge is a cozy lodge perched atop a rocky outcrop with breathtaking views of the park’s river and hills in the center of Meru National Park. Visitors can enjoy guided nature walks, sundowners on the veranda, and vehicle access to some of Meru’s best wildlife viewing locations at the lodge.
Rhino River Camp
Rhino River Camp, a traditional safari camp situated at the entrance to Meru National Park, provides cozy lodging with contemporary amenities in a picturesque riverside setting. Visitors can go on game drives throughout the park, participate in bird-watching excursions, and even go on night game drives.
Kina River Camp
Kina River Camp, which is situated in Meru National Park along the banks of the River Ura, provides opulent tent lodging. Visitors can explore the park on game drives and guided walks with knowledgeable rangers thanks to full access to 4×4 vehicles.
Kingupuru Luxury Tented Camp
This opulent camp, which is located on a remote hillside with views of the Kingupuru Valley, is ideal for those looking for a private getaway. For a truly memorable stay, visitors can take advantage of their well-stocked bar and spa facilities in addition to the daily game drives they offer within Meru National Park.