Meru National Park

Meru was one of the two areas in which conservationists George Adamson and Joy Adamson raised Elsa the Lioness made famous in the best selling book and award winning movie Born Free. Elsa the Lioness is buried in this park and part of Joy's ashes were scattered on her gravesite. Joy Adamson released Pippa the cheetah in this park.

Meru National Park is a Kenyan forest reserve located east of Meru, 348 km from Nairobi. This wild and beautiful wilderness, beloved of the late George Adamson and his wife Joy, straddles the equator, bisected by 13 rivers and numerous mountain-fed streams. Ranging from 1000 to 3000 feet altitude it has diverse scenery from woodlands on the slopes of the Nyambeni Mountain Range, north east of Mount Kenya, to wide open arid plains dotted with doum palms and baobabs. Covering an area of 870 sq km, it is one the lesser-known parks of Kenya. It has abundant rainfall, 635-762 mm in the west of the park and 305-356 mm in the east. The rainfall results in tall grass and lush swamps, which make it difficult to spot game. It has a wide range of wild beasts like elephant, hippopotamus, lion, leopard, cheetah, black rhinoceros and some rare antelopes.

Animals are easily spotted from safari vehicles and, because the park is less visited than some of Kenya's better-known parks, you do not have other vehicles of tourists sharing the sights with you. Over 300 species of birds have been recorded in Meru National Park, including the Peter's Finfoot, the Pel's Fishing Owl, kingfishers, rollers, bee-eaters, starlings and numerous weavers. There is also an abundance of ostriches, hornbills, secretary birds, eagles and other smaller birds. It is a good idea to carry a bird book to identify the many species you will see.

Meru National Park