The park provides visitors with a variety of nature encounters including jungle, grasslands, swamps, rivers, and landscape with an abundance of termite created mounds. The Kenyan Wildlife Services describes Meru as “Complete Wilderness.” The elevation varies across the park with the lowest spot occurring in the southeastern part of the park along the Tana River. The foothills of the Nyambeni Range account for the highest point at 3,400 feet (1,036 m).
The national park receives an abundance of rain allowing for the growth of tall grasses and the development of rich swamps. This makes it a wildlife haven. The Tana River referenced above combined with the Rojerwero and Ura rivers are the leading sources of water. Each of these rivers and related tributaries is lined with riverine forest along with stands of dom and raphia palms.
Wildlife is varied and plentiful. Some of the more common species include elephant, giraffe, black rhino, white rhino, kudu, gazelle, hartebeest, reedbuck, zebra, and hippo. Each of the above-referenced rivers is highly populated with hippopotamuses. Predator species include lion, leopard, cheetah, jackal, African wild cat, and hyena.
Birdwatchers are happy to learn that there are 427 species of birds to check off during an exploration of the park area. Snake enthusiasts can hope for a chance to see pythons, puff adders, and cobras. River safaris are one of the best ways to capture sightings of some of the bird species that live along the banks. Ostrich can be found in some of the bushy grasslands.
What to do in the Meru National Park
The activities offered in the national park is game viewing on a self-drive or guided game drives offered by the lodge you stay with. Elsa’s Kopje has a special licence to conduct night safaris and game walks within the park.With only one lodge operating inside the park, it will seem as if you have the park to yourself.
Straddling the equator, Meru park is bisected by 13 rivers and numerous mountain fed streams, making it a green paradise compared to the dry savannah of Kenya’s other parks. It boasts diverse scenery from woodlands to wide open plains, meandering riverbanks, a landscape dotted by kopjes and rich volcanic soil deposits. This is the wilderness into which George and Joy Adamson released Elsa the lioness of which the film “Born Free” was based on.
Game viewing in Meru encompasses large herds of elephant, buffalo, gerenuk, lesser and greater kudu. Magnificent lions, leopard, black and white rhinos.
With so many rivers here you need to bring your fishing rod with; relax on the river bank with some canapes and a good book. There are plenty of catfish, tilapia and barbell to catch. Or if you are feeling more energetic you can go on a guided walk to the top of Mughwango Hill, where you can enjoy uninterrupted 360 degree views, with Mount Kenya in the west to the vast Meru plains in the east.
Part of the reserve has been fenced off to create a sanctuary for 40 White Rhino and 20 Black Rhino, making this one of the best places in Kenya to see these endangered animals.
Meru National Park Highlights
Visit The Meru National Park With Us