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meru national park

Meru National Park

Meru National Park: Background Info

Made famous by conservationist Joy Adamson and the film based on her book “Born Free”, Meru National Park is home to 13 rivers, as well as a wide range of diverse habitats. It is a paradise for bird watchers, as several rare bird species are found here. A small but highly diverse park, Meru has the feeling of a far larger wilderness and was home to Elsa the lioness of “Born Free” fame. The park is quieter than others in Kenya, well off the mainstream tourist trail. Nevertheless, there is a wealth of wildlife to see here – and each of the park’s three camps has plenty of character and charm! Activities in Meru focus on viewing all this wildlife, on game drives and game walks. As the park is not teeming with tourists, it provides a very authentic safari experience. We highly recommend a trip to the successful rhino sanctuary, while the site of Elsa’s grave – the remote north bank of the Ura River in the deep south of Meru – is also well worth a visit.

Meru National Park: Destination Preview

meru national park

Wildlife

The park is home to a huge variety of animals, including the Big Five: lion, leopard, rhinoceros, elephant, and Cape buffalo. Zebras and gazelles are known to roam free across much of the park, grazing on dry yellow tufts of grass. The rivers around the park are also home to a lot of wildlife. Within the murky depths, crocodiles lurk, waiting to pounce on anything brave enough to approach these shores. Hippos can often be seen sunbathing on the banks of the various rivers and lakes across the park. The rhino sanctuary houses both black and white rhino. Decades of poaching means these animals need serious protection, and there are a number of conservation initiatives across Kenya dedicated to the preservation of rhinos. The 80km² sanctuary is ring-fenced and protected from poachers. This has led to the increase in the rhino population.

Birdlife

Meru offers good bird watching throughout the year, but the best time is from November to April when the migrants from Europe and North Africa are present. This coincides with the breeding season when many species are nesting. Although good for birding, November and April tend to be very wet and are less productive times for general wildlife viewing. With more than 300 species recorded, Meru National Park is an excellent birding destination. It has several northern Kenya specials, including the impressive Somali ostrich, Boran cisticola and vulturine guineafowl. The noisy yellow-necked spurfowl is very common and the sought-after Hinde’s pied babbler can sometimes be spotted as well. The rivers running through the park offer the right habitat for Pel’s fishing-owl, the elusive African finfoot and the localized golden palm weaver, as well as more common waterbirds.

Meru National Park: Location

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