This wild and verdant swath of savanna gained global renown in the writings of naturalist Joy Adamson, who lived here with her husband, George, and Elsa the lioness of Born Free fame. The park is crossed by three major rivers and numerous mountain-fed streams, creating lush habitat for zebra, elephant, cheetah, leopard, reticulated giraffe, eland, waterbuck, hippopotamus, hartebeest, buffalo and more than 300 recorded species of birds. Snow-capped Mount Kenya stands sentinel over all.
The exclusivity of Meru National Park is due to it having only a handful of camps within it. If you want to get off the beaten path and enjoy tranquility with uncompromised and abundant wildlife viewing, then Meru is for you. Enjoy the solitude in nature on 4×4 wildlife drives over semi-arid grassland and tracing the rivers and springs that bisect the park. There is the added bonus of doing guided bush walks, line fishing on one of the main rivers, night wildlife drives, and elegant meals in the wild of the bush. The views are spectacular, whether from Mughwango Hill or looking out toward spectacular Mount Kenya. Riverine habitats play host to doum and raphia palms, and the park is dotted with enormous baobab trees.
The wildlife of Meru is unique within Kenya’s northern biome. Oases dot the otherwise arid landscape and teem with birdlife and mammals. The park features endangered Grevy’s zebra with their distinguishingly thin stripes and white bellies, reticulated giraffe with its brown spots outlined by crisp white, gerenuk with their beautiful long necks and big ears, Somali ostrich with their blue legs, Beisa oryx, as well as around 70 black and white rhino, which are breeding well in this recently extended sanctuary. The park does not want for large mammals and predators. There are lion, leopard, cheetah, elephant, hippo, and both lesser kudu and the more elusive greater kudu found here. The birds feature seemingly costume plumage with bright little kingfishers and bee-eaters, with a little luck, you may spot a Pel’s fishing owl hunting nocturnally in riverside forests.