Meru National Park Parks and Reserves
Made famous by Joy Adamson and her "Born Free" books, Meru National Park is wild, undiscovered and very scenic. It's tropical, with rivers and streams in abundance and excellent game viewing. Off the safari charts for many years, it has been restored to its former glory, yet it has managed to evade the hordes of tourists.
* Meru National Park Highlights
- ∞Wild, untamed and very beautiful park
- ∞Made famous by Joy & George Adamson and their lions
- ∞One of the least-visited parks, it offers a superb, uncrowded safari experience
- ∞Home to Big 5 and a huge variety of game
- ∞Only 300 km from Nairobi
- ∞Abundant rivers and streams, teeming with crocodile and hippo
Meru National Park is wild, untamed and especially beautiful. The equator runs through it and it’s criss-crossed by numerous rivers and streams, making it a lush, tropical paradise. The scenery is spectacular and ranges from wide open grasslands to woodlands, mountain slopes and meandering rivers and streams fringed with Egyptian doum palms.
"Born Free" fame
The park was made famous as the setting for Joy Adamson’s book “Born Free” (1960), which details the story of her and her husband’s years spent here researching the local lion and cheetah. Elsa, the most well-known of her lionesses featured in her books, is buried here.
In the mid-1980s, the park was heavily poached, and has only recently been ‘relaunched’ with successful wildlife conservation and stable, breeding herds. Yet it’s still one of the least-visited parks and definitely one of the more rewarding for game viewing. You’re very likely to see large prides of lion, elephant, cheetah, leopard, black rhino, zebra, gazelle, oryx and some of the rarer antelope - Lesser Kudu and duiker - also the more common Dik Dik, one of Africa’s smallest antelope and some of Kenya’s largest herds of buffalo.
The rivers teem with hippo and crocodile. Fishing for barbus and catfish is allowed at camp sites and along the Tana River. More than 300 species of birds have been recorded here.
Easy to get to
Meru is fairly easy to reach by road, with several route options depending on the season. There are also airstrips available for fly-ins. We’ll arrange the best ways to get you there, depending on your time and budget and what time of year you are planning your safari.
When to Visit Kenya Know when is good to go…
Best time to visit Kenya: a breakdown of the various seasons to give you an idea of when to go and what to pack.
When to Visit Kenya
Before you go to Meru National Park Things you should know before you go!
Malaria is a consideration in Meru National Park
Learn more about malaria areas and malaria prevention with our resource article.
Malaria Areas & Prevention
Related LocationsSamburu National Park
Set alongside the Ewaso Nyiro River (Kenya’s biggest northern river), Samburu has the lion's share of wildlife. Besides big cats and African wild dogs, you’re very likely to see some of the rare northern species: Grevy’s zebra, the Somali ostrich, reticulated giraffe, the long-necked gerenuk, Guenther's dik-dik and the beisa oryx – known as the “Samburu Special Six”.
More about Samburu National Park