The Meru National Park covers an area of 1,813 square kilometers to the north east of Kenya. It is bordered by the Kora, Rahole and Bisanadi Reserves.
Meru is the setting of Joy Adamson's book 'Born Free'
Well off the mainstream tourist circuit, Meru is not a reserve to come and tick off the Big Five. Rather it is a wilderness experience. The horizons are endless and game wild. Huge tracts of the park have no roads and must be explored on foot. On the roads that there are, minibuses are never seen. You might see a park ranger or lion researcher in an old Land Rover but that is the extent of the traffic. Finally, Meru is perhaps best known for Elsa the lioness, who was released here and made famous by Joy Adamson's books.
Tropical riverine forest
The park lies at the foothills of the Nyambene Mountain Range. The area is well watered by small rivers and streams, the main rivers being the Rojerwero, Ura and Tana. All three rivers are flanked by dense tropical riverine forest and superb stands of doum and raphia palms. Baboons can often be seen foraging in the forest and climbing the trees at night to sleep. Away from the rivers the vegetation consists of wide grassy plains, dotted with acacias and palms and areas of woodland.
Wildlife of Meru
Meru has a good network of dirt roads which allow you to access many areas of the park. There is increasingly good game including elephant, black rhino, reticulated giraffe, Grevy's and common zebra, Grant's gazelle, lesser kudu, gerenuk and Beisa oryx. Predators are also present including lion, leopard and cheetah. The lion are particularly interesting as many of the males have very small manes. All the animals are still quite shy and this is not a place to race about from herd to herd. Rather it is a park to see zebra in the sunset, lion in the tall grass, and learn about the birds and trees.
The scenery is superb, and in Meru, you can enjoy space and wilderness all to yourself.
Suggested itinerary featuring Meru National Park
This sample itinerary will give you an idea of what is possible when you travel in Meru National Park, and showcases routes we know work particularly well. Treat this as inspiration, because your trip will be created uniquely by one of our specialists.
Map of Meru National Park
Places & hotels on the map
Places near Meru National Park
- The Parks & Reserves of Northern Kenya 7 kilometers away
- Shaba National Reserve 71 kilometers away
- Borana Ranch 79 kilometers away
- Lewa Wilderness Conservancy 81 kilometers away
- Samburu National Reserve 91 kilometers away
- Il Ngwesi Group Ranch 96 kilometers away
- Ol Lentille Conservancy 127 kilometers away
- Ol Pejeta Conservancy 144 kilometers away
- Matthews Mountain Range 145 kilometers away
- Loisaba Wilderness Conservancy 156 kilometers away
- Sosian Ranch 165 kilometers away
- Karisia Hills 182 kilometers away
- Nairobi 218 kilometers away
- Lake Naivasha 225 kilometers away
- The Laikipia Plateau 234 kilometers away
- Lake Nakuru 237 kilometers away
- Lakes of the Great Rift Valley 238 kilometers away
- The Chyulu Hills 303 kilometers away
- The Parks & Reserves of Southern Kenya 325 kilometers away
- Amboseli National Park 327 kilometers away
- Loita Hills 327 kilometers away
- Shompole Magadi 331 kilometers away
- Tsavo East National Park 334 kilometers away
- Mara Naboisho Conservancy 360 kilometers away
- Mara North Conservancy 371 kilometers away
- The Tana Delta 383 kilometers away
- Tsavo West National Park 393 kilometers away
- Masai Mara National Reserve 397 kilometers away
- Lamu Archipelago 407 kilometers away
- Watamu 438 kilometers away
- Lake Victoria 455 kilometers away
- Kenya's Coastline 456 kilometers away
Photos of Meru National Park
Accommodation choices for Meru National Park
We’ve selected a range of accommodation options for when you visit Meru National Park. Our choices usually come recommended for their character, facilities and service or location. Our specialists always aim to suggest properties that match your preferences.
Elsa's Kopje is perched on the top of Mughwango Hill, the site of George Adamson's first camp in Meru. From almost everywhere in the lodge you have the most superb views, it feels like a window over Africa.