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 less than 5 miles away
- Shaba National Reserve 44 miles away
- Borana Ranch 49 miles away
- Lewa Wilderness Conservancy 51 miles away
- Samburu National Reserve 57 miles away
- Il Ngwesi Group Ranch 60 miles away
- Ol Lentille Conservancy 79 miles away
- Ol Pejeta Conservancy 90 miles away
- Matthews Mountain Range 90 miles away
- Loisaba Wilderness Conservancy 97 miles away
- Sosian Ranch 103 miles away
- Karisia Hills 113 miles away
- Nairobi 135 miles away
- Lake Naivasha 140 miles away
- The Laikipia Plateau 146 miles away
- Lake Nakuru 148 miles away
- Lakes of the Great Rift Valley 148 miles away
- The Chyulu Hills 188 miles away
- The Parks & Reserves of Southern Kenya 202 miles away
- Amboseli National Park 203 miles away
- Loita Hills 204 miles away
- Shompole Magadi 206 miles away
- Tsavo East National Park 208 miles away
- Mara Naboisho Conservancy 224 miles away
- Mara North Conservancy 231 miles away
- The Tana Delta 238 miles away
- Tsavo West National Park 244 miles away
- Masai Mara National Reserve 247 miles away
- Lamu Archipelago 253 miles away
- Watamu 273 miles away
- Lake Victoria 283 miles away
- Kenya's Coastline 283 miles 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.