Meru National Park
Meru National Park is a forest reserve located 350km from Nairobi, east of Meru town. It is one of Kenya’s lesser known parks, covering an area of 87 044 hectares. Meru is part of a complex of protected areas along the Tana River that includes the Bisanadi and Mwingi National Reserves, Kora National Park and Rahole National Reserve.
The wetter north western sector is hilly with rich volcanic soils. Towards the east the land flattens and the soil appears grey and volcanic. As well as the many streams that cross Meru National Park, the park is bound by three large rivers: Rojeweru River to the East, Ura River to the south west and the Tana River to the south.
Kenya’s location on the equator gives it a tropical climate and a lot of summer rainfall, which encourages the growth of vegetation. This in turn makes animal spotting fairly difficult out of the dry season, but beautiful scenery nevertheless.
WHAT TO SEE AND DO
Meru National Park has a wide range of wildlife including elephant, lion, leopard, cheetah, black rhino and hippo. Buffalo, oryx, oribi, zebra, giraffe, hartebeest, impala, kudu, mongoose, warthog, dik dik, civet, caracal, wild dog, baboons, hyena and vervet monkeys can also be spotted. Meru National Park is also to home to an abundance of birdlife that includes Pel’s fishing owl, Peter’s finfoot which inhabits the Murera and Ura Rivers.
In the 1980s the game in Meru was almost completly eradicated by poachers. With assistance from the International Fund of Animal Welfare, the Kenya Wildlife Service has restored Meru National Park from near-ruin to an excellent tourist destination in East Africa.
Bird Watching, Picnics, Camping, Wildlife Safaris, Adventure and Cultural safaris can all be organized. Nature walks, rafting and fishing can be organized along Tana River. Afternoons are best spent on cultural tours, fishing, rafting or just relaxing.