Meru National Park is a Kenyan national park located east of Meru, 350 km (220 mi) from Nairobi. Covering an area of 870 km2 (340 sq mi), it is one best known national parks in Kenya. Rainfall in this area is abundant with 635–762 mm (25.0–30.0 in) in the west of the park and 305–356 mm (12.0–14.0 in) in the east. The rainfall results in tall grass and lush swamps. The park has a wide range of wild animals including the African bush elephant, lion, African leopard, cheetah, eastern black rhinoceros, southern white rhinoceros, Grévy’s zebra, hippopotamus. Meru was one of the two areas in which conservationists George Adamson and Joy Adamson raised Elsa the Lioness made famous in the best selling book and award winning movie Born Free. Elsa the Lioness is buried in this park and part of Joy’s ashes were scattered on her gravesite.
Best Time to Visit
Meru can be visited throughout the year, but wildlife viewing is best in the Dry season from June to September. Wildlife watching is usually more difficult during the long rains (March to May), and the short rains (October to November). During this time the weather may interfere with your enjoyment of game drives. Also, the grass tends to be very high making spotting animals more difficult. Elephants migrate out of the park in the rainy season and the roads in the rhino sanctuary might become impassable.
Best Time June to September is best for general wildlife viewing(Little to no rainfall)
High Season December to March and July to October (The park never gets very busy)
Low Season April to June (Low season rates might apply)
Best Weather June to September (Little to no rainfall)
Worst Weather April and November (Wettest months)
Access to Meru National Park through the Ura Gate is during dry weather. From Nairobi, take the A2 highway in the direction of Nyeri. Drive for about 87 km to Makutano. Turn right to the B6 in the direction Embu-Meru. Drive past Embu town for about 18 km. At Ena market, turn right on the C92 Ena-Mitunguu highway in the direction of Ishiara-Chiakariga. You will see the signpost – Meru National Park: Ura Gate, 116 km. The road is tarred up to Chiakariga. This route to Meru National Park takes you through stunning landscapes of the Mbeere and the Tharaka areas of Embu and Tharaka-Nithi Counties.
NAIROBI VIA EMBU-URA GATE-MERU NATIONAL PARK-MURERA GATE: 312 km
NAIROBI VIA EMBU-MERU-MURERA GATE: 295 km
NAIROBI VIA NANYUKI-MERU-MURERA GATE: 331 km
MAKUTANO [JCT EMBU-MERU-NANYUKI B6 HIGHWAY & MERU-MAUA C91 HIGHWAY] 70 km
National Park in Meru National Park
A signposted hard right not long after entering Murera Gate takes you to Meru’s 48-sq-km Rhino Sanctuary, one of the best places in Kenya to see wild rhinos. At last count, this fenced portion of the park was home to 25 black and 55 white rhinos, many of whom were reintroduced here from Lake Nakuru National Park after the disastrous poaching of the 1980s.
Meru National Park is noted for its fauna and natural beauty. It has many swamps and rivers lined with palms, as well as mountains and woodlands, and it is the setting for Joy Adamson’s book “Born Free”, which was later made into a successful film. The park is home to a large pride of lions, herds of buffalo, and hippos and crocodiles that live in the rivers. At Meru, you will find excellent views of snow-capped Mount Kenya and the park’s beautiful landscape is a camper’s paradise. The roads are suitable for vehicles and there are many rocky outcrops that provide great lookout points for the abundant Kenyan animals.