Meru National Park
Few places offer a more genuine wilderness ambiance than the remote and rugged Meru National Park and Kora National Parks. Little- visited, utterly unspoilt and the most geographically diverse Parks in Kenya, they are the favorites of safari professionals and wildlife experts alike. Brilliantly painted on a magniﬁcent scale, these sister Parks feature luxuriant jungle, coursing rivers, verdant swamp, khaki grasslands,gaunt termite cathedrals and an ever-evolving dance between clouds and sky.
A classic savannah landscape
The rivers that form the perimeters of Meru define its character, establishing it as a fine example of the classic savannah landscape. The mighty Tana flows to the south, the Ura to the southwest, and the Rojeweru to the east. Additionally, the park is scored by T4 permanent streams that drain off the nearby Nyambeni Hills.
A rich diversity of habitats: Thanks to the diversity of its habitats, Meru offers unique wildlife watching opportunities.
The northern plains: One of the most rewarding areas for wildlife viewing, the northern plains boasts of Elephant, Lion and Cheetah. Both species of Zebra, Grant’s and Thomson’s gazelle, Impala, Beisa Oryx, hartebeest and Reticulated Giraffe are also easily seen.
The southem plain: The dense woodlands shelter Gerenuk, Common Eland, Kirk‘s Dik-Dik and Warthog. They also make an ideal habitat for one ofthe Park’s highlights, the Lesser kudu.
The kopjes: Meru is renowned for its rocky outcrops (known as inselbergs or kopjes),where baboons cavort and leopard lurk among the boulders.
The swampy grasslands: Are grazed by Defassa Waterbuck and shifting herds of Buffalo.
The rivers: Hippo and Nile crocodile are common in the slower streams of the Tana River.
A brilliance of birds
Meru‘s birds are abundant and colorful; common river birds include Ibis, Heron and African Fish Eagle while the riverine acacia woodland shelters the smallest of the Long-tailed in birds, the Black-bellied Sunbird. Visitors often encounter flocks of glorious golden-breasted starlings, as well as groups of hornbills that honk loudly.
The setting for ‘Born Free‘
Meru is where Joy and George Adamson released their most famous lioness, Elsa, back into the wild. The book and the film ‘Born Free’ tell her tale. The Park was also the site of their alter experiments with orphaned cheetahs.
WHERE TO STAY LODGES AND TENTED CAMPS
Elsa’s Kopje Tented Camp: This exclusive lodge offers 9 stone and thatch cottages, international cuisine, swimming pool and game viewing.
Contact: Cheli and Peacock, Tel: +254(20)603090, 604053/4.
Leopard Rock Lodge: Overlooking the Murera River, this authentic lodge offers African and international cuisine, swimming pool and game viewing.
Contact: Tel: +254(20)60003l/6, 862527/0733333100.
Rhino River Camp +2547l 81 39359, Murera Springs +254711986513/0737636693
Self-catering accommodation: Murera Bandas: Four simple two bedroom stone chalets located by Murera Gate. Contact: KWS H0, Nairobi.
Bwatherongi Bandas: Four simple one and two bedroom wooden chalets, 22km from Murera Gate and next to the Bwatherongi River. Contact: KWS HQ, Nairobi.
Public campsite. 18km from Murera Gate, this site lies in a stretch of open ground beside a wooded stream lavatories and showers are provided.
‘Special’ campsites: A number of ‘special‘ Campsites are seasonally located along the rivers.Visitors must book special campsites in advance for exclusive use, as these campsites have no basic amenities.
KORA NATIONAL PARK
Meru’s sister Park, the adjoining Kora National Park is famous as the former home of naturalist George Adamson.The alluvial plains of the vast area of acacia bushland are adorned with stark granite kopjes and low hills. The Mwitamisyi River borders it to the southeast, providing support for an abundance of lizards, snakes, tortoises, and crocodiles.
WHERE TO STAY
There are no lodges, tented camps or self-catering accommodation options in Kora National Park. For information on campsites in Kora National Park please contact the warden or KWS HQ, Nairobi.
WHEN TO GO
The Parks are accessible all year round.
WHAT T0 TAKE WITH YOU
Drinking water and picnic items (and camping equipment ifyou intend to camp overnight). Also useful are: camera, binoculars, hat, sunscreen, sunglasses, insect repellent and Guidebooks.
Daily 6.00am – 7.00pm including public holidays.
Please note that entry on foot is prohibited, and visitors will not be granted entry after 6.15pm.
Current entry charges:
obtainable via KWS HQ, Tel: (Nairobi) +254 (20) 6000800, 6002345.
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.kws.go.ke
At present the Parks do not operate the SafariCard system.
Entry is by cash only (KShs or US$).
The warden: Meru: contact; P.0. Box ll, Maua, Meru. E-mail: email@example.com
Kora: as above.