Meru National Park

Meru National Park

“The Complete Wilderness”

Marvelous, remote, rugged and prominently unspoilt, Meru sits intact in a wilderness less visited, yet surrounded by undiluted natural beauty. It is wild and beautiful, straddling the equator and bisected by 13 rivers and numerous mountain-fed streams. The scenery is diverse from woodlands at 3,000ft on the slopes of Nyambene mountain range, northeast of Mt. Kenya to wide-open plains with meandering riverbanks dotted with doum palms.

The park teems with a variety of wildlife species including elephant, Grevy’s zebra, lion, cheetah, leopard, hartebeest, hippo, buffalo and the reticulated giraffe among others. Meru hosts a rhino sanctuary that is home to the endangered black and white rhino species. Critically endangered, the rhinos are under a twenty-four hour surveillance. The sanctuary offers one of the best rhino viewing experiences in the wild.

Bird life is also exceptionally diverse with over 400 bird species recorded. These include Peter’s Fin foot, inhabiting the Murera and Ura rivers; Pel’s fishing owl, kingfishers, rollers, bee-eaters, starlings and weavers. The rivers abound with hippo populations, crocodiles, and fish.

The park is famous as the setting for Joy Adamson’s book ‘Born Free”, the story of the Adamson’s life and research amongst lions and cheetahs. Elsa the lioness was the most well known and her grave is marked inside the park.

At the boarder of Meru National Park is Bisanadi National Reserve known as “Kinna” the border between Meru and Bisanadi Parks is the traditional division between the Meru and the Borana people. This is a true wilderness.

Visitors can enjoy game viewing, camping, picnicking, hiking and swimming in the swimming pool located next to the Bwatherongi (Kinna) bandas (cottages). Situated about two hours’ drive from Meru town past Maua town, the rich culture of the Ameru, Borana and Tharaka communities in the cultural villages is also an activity visitors can savor. Ameru culture at Murera Gate, which is the park main gate, Borana culture at Bisanadi gate, and Tharaka culture at Ura gate.

Altitude: 1,000-3,400FT
Area: 870
Location: Tharaka-Nithi County
Gazettement: 1966
Distance from Nairobi: 348 KM

Key features


  • Grevy's Zebra, Elephants, Eland, Bush Pig,  Waterbuck, Cheetah, Leopard, Reticulated Giraffe, Hippopotamus, Bohor Reedbuck, Hartebeest, Python, Puff Udder, Cobra, Buffalo, more than 427 recorded species of birds


  • More than 427 recorded species


  • Mainly thorny bush land in the North, wooded grasslands in the West and open grassland elsewhere. The park also offer dense riverine forests of Doum and Raffia palm

Protected Area Type

Park Size

870 sq. Km


Parks are part of Semi-arid zone and have irregular rainfalls. Wet seasons are April- June and November- December. Rainfall is 635-762mm in the west and 305-356mm in the east

What to take with you

  • Drinking water, picnic items and camping equipment if you intend to stay overnight.
  • Also useful are: binoculars, camera, hat, sunscreen, sunglasses and guidebooks 
  • Camping
  • Game viewing
  • Scenic

How to get there

  • Roads:
    • Access from Nairobi (348 kms) is via Nyeri-Nanyuki-Meru or via Embu all weather roads. Access into the park from Maua to Murera Gate (35 km) and 348 km from Nairobi..
    • The other access is via Embu to Ura Gate (120 km), 290 km from Nairobi
  • Airstrip:
    • Main airstrip at Kina, Mulika next to Meru Mulika Lodge and Elsa's Kopje airstrip


  • Former home of Joy and George Adamson and Elsa the lioness
  • Views of Mt Kenya
  • Rivers and riverine habitats
  • Tana river
  • Adamson's falls

Park Entry Fee

Meru National Park






















* Kindly refer to the Conservation Fees document  below for other services and charges 

Park Resources


Mobile: +254 786 348 875

Postal Address:

Meru National Park,

P.O. Box 11,

Maua - Kenya

Park Gallery