Meru National Park

The Meru National Park is a relatively unvisited Kenyan forest reserve. The National Park is just 350km from Nairobi and covers 87000 hectares of magnificent unspoilt land. The plentiful rainfall in the west creates a varied landscape with tall grass and wetlands. The eastern portion is usually quite dry and can reach high temperatures. This area is one where Joy and George Adamson introduced Elsa the lioness back into the wilderness and was made famous by the best-selling book and film Born Free. Elsa is now buried in the park and some of Joy's ashes were also scattered at her gravesite.

The park is broken up by 15 rivers and many mountain springs, rising on Mount Kenya and pass through Meru to their destination - the Tana River.

Due to the amount of rainfall and tall grass in the park you will have to keep a keen eye open to spot the game weaving through the vegetation. The wildlife in the park includes, elephant, reticulated giraffe, zebra and antelope. Predators are also in good numbers with lion, leopard and cheetah intensifying game viewing as they hunt their prey. Birdlife in the park is impressive with over 300 species resident. These include starlings, bee-eaters, peters finfoot, the pel's fishing owl, rollers and many weavers.

As the park does not see great numbers of guests the animals are still very aware of human presence and remain quite shy. This helps to create a real sense of wilderness in a classic safari environment. The best time to visit the park is during the months of June through to October due to comfortable warm weather. The grass is at its shortest so you are likely to see more game and the elephants have migrated back to the park. January to March is a warmer time of year; when the game viewing conditions are also good.

Elsa's Kopje is the only camp in the Meru National Park that is permanent. The lodge is set on a hilltop with incredible views and has just eight stone and thatch cottages. Each cottage has large open fronts so you can enjoy the views from the comfort of your living area. The game viewing is carried out by open vehicle both during the day and at night. In the night a spotlight is used. Why not go on exciting walking safaris with an armed guide and National Park scout to be at one with the environment and learn basic tracking skills in this magnificent area.

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