Meru National Park | Background Info

Straddling the equator, Meru park is bisected by 13 rivers and numerous mountain fed streams, making it a green paradise compared to the dry savannah of Kenya’s other parks. It boasts diverse scenery from woodlands to wide open plains, meandering riverbanks, a landscape dotted by kopjes and rich volcanic soil deposits. This is the wilderness into which George and Joy Adamson released Elsa the lioness of which the film “Born Free” was based on.

Game viewing in Meru encompasses large herds of elephant, buffalo, gerenuk, lesser and greater kudu. Magnificent lions, leopard, black and white rhinos.

With so many rivers here you need to bring your fishing rod with; relax on the river bank with some canapes and a good book. There are plenty of catfish, tilapia and barbell to catch. Or if you are feeling more energetic you can go on a guided walk to the top of Mughwango Hill, where you can enjoy uninterrupted 360 degree views, with Mount Kenya in the west to the vast Meru plains in the east.

Experience Meru National Park

Rich Safari History

Well off the mainstream tourist circuit, Meru is not a reserve to come and tick off the Big Five. Rather it is a wilderness experience. The horizons are endless and game wild. Huge tracts of the park have no roads and must be explored on foot. On the roads that there are, minibuses are never seen. You might see a park ranger or lion researcher in an old Land Rover but that is the extent of the traffic. Finally, Meru is perhaps best known for Elsa the lioness, who was released here and made famous by Joy Adamson's books.

Why Visit Meru National Park

  • Rhino Sanctuary – Meru National Park incorporates a 44km² rhino sanctuary, home to over 40 white rhino, and 20 black rhino and several babies.
  • History – built overlooking the site of George Adamson’s camp in Meru, the rock was the playground of Elsa the lioness of “Born Free” fame.
  • Location – currently the only fully operational lodge in Meru National Park, Elsa’s guests have the entire Park to themselves. The park is arid with Doum Palms and Baobab trees, but its 13 rivers and springs also allow for thriving riverine habitats.
  • Superb for families. Fantastic koppies (hills) and views in a park where you are one of a small handful of guests.
  • The incredible true story of the Adamson lions.

Part of the Meru National Park has been fenced off to create a sanctuary for 40 White Rhino and 20 Black Rhino, making this one of the best places in Kenya to see these endangered animals.

The Experience & Elsa Kopje

The activities offered in the national park is game viewing on a self-drive or guided game drives offered by the lodge you stay with. Elsa's Kopje has a special licence to conduct night safaris and game walks within the park.With only one lodge operating inside the park, it will seem as if you have the park to yourself.

Elsas Kopje - This lodge is named after Elsa the Lion who was made famous by George and Joy Adamson. An elegant up-market lodge it blends into the kopje (hill) on which it is situated. Accommodation is in luxuriously appointed cottages that have stunning views. The main lodge has an open-sided bar and dining room next to an infinity pool that overlooks the Meru plains.

meru national parkElsa Kopje - Meru National Park