3 Days Meru National Park is an off-beaten track, an authentic African safari experience in the verdant swamp and the endless jungle of green rolling hills, abundant wildlife.
Meru National Park – Get a chance to see the BIG five and the SPECIAL five in their natural habitat, christened as “God’s Backyard”.
Meru National Park, where George and Joy Adamson released their most famous lioness, Elsa, back into the wild (a story immortalized in the book and film Born Free), is increasingly re-appearing on safari itineraries. It was founded in 1966. Expectations include predator sightings, including lions and cheetahs. The overall wildlife-viewing rating here is high. The characteristic northern varieties of plains mammals are easily seen – magnificent reticulated giraffe, fine-striped Grevy’s zebra, dapper Beisa oryx, skittish and beautifully marked lesser kudu and the distinctively long-necked browsing gerenuk gazelle. You’ll also see Grant’s gazelles (though not Thomson’s) and some of the biggest herds of buffalo you’ll encounter anywhere in Kenya, as well as good numbers of elephants. All the mammals thrive because of Meru’s abundant water, and in many of the streams and rivers, you can see crocodiles, freshwater turtles and hippos.
As well as unmistakable ostriches and the smartly plumaged vulturine Guinea fowl that you’ll see as you drive around, look out for red-necked falcons, which nest in the stands of doum palms, and after dark the remarkable Pel’s fishing owl, a rare and very large owl with a wingspan of around 1.5m. You’re most likely to identify by its unusual call – a deep, horn-like note, audible for a couple of kilometres. The characteristic of the streams is the African finfoot (much sought-after by birdwatchers), though these are hard to see from the banks, and you’ll probably have more luck with kingfishers, including the ubiquitous pied and more elusive giant kingfisher. The forested areas along the watercourses are also good for specialist flower-feeding sunbirds, including the smaller black-bellied sunbird that feeds on parasitic Loranthus flowers growing in riverbank acacias. If you’re a keen birder, you’ll also want to spot some of the park’s four species of honeyguides – and you won’t need reminding to look out for flocks of gloriously coloured golden-breasted starlings, for which Meru National Park is a stronghold. Not to forget the protected rhino sanctuary making sighting easy.
Day 1: Nairobi – Meru
We leave Nairobi at 8:00 am and drive to Meru national park through Thika, Makutano, Embu, Chuka, Meru. Our home for the next two nights will be spent in 5-star Leopard Rock Lodge. We do our first evening game drive in the park. Overnight in private romantic and gorgeous cottages of Leopard Rock Lodge.
Day 2: Full day game drive
We leave the guest house after breakfast with a picnic lunch (lunch box) for a full-day game drive giving us time to explore the national park, to a full-day drive down to the south of the park. The Adamson falls and the grave of Elsa the lioness is out in this remote area on the north bank of the Ura River, a major tributary that forms the parks’ southwest boundary. The park offers unique sceneries, topography, game and history. Dinner and overnight at the Ikweta safari lodge.
Day 3: Meru – Nairobi
After breakfast, we traverse the park doing our last game drive to Ura gate. We drive back to Nairobi to arrive in the afternoon.
Options are of course many and varied and in many cases, we can be flexible about the itinerary for accommodation facilities and the extension of the safari destinations.