Meru National Park is wild and beautiful. It straddles the equator and is bisected by 13 rivers as well as numerous mountain-fed streams. Meru National Park became most famous as the setting for Joy Adamson’s book “Born Free” – which tells the story of Adamson’s life and research amongst lions and cheetahs. “Elsa” the lioness was the most well-known and her grave is marked here. It was here that Joy Adamson set her lioness Elsa free and also it is in this park that the last white rhinos in Kenya lived until 1988. The park has got diverse sceneries from woodlands at on the slopes of Nyambeni Mountain Range that lies northeast of Mount Kenya and wide-open plains with wandering riverbanks which are dotted with palms.
Animals that can be viewed here includes: lions, elephants, cheetahs, leopards, lesser Burchell’s Zebras, Grevy Zebras, Masai and reticulated giraffes, Grant gazelles, gerenuks Kudus, duikers and dik-diks (which count for Africa’s smallest antelopes). Large prides of lions can be seen and some of Kenya’s largest herds of buffalo are also present in this park. The 13 rivers abound with hippos and crocodiles but fishing for barbus and catfish is permitted at camp sites and along the Tana River. Additionally, there are over 300 species of birds recorded in this park and they include the Peter’s finfoots which inhabit the Murera and Ura Rivers, the Pel’s Fishing Owl, Kingfishers, rollers, bee-eaters, starlings and numerous weavers.