Meru National Park
Kenya Destination Guide

Meru National Park is little visited and so utterly unspoilt, few places are comparable to the remote and rugged atmosphere found here. It was made famous through the book and Movie Born Free, by George and Joy Adamson. You can visit her grave site which is also where Joy Adamson's ashes were scattered.The Meru National Park was made famous through the book and film Born Free based on George and Joy Adamson's work releasing hand raised Lions back into the wild. The park is small by Kenyan standards but is home to a diverse array of wildlife.

Safari Tours Passing Through Meru

Getting There

The Meru National Park is situated 348 km (215 miles) from Nairobi via Nyeri and can be accessed by Murera Gate.

Airport - There are two airstrips, the main airstrip at Kina and Elsa's Kopje Airstrip.

Meru National Park Highlights and Attractions

  • Visit the grave of Elsa the Lion
  • See Black and White Rhino in the Rhino Sanctuary
  • Former home of Joy & George Adamson and Elsa the lioness
  • Views of Mount Kenya
  • Rivers and riverine habitats and Adamson Falls

What to do in the Meru National Park - 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.

The Experience

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.

Part of the reserve 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.

Meru National Park Accommodation

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.


The days are warm, rising to maximum of 30 deg C, but comfortable with minimum humidity, and the evenings are cool. Rainfall is mostly in April and May with an average of 350mm per year.

Elsas Kopje

One of the most elegant Kenya safari camps, Elsas Kopje is where you can gaze at the great Meru Plains just as Elsa the Lioness did of “Bo...more

Joy and George Adamson

The story about Elsa the Lioness and a book called Born Free continues to capture the hearts and minds of people everywhere. Joy and George ...more
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