Mount Meru National Park is an endearing little park lying at the foothill of the Nyambene Mountain range. Well off the standard tourist circuit, Meru is a breath of fresh air if you are trying to avoid the crowds that fill up many of Kenya’s more mainstream areas, however it should not be regarded as a big game area.
Meru is most famous for Joy Adamson's rehabilitation of the lioness Elsa who was released here years ago. Although there is big game here (elephant, rhino, all the cats), that game is still skittish and shy and the road network is not good enough to explore the park thoroughly; much of the park is best explored on foot. This should therefore not be considered a wildlife destination. The real attraction here is the solitude and wilderness, with days spent walking and simply enjoying the beauty of such a quiet park.
Meru: where to stay
The most famous lodge in Meru is Elsa's Kopje, which makes the most of its Born Free association! Recognised as one of Kenya's most beautiful lodges, this is certainly the top choice for soaking up the atmopshere of Meru. Another good choice is Offbeat Meru, a more economical option which offers a more authentic safari.