Meru National Park, Tanzania

Travel Guide
Tours & Safari
Travel Guide

Although Meru National Park was made famous by Joy Adamson’s “Born Free” books, it remains largely undiscovered and untamed. With its rugged jungle, rivers, swamps and grasslands, game viewing opportunities are excellent. Neglected on safari bucket lists for years, it has been restored to its former glory while evading the hordes of safari visitors.

  • Wild, untamed and beautiful national park
  • Made famous by Joy and George Adamson’s lions
  • One of the least visited national parks, it offers a superb safari experience
  • Home to Big 5 and a huge variety of game
  • Only 300 km from Nairobi
  • Rivers and streams teeming with crocodile and hippo

Meru National Park is unspoiled, untamed and exceptionally beautiful. The equator cuts through the park it and it is crisscrossed by many rivers and streams, making it a lush, tropical paradise. The scenery is spectacular, ranging from sweeping grasslands and mountainous slopes to winding rivers and Doum-palm forests.

“Born Free” fame

The park was made famous as the setting for Joy Adamson’s book “Born Free” (1960), which details the story of the years she and her husband spent in the area researching the local lion and cheetah. Elsa, the most well-known of her lionesses, features in the book, is buried there.

Recently re-opened

In the mid-1980s, the park was heavily poached and has only recently been ‘relaunched’ with successful wildlife conservation and stable, breeding herds. It remains one of the least-visited parks in Kenya despite being incredibly rewarding for game viewing. You’re likely to see large prides of lion, elephant, cheetah, leopard, black rhino, zebra, gazelle, oryx, some of the rarer antelope such as the Lesser Kudu and duiker, the more common Dik Dik, one of Africa’s smallest antelope, and some of Kenya’s largest herds of buffalo.

The rivers teem with hippo and crocodile. Fishing for barbus and catfish is allowed at campsites and along the Tana River. More than 300 species of birds have been recorded here.

Easy to get to

Meru is fairly easy to reach by road, with several route options depending on the season. There are also airstrips available for fly-ins. We’ll arrange the best route for you, depending on your time, budget and time of year you’re planning your Meru National Park safari.

Tours & Safari

Wild, beautiful and uncrowded, with some exceptional safari lodge and accommodation options, Meru National Park offers you the best chance to see some of the northern game the area is famous for. There are Grevy’s zebra, reticulated giraffe, plentiful elephant, eland, bush pig, waterbuck, cheetah, leopard, reedbuck, hartebeest, buffalo and pods of hippo. More than 427 bird species have been recorded.

Some attractions include

  • Former home of Joy and George Adamson and final resting place of Elsa, the lioness
  • Views of Mount Kenya
  • Rivers and lush riverine forests
  • Tana River
  • Adamson’s Falls


Meru National Park is one of Kenya’s most rugged, untamed and scenic game reserves.

Meru National Park is 870 km² of unspoiled lush riverine forest, dense bush, acacia woodland and sweeping grassland. The park is uncrowded and makes for a great game-viewing safari experience. There are few lodges located in the park and they are far enough apart from each other for you to feel as if Meru National Park belongs to you alone.