Made famous by Joy Adamson’s Born Free Meru National Park is a wild savannah park east of Mt. Kenya. The relatively small 350 sq. mile park (about the same size as Samburu Game Reserve) is deceptive, because the 150 miles east of its eastern boundary to the Indian Ocean is all protected or controlled game areas. So it actually represents the beginning of a massively wild area.
The ecosystem shares with Samburu many of the unique Northern Frontier species found only in these semi-arid regions of Kenya, including the reticulated giraffe and Grevy’s zebra. All the big five is found here, including the black rhino which has been reintroduced so far, successfully.
The park’s western edge touches the foothills of Mt. Kenya and as such contains a wide variety of terrain as it slopes downwards to the semi-arid savanna, giving it a greater biodiversity than Samburu. This also includes Kenya’s largest river, The Tana.
Most of the park is covered by bush, thornbush and wooded grassland of varying densities. In the extreme north there is a small remnant outliner of rain forest, the Ngaia forest. There are also acacia grasslands, dense riverine forests along the water courses and even a few swamps.
Despite its attractive ecologies, Meru is one of Kenya’s least visited big game parks, probably because of its remoteness compared to Kenya’s more visited wildernesses.