Meru: Kenya's setting for 'Born Free'
370 kilometres northeast of Nairobi and to the west of Mt Kenya is the little visited Meru National Park. The park offers some of Kenya’s wildest country and was selected by Joy and George Adamson as the location to release Elsa the lioness who was made famous by the 1966 film ‘Born Free’.
The park has a lot of game on offer after the successful rehabilitation program that reintroduced elephants and rhinos back into the park in 2001. Both are doing very well.
Lions, buffalos, leopards, cheetahs and hippos are also regularly seen in the park, which is part of a wider ecosystem which includes Kora National Park, Mwingi, Rahole and the Bisanadi reserve. It straddles the equator and is the location of many different habitats including scrubland dotted with Baobab trees, lush green grassland and riverine forests.
The Tana River, Kenya’s longest, is fed by 13 other rivers that create a rich habitat for bird life. Despite the park's tragic history of poaching it is quickly becoming a Kenya safari favourite with several comfortable and stylish lodges staking their claim on this once troubled and still little visited park.