Meru National Park is located in Kenya’s Eastern Province in the Nyambene Hills, made famous by conservationists George and Joy Adamson, and the film and book Born Free, the story of Elsa the lioness. The park has 13 rivers and supports a wide range of diverse habitats. While the area was decimated by poachers until the late 1980s, close partnerships between non-profits, property owners and the Kenya Wildlife Service has resulted in a significant conservation success story.

Visitors to the park can now enjoy the spectacular view of animals such as the once-endangered white rhino, elephants, Grevy's zebra, giraffes, impalas, serval cats and cheetahs, among others. With the return of the larger mammals, the magnificent bird life has come alive again and the park is now a paradise for birders. A section of the park has been designated a wilderness area and rhino sanctuary with no roads, which adds to the air of wild, remote seclusion.

With only a few properties in the entire park, guests have an exclusive game-viewing experience in lush, diverse terrain that make it a great pairing with the Maasai Mara or the arid dramatic landscapes of Samburu in a Kenya itinerary.

Our favorite properties in Meru are Elsa’s Kopje and Offbeat Meru.

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Elizabeth Gordon