No trained guides. No briefing from KWS about do's and don'ts.
Beautiful wilderness area, with wide topographic and vegetational variety Great sightings. Incredible birdlife. No sign of protection and patrolling outside the rhino sanctuary.
12 September 2012
Meru National Park, situated in northern Kenya, covers an area of 870 square kilometers. It straddles the equator about 370 kilometers northeast of Nairobi.
It is fringed on its western boundary by the chain of the Nyambeni Hills which raise up to 2500 meters above sea level. These hills, with pockets of protected forests at their top, act as a formidable water catchment system. Thus they are the source of 13 permanent rivers that eventually cut across the Park itself. Such an abundance of water flowing through a predominantly arid part of Kenya creates a mosaic of different habitats making Meru one of the most diverse Parks in the whole Africa.
Swamps, riverine forests, savannah, sparse and thick bush follow one another producing an astonishing and varied landscape with no parallel in many other Parks of East Africa.
These extremely diverse vegetation type and cover is mirrored by a likewise abundance and diversity of wildlife. In addition Meru is part of a greater conservation area being contiguous with Bisanadi and Mwingi National Reserves and Kora National Park to its South making the whole protected area at about 4000 km2.
Affectionately known as Kenya’s complete wilderness, the Park hosts a large population of elephant, hippo, buffalo, lion, cheetah, leopard and innumerable other classic African mammal species. Meru N. P. is also home to species typical of northern Kenya such as reticulated giraffe, Grevy’s zebra, gerenuk, oryx, lesser kudu, which are not to be found in many other National Parks or areas in Kenya. Birdlife is particularly abundant with more than 300 different species recorded.
A specific mention has to be made for the Rhino Sanctuary. The area devoted to rhinos is today about 50 square kilometers and is located on the Western boundary of the Park. Here 40 white and 20 black rhinos roam freely.
The Sanctuary is a Meru success story. It is faring better than most other areas where rhinos are to be found in Kenya with the best birth rate and the less mortality than any other. But still it needs some effort and a game drive to locate the beautiful beasts in the huge territory!
13 July 2012