As the rain falls on dense swamps and tall grass, the wild animals frolic and play. Reticulated giraffe, cheetah, zebra, elephant hippopotamus and lion – they are all here. Close to 300 species of birds look for trees for shelter as they await the rainbow after the downpour. This is the Meru National Park, a one of a kind forest reserve East of Meru.
Those who have read Joy Adamson’s “Born Free” (which was later made into a film) would find the name of the park familiar. It’s because here is where Joy and husband George Adamson raised Elsa the Lioness before releasing her into the Kenyan wildlife sanctuary. The lion that was born in the wild but raised by conservationists did survive in the great outdoors and even had cubs of her own. Today, visitors can even see the gravesite of Elsa, where parts of Joy’s ashes were scattered.
From the Mulika Lodge Airport, guests are minutes away from the national park. Among the tourist attractions in the park are the Adamson’s Falls, the Tana River, George and Joy Adamson’s Residence (which is open for public viewing), and the majestic view of Mount. Kenya.
Unlike other game parks, hunters find this place a very difficult terrain to embark on a safari because the abundant rainfall in the area resulted in the proliferation of tall grass and lush swamps (which hides game animals from the hunters’ view). This is probably one of the reasons why the Meru National Park is overlooked by most of the tourists who go to Kenya in the past.
Poor security and poaching in the area had a grave impact on Meru National Park. The Kenya Wildlife Service, through the help of International Fund for Animal Welfare or IFAW has fully restored the park and is now one of the most promising destinations in the African continent. The restoration project has provided wildlife conservationist’s basic infrastructure to better serve the tourists as well as equipment for security measures.