Meru national park

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Altitude:366 - 914 m.a.m.s.l.

This is where famous conservationists George and Joy Adamson released Elsa — the lioness, Pippa the cheetah along with several other orphaned animals.

Elsa featured in the famous movies and books 'Born free' and 'Living free', with both her's and Pippa's graves being situated in the park.

It has a size of 870 square kilometres and was opened in 1968.

The landscapeExpansive plains with a few hills and Kopjes, woodlands, shrub-lands, swamps and marshlands, with a lot of rivers — both large and small.

The park also features riparian forests of Doum and Raffia palm.

AnimalsAnimals you may see here include buffalo, Grevy's zebra, giraffe, waterbuck, elephant, hippos, warthog, eland, oryx, gerenux, hartebeest, gazelle, Nile crocodile, snakes, baboons, lions, leopards, cheetah along with over 300 species of birds.

What to do thereCamping, game viewing, bird watching, picnics, hiking, sports fishing, safari drives.

Best time to visitAny time of the year not in the rainy seasons of April to June and November to December.

Location of Meru national parkMeru national park sits at the heart of Kenya, a few hours worth of driving from mount Kenya — Africa's second highest peak.

It is also part of a larger conservation area that includes neighbouring Mwingi national reserve, Kora national park and Bisanandi national reserve.

It is mostly bordered by river, which include the Tana river — Kenya's longest.

The equator also goes through the park.

How to get thereBy vehicle or air, about a 4 or 5 hour drive from Nairobi.

There are a number of airstrips, some of which are tarmacked — both inside and outside the park.

Most of the park's roads are dirt or gravel ones, and can be traversed by almost any vehicle in the dry seasons.

The rainy season on the other hand, may require 4x4s, which are also recommended for those wanting to really explore the area during the rest of the year.

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