Merry Making in Meru
The holidays are here! If you’d like to skip the coast this year and explore a great off-the-beaten-track destination, Meru comes highly recommended. County #12 is a 4 hour drive from Nairobi and is home to some exciting tourist attractions. Here’s a sample of what Meru has to offer:
Meru National Park is a discerning adventure-seekers paradise. From the non-stop action of a game drive to the more relaxed and subtle interactions of a nature walk, the park is sure to be a memorable visit.
Little visited and utterly unspoilt, few places are comparable to the remote and rugged atmosphere found here. Visitors can see Grevy’s zebras, elephants, Bohor reedbuck, hartebeests, pythons, puff adders, cobras, buffalos and more than 427 recorded species of birds.
Park entry fee is Ksh 250 for adults and Ksh 200 for kids. Non-Residents Pay $30 for adults & $20 for kids.
Elsa’s Kopje is named after Elsa the lioness, made famous by George and Joy Adamson’s biographical book and film “Born Free”. It is one of the most elegant lodges in Meru.
Rich in history, Elsa’s Kopje is credited with rescuing the rugged and remote Meru National Park. Set amongst 215,000 acres of authentic African landscape, guests can expect regular sightings of rhinos, elephant herds, hippos, lions, and birdlife on guided walks and game drives.
They can also enjoy day excursions to the Tana river and private bush breakfasts and sundowners. For overnight stays or dine only options, call in advance +254730 127000.
Visit Mukululu winery in Kangeta founded by Italian Catholic missionary Giuseppe Argesse in 1976. Be sure to try out the quirky Miraa wine and carry some ‘Veve’ home with you. Adults only excursion. Call 0709 241000 for enquiries.
About 12 kilometres from Meru Town, off the Meru-Nanyuki highway sits crater Lake Nkunga, a sacred site revered by the Ameru people.
Tucked inside Imenti Forest, the lake was once a no-go zone for villagers, with only select elders and spiritual leaders allowed to visit the site to offer sacrifices to appease the gods when calamity struck.
It was named Nkunga after a giant dragon that was believed to inhabit the waters.
Ameru legend has it that a giant dragon fell from the sky and created the diverse landscape of valleys and hills in Meru.
The county government of Meru tourist department can help you get there. Call +254 709 241000.
Often billed as Africa’s first truly democratic society, the Ameru are traditionally governed by an elected council of elders, from clan level right up to the supreme arbiters – the Njuri Ncheke, the most revered and respected Council of Elders.
The council draws membership from Ameru elite.The headquarters of Governing Council of Elders is the Njuri Ncheke Shrine located in Nchiru, Tigania West. It is near the Meru University along Meru-Maua road and occupies a 20-acre piece of land, which is considered sacred ground.
It is a heritage site under the care of the National Museums of Kenya and acts as the Supreme Court and the Ameru Parliament.
Call 0726 578800 to arrange a visit
*Image: Steve Mann