Meru National Park

Winding Cisticola
  • Size 87,000 ha
  • Checklist Over 300 Species
  • Location Eastern
  • Altitude range 370–910 m

This Savanna National Park is situated in the Eastern Province of Kenya, 85 km east of Meru town in the northeastern lowlands below the Nyambeni hills. The Savannah, forest and swamp habitats have been favored by the park’s location, close to Mount Kenya and the Nyambene Hills which contributes to comparatively high rainfall of up to 700 mm/year.

Meru National Park is crossed by numerous permanent streams, draining from the Nyambenis and flowing in parallel between tongues of lava, southeastwards towards the Tana River. However, the park is bounded by three large rivers: Tana to the south, Ura to the south-west and Rojeweru to the east. There are several prominent inselbergs of basement rock, notably Mughwango and Leopard Rock. This vegetation on the ridges is Combretum-wooded grassland, dominated by Combretum apiculatum. This grades into Acacia wooded grassland to the east, with Acacia tortilis and Acacia senegal on the rocky ridges, in riverine thickets and dotted over open country, and Doum palms Hyphaene coriacea in the numerous swampy areas near the rivers. Chloris gayana is the dominant grass in many places, with Cyperus species in the swamps.

Birding Meru National Park

Meru National park has a diverse avifauna, with over 300 species recorded. The threatened Jungle Babbler, which has a very restricted-range in central Kenya, has recently been recorded, near Kindani and Nyati Camps in the south-west part of the park. Meru has one of the eight species of Kenya Mountains Endemic Bird Area and fifty nine of the 94 Somali-Masai biome species that occur in Kenya. Regionally threatened species recorded here, include the Martial Eagle, African Finfoot (an Intra-African migrant), Pel's Fishing-Owl, Grant's Woodhoopoe and the Saddle-billed Stork which is known to breed in this area.

Mountain Gorilla (Gorilla beringei beringei)

Mountain gorillas are the largest living primates and the world's most endangered apes with a population of less than 800 individuals world over- none in zoos. They are found in Uganda, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)

They share 97% DNA with human beings! They are our closest living cousins after the Chimpanzee, They have up to 25 vocalization for communication

Mountain Gorillas are shy, social and very active during day. They live in families of 8-25 members with one leading male (The Silver Back).

Gorillas have a lifespan of 50 years in the wild. They reproduce at a very slow speed with a gestation period of approximately 8.5 months and an interval of four years to the next birth.

Diet: Mainly herbivores eating fruits, herbs, leaves, stems, roots and shoots. Sometimes ingest small insects like ants and termites.