Meru is a beautiful land found on the Eastern slopes of Mount Kenya. The green scenery that the county has to offer is simply unbeatable, with clean fresh air that will have you wanting to take a break from the chaotic town centres.
It’s predominantly a Bantu land, with the Ameru being the dominant community, who are well known for their hospitality to visitors.
If you’re looking for a subtle but elegant place to visit and take a little holiday, you might want to consider Meru.
So hold tight as I take you through the list of places to visit in Meru, whether you’re looking to dent your pocket a little or on a shoestring budget.
The attractions are suited for all kinds of personalities, adrenaline junkies and nature lovers.
Mount Kenya in Meru
Meru is one of the few fortunate counties that Mount Kenya happens to lie in. Being the highest mountain in the country and the second-highest in the continent, visiting Meru should be first on your bucket list.
Mount Kenya is an ideal spot for hiking exercises to burn off some calories. Getting to the top is no mean feat, so don’t feel the pressure to do so and simply enjoy the hike.
Should you manage to get to the highest peak, you’ll be well rewarded by a stunning view of Meru and its environs, not to mention the breathtaking ice glaciers.
Along the way are some dense forests, perfect for nature trails and game viewing, with springs that have crystal clear water. The whole place is simply beautiful, you might want to bring your camera along.
Camping is allowed and is probably the ideal thing if you want to have a versatile experience with Mount Kenya. Make sure you bring heavy warm clothing with you, the place gets freezing at night.
Visiting Meru National Park
Meru National Park has all the natural essentials in one place.
First, the list of animals you will see is endless, ranging from elephants, antelopes, zebras, monkeys and buffaloes. Snakes are in plenty, as well as a wide array of bird species.
A swamp is located within the park and the rivers meandering make it the perfect spot for sightseeing.
The park is covered by dense forests and vegetation, making it look like a jungle, perfect for nature trails inside the forests as you sample the different plant species and rejuvenate some lost energy.
Should you wish to stay over for a night or two, accommodation is found at an affordable price, or you can opt for camping within the site, and have an in-depth interaction with the game animals and the whole nature vibe.
Safety is highly guaranteed, so you need not worry about stumbling upon a pack of wild animals.
Touring Ngare Ndare Forest
Located at the foot of Mount Kenya, the forest oozes green lush beauty with a touch of nature. The indigenous forest offers the opportunity for various fun-filled activities.
The small waterfalls make it perfect for site seeing and photo sessions with stunning backgrounds.
Team building activities would be perfect here, or simply a day out with family and friends to bond over some fun activities.
Should you want something more thrilling, you could try rock climbing. The jagged rock pieces make it relatively easy to hike even for beginners.
Exercise caution though, as one small mishap could prove fatal.
Other activities include canopy walking and game drives to interact with the various animal species such as antelopes, buffaloes and monkeys.
Camping is highly recommended should you wish to experience the sheer thrill of ‘a night in the woods.’
All you have to carry is a change of clothes and a sleeping tent.
Visiting Meru National Museum
This is for those who wouldn’t mind a little historical trip about Meru and its culture.
Various artefacts are found here as evidence of the rich culture of the Ameru community. The museum was officially set up in the 1970s, although the building is a little older than that.
The guides are well versed with knowledge about the exhibitions at the museum and will not hesitate to give you the smallest details.
Back in the days before the emergence of modern medicine, the Ameru kept their bodies healthy through traditional plants which are found in the museum.
Should you be intrigued by the different species, you can carry a few of them home to sample their strength.
Other artefacts include jewellery worn by the traditional Meru woman, as well as tools that were used, such as cooking utensils and weapons, to defend against enemies.
The Ameru were predominantly farmers, and the implements used are found in plenty.
Traditional huts that acted as houses back then are found in the museum as well.
You’ll be intrigued by how much people adore their culture and how simple everything was back then.
Nyambene National Reserve
Named after the well-known Nyambene hills, this stunning site has the most beautiful crater lake that the region has to offer.
The site is ideal for a getaway with your small circle to unwind, take a break from the mundane weekly activities and bond over fun activities.
Different bird species are found in the reserve; crows, falcons, eagles, the list is endless, so bird watching should be on your to-do list.
If you’re hoping to burn off some calories, you should bring along your hiking shoes and do some rock climbing.
The guards will take you on game drives where you get to see rare animal species at close quarters.
Devil’s Bridge Waterfall
There is no solid explanation as to why the place has such a crude name that doesn’t really describe it.
The fall, located along the Meru-Nkubu highway, is about a 300 feet drop downwards and is quite stunning.
At the base of the falls is a small dam that serves the local community with water for their household activity.
The soft soil can be moulded to make ochre that was smeared on the bodies of young lads to mark important ceremonies such as initiation, which is done to date.
You’ll be thrilled by the sounds of rushing waters, and you might want to store up those beautiful memories in pictures.
Giitune Sacred Forest
This is a place close to the Ameru peoples’ hearts, simply beautiful, it brings them closer to their Deity.
It was and still remains a sacred place that you should actually visit, whether you’re a believer or not.
The superstitious ones will be intrigued by the story about an enormous snake that helped guard the forest and warded off evil spirits and attackers.
Elders continue to go to the forest to make prayers that appease their ancestors, who send them rainfall and food.
Apart from the myths, you’ll be awed by the lush green dense forest, a nature trail will suffice should you wish to properly sample the forest.
Different plant species are found here, as well as a variety of birds. Don’t forget to bring a functional camera with you, the scenery would make really stunning photos.
Lewa Wildlife Conservancy
The conservancy is private and was started in 1995 with the sole aim of rescuing endangered species and orphaned young ones where they are nursed back to health and well cared for.
The animals include rhinos, elephants, Cape buffaloes and Grevy’s zebras. All the rarely found species can be spotted here.
The entrance fee is quite affordable and exclusive accommodation is found at the site in six luxurious cottages with full servicing.
Putting up at the conservancy might dent your pocket due to their luxury services, but trust me it’s value for money and their services are top tier.
Stopping by The Alba Hotel
This is the perfect definition of luxury and posh all in one place.
Located about fifteen minutes from the Meru national museum, the building itself oozes elegance and comfort, so if you’re looking to properly spend your money, you should try this hotel.
Everyone from the staff to the cooks is so welcoming, they give you the feeling of ‘home away from home.’
The Alba Hotel have an outdoor pool that is well heated since the temperatures at Meru can get freezing due to the proximity to Mount Kenya. This is also the case with Nanyuki and Murang’a experiencing very low temperatures at night.
The charges are roughly USD 100 a night, inclusive of a complete luxurious breakfast.
The Wi-Fi network connection is very fast and stable, therefore you will be able to keep afloat with the happenings in the country and beyond as you holiday.
The Chefs at the hotel have the prowess to make varied dishes, both local and international cuisines, that will leave you awed.
Room service is 24/7 should you have an emergency in the middle of the night, all you have to do is press a button.
Every single need of yours will be well catered for, all you have to do is relax and enjoy their luxury services.
Once you exhaust all the exciting places in Meru, Embu is only 69 km away where more fun and interesting places await you to discover and enjoy them