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Elsa’s Kopje & The Return of Meru Park in Kenya

Elsa’s Kopje & The Return of Meru Park in Kenya

The best place in Kenya to see rhinos in the wild - Elsa’s Kopje.

Elsa's Kopje - the luxury lodge that helped put Meru Park back on the map

This luxurious boutique lodge has fetched travel accolades and environmental awards to back up the stellar reputation it has earned. As they say, it is all about location when it comes to property... and Elsa's Kopje enjoys a superb locale.

Built into the rocky slopes of Mugwangho Hill, this stylish lodge looks out over the wide open plains of Meru National Park offering panoramic views. The lodge is tucked into the rocky hillside bringing natural granite elements into the elegant interiors of its commodious cottages. Meru National Park has returned to its former glory with the reintroduction of big game, improved management and the establishment of Elsa's Kopje.

Why is Meru is Worth Visiting?

Meru National Park is one of ever-popular East Africa's less visited game parks, which means you get the wildlife and wilderness more to yourself! The wildilfe action doesn't involve 4x4 traffick jams here, and the 870 km² wilderness remains rugged and peaceful with fewer feet trekking around. Meru retains its wild feel and offers world-class Big Five game viewing all year round. The game reserve hosts one of the most diverse wildlife populations found in East Africa, across its varied habitats.

This remote national park is now home to a healthy population of black rhinos, hence its renown as the top rhino watching spot in Kenya.

The smorgasboard of herbivores found in the park includes some uncommon species of antelopes, such as lesser kudu, duiker and the tiny dik-dik. Grevy's zebra, eland, hartebeest and giraffe are also seen wondering the plains of Meru Park, amongst other animals. Meru Park is also known for its big elephant herds.

Image by Cheli & Peacock

Wildlife inhabiting Meru, includes sizeable lion prides and large buffalo herds, as well as cheetah, caracal, serval cat and leopard. 

Three rivers flow along the boundaries of Meru - the Tana, Ura and Rojeweru rivers. These rivers and the permanent streams running through the park support its rich flora and fauna. The Tana River offers some good fishing with catches including barbus and catfish, while all the rivers team with crocodiles and hippos.

Bird watching enthusiasts can look forward to scouring the hills, rivers and plains for the multitude of birds flying about here. Over 300 bird species have been recorded in Meru National Park.

Kori Bustard by pic-a-day Kenya

With the help of private investors and donors, the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and the French Agency for Development (AFD) have worked with local communities to restore Meru to a unique wildlife gem of Kenya.

What Makes Elsa’s Kopje Special?

One of the things that sets this luxury lodge apart is that it actively cultivates social and environmental responsibility. A new era eco-aware lodge, Elsa's Kopje runs local community and conservation projects that guests are invited to visit.

The Many Reasons to Go to Elsa's Kopje include:

  • sweeping views of the Meru plains, Mt Kenya and the Nyambeni Mountains

  • friendly yet discreet staff, noted for their supreme attention to details 
  • private and romantic cottages set apart on the lower slopes of Mugwangho
  • hearty helpings of fresh and delicious Italian influenced food, from buffets to cakes
  • knowledgeable, affable and highly-praised safari guides
  • family-friendly retreat with a laid-back, intimate and warm atmosphere
  • watch the sun rise over the beautiful and wild African bushveld
  • open lounge and dining areas, curio shop and relaxing spa treatments

  • infinity pool amid the rocks dotted with sunbathing hyraxes
  • walks up Mugwangho Hill for even more panoramic views
  • diverse wildife and birds spotted on morning, afternoon and night drives
  • fishing, bush walks, cultural outings, private or bush dining and sundowners
  • set near the original camp where George and Joy Adamson stayed

Read the Travel Reviews of the lucky safari-goers who have been to Elsa's Kopje on TripAdvisor.

Touching on the last reason to visit this lodge, Elsa's Kopje is named after the famous lioness raised by George and Joy Adamson in the park. The lodge is built in the very setting of Born Free, the bestselling book and acclaimed movie about the work and lives of these conservationists in Meru Park. The semi-tame lioness, Elsa, is buried in Meru and some of Joy Adamson's ashes were scattered on the big cat's grave. Meru is also the place where Pippa the cheetah was released by Joy.

Here's a great article - Born free...again: the revival of Kenya's Meru National Park featured on Lonely Planet.

Where is Meru National park?

Meru National Park is located near Mount Kenya in central Kenya, with East Africa's Great Rift Valley lying to the west. Meru Park is some 348 km's northeast of Nairobi in the lowlands flanked by the Nyambeni Mounatins. 

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