Meru National Park in located in Kenya just west of Meru, not far from Nairobi. It is one of the most well known parks in the country. This park was restored from 2000 to 2005 by the Kenya Wildlife Service when it was in ruins. While it was once a victim of poaching in the 1990s, the park became a great tourist destination and hotspot for animal and bird photography after the restoration efforts were made. One of the most well known spots here is the grave site of Elsa the Lioness, who was raised by a conservationist couple in the late 1950s. It is the setting for the wife’s famed book about the lioness, titled “Born Free.” It is made up of jungle, rivers, swamps, and grasslands. There are countless rivers and streams – a well-known feature of the landscape in the park. Despite its restoration and relaunch, this is one of the least visted parks in Kenya – which actually could be beneficial to it thriving. There are still some luxury camps and a lodge visitors can stay in to see the spectacular “Big 5” game. There is one lodge with 132 beds and two tented camps – plenty of space despite a lack of visitors. While some people come here for the larger animals, such as zebras, elephants, reedbucks, hartebeests, and buffalo, the park is an amazing place for birding and bird photography. There are over 427 species of birds that have been recorded here! Malachite Kingfisher, Von der Decken’s Hornbill, Squacco Heron, Saddle-billed Stork, and the Kori Bustard are just a few unique ones to see while bird watching. Owen visited this national park in February 2019.