Meru Town Guide
Meru town is surrounded by a rich and fertile farmland is located in the eastern highlands of Kenya overlooking the Nyambene Hills and the snowcapped peaks of Mount Kenya. Meru Kenya lies strategically on the north – eastern slopes of Mount Kenya. The Kathita River, flowing from Mount Kenya, passes through the town.
The equator is about five miles south of the town. Meru Kenya is the traditional home of the Ameru people with a rich cultural heritage spanning hundreds of years. This fast-growing urban center is a hub for traditional foods and the hospitality of the Ameru people. Located on the edge of the forest, the town is close to Mount Kenya National Park, Meru National Park and Lewa Wildlife Conservancy.
A cosmopolitan culture has developed in Meru town owing to its diversity of ethnic communities and a free flow of visitors.
Meru Town Climate and Geography
Due to the town’s altitude and the Geographical features surrounding it, the climate in the town is warm and temperate. Meru town has an average annual temperature of 18.4 °C and an annual average rainfall of 1600mm. The town experiences short rains in March and May whereas the months between October and December bring with them the long rains.
Meru town has an altitude of approximately 5199 meters which in turn explains the cool temperatures experienced in the town throughout the year. Significantly, Meru Town lies on the North-Eastern side of Mount Kenya thus explaining the Red Volcanic soil found in the town. Geographically,other features found within the town include the Nyambene Hills and The kathita River.
History of Meru Town
Meru Town’s first District Commissioner was Edward Butler Horne. The Meru nicknamed him Kangangi, meaning the little wanderer due to his short size and the fact that he traveled around Meru a lot as he surveyed the District. This was the time when the Meru community lived a fairly settled life in ridge-top communities. The City’s foundation in its present location was as a result of the military limitations of E. B. Horne’s original camp at Mwitari’s (homestead).
Economy Activities in Meru Town
Meru Town’s economy mainly relies on Agriculture due to its climatic features that highly support the cultivation of various crops. Most people in this town engage themselves in subsistence farming where they grow common foods such as Maize, Beans, Millet and various kinds of Fruits. Commercial farming in Meru Town is mainly done in small scale and the crops cultivated include; cotton, Passion fruits, Coffee, Tea, Sugarcane and Mangoes.
Meru Kenya on the other hand is known for Miraa(Khat), a herbal plant which turned lucrative to the farmers and has over the years fetched them millions of shillings through its exportation to other countries. Farmers in Meru Town also practice Dairy farming which has proved to be lucrative since 1960. Other economic activities in Meru Town include Poultry Farming, Leather work and Ironwork.
Due to the town’s good economic record most of the major banks in Kenya have put up branches in the town so as to help the residents save and invest their money. These banks include: Equity bank, Postbank, Barclays Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, Co-Operative Bank, Diamond Trust, National Bank, Family Bank, CBA, K-rep Bank, Eco-Bank, CFC Stanbic, NIC Bank, Housing Finance, KCB and Bank of Baroda.
Places To Visit in Meru Town
Tourist Attractions in Meru Kenya
- Meru Museum
- Meru National Park
- Lewa Wildlife Conservancy
- Mt. Kenya National Park
- Njuri Ncheke Court
- Gakoromone open—air market
- Nkunga Sacred Lake
- Rukunga’s private museum
- King Muhuru
- Murera Cultural Centre
Things To Do While in Meru Town
Meru National Museum
There’s a series of faded exhibits, desultory stuffed and mounted wildlife and a small but informative section concerning the clothing, weapons, and agricultural and initiation practices (including clitoridectomies) of the Meru people.
Meru County Hotel
Thatched umbrellas hover over each table on this pretty nyama choma terrace.
There are two storeys of bustling eating goodness at this cheap hotel. The downstairs restaurant specialises in all things fried, while upstairs houses the ‘choma zone’, where half a kilo of grilled flesh costs KSh450.
How to get Meru town
Meru Kenya lies approximately 250 kilometers from Kenya’s capital Nairobi. The two towns are linked together by a series of tarmacked roads and it takes one approximately three hours to cover the distance between the two towns. Being the 6th largest urban center in the country, Meru Kenya has a good network of well maintained and tarmacked roads. The most common means of transport within the town is through Buses or “Matatus”. Besides the two, Bicycles, Motorbikes and “Tuktuks” can also be used to move from one place to another within the town.
Night Clubs and Nightlife in Meru Town
Gardeners night club
Kamanoro meating place.
The Amerucan Club
Accommodation and Hotels in Meru Kenya
In response to a growing number of visitors, Meru Kenya has many hotels lodges and camps. Classes range from five-star to starless accommodation. Some of the hotels include:
- Three Steers Hotel
- Meru Incredible Hotel
- West Wind Hotel
- Transit Motel
- Royal Prince Hotel
- Maua Basin Hotel
- Meru County Hotel
- Blue Towers Hotel
- White Star Hotel
- Meru Safari Hotel
- Brown Rock Hotel
- Milimani Hotel
- Pig & Whistle Resort
- Rhino River Camp
- Rhino River Lodg
- Meru Mulilca lodge
- .lkweta Safari Camp
- Kinna Guest House
- Bwatherongi Bandas
- Murera Bandas
Education Institutions in Meru Town
Due to the notable schools in Meru town which include the Meru Primary School, Meru High School, Kaaga Girls High School and Kaaga Boys Secondary, Meru town acts the educational center for the North East of Kenya. Meru Town is also homes several tertiary institutions which include the new Meru University College of Science and Technology (MUCST) and Kenya Methodist University, both of which have their main campuses near Meru town.
Other institutions of higher learning in Meru Kenya include:
- Kenya Medical Training College, Meru Campus
- Meru Technical Training Institute
- Nkabune Technical Institute
- Africa Nazarene University, Meru Campus
- University of Nairobi Extra Mural Centre situated in the Posta Building
- Kenya Institute of Management – Alexander House
- Kenya Methodist University – Main Campus
People Living in Meru Kenya
With a total population of about 240,900 residents, the sub tribes of the Ameru community are the main people that reside in Meru Kenya. These sub tribes include the Imenti, Tigania and Igembe sub-tribes. Ki-Meru is the ethnic language spoken by this community.
The other people who reside in Meru Kenya are part of the GEMA grouping and they include the Kikuyu, Embu and Kamba. The Borana, Somali, Asian and a few Caucasian whites have made the town home. Most of these other people are engaged in business or employed in the various sub-sectors in the region.
Meru Town Neighborhood
Meru Kenya has three major towns within its neighborhood namely: Nkubu, Maua and Mikinduri. Nkubu town lies along the Nairobi-Meru highway and is mostly a trade, agricultural and administrative center. Maua town on the other hand is located approximately 60 kilometers from Meru town and is one of the economically viable towns due to the thriving Miraa trade.