A typical tourist visiting Meru for the first time focuses only on popular titles like Meru National Park or Lewa Wildlife Conservancy. Surprisingly, Meru’s least-known tourist attractions can be just as amusing. This article will highlight the top fun places that most people do not know about. Read on to discover these.
Giitune Sacred Forest – the best indigenous jungle in Meru
We have been witnessing the loss of native tree species in most forested regions due to charcoal burning. While other places have been destroying their indigenous forests, Meru has done quite the opposite. Giitune is one of its most natural forests extending from the more popular Mt. Kenya forest ecosystem.
Therefore, Giitune Sacred Forest overlaps the Equator. If you enjoy botany, you can discover new native trees species like Newtonia buchananii, prunus africanus, and cordial Africana/Moringa. A myth surrounds this sacred forest, which could explain why no one dares to destroy it. The locals believe that if you cut down a tree, it will weep, bleed, and throw a curse upon you and your family.
Another myth is that dangerous serpents protected Giitune Sacred Forest from trespassers. If any of these caught a trespasser, it would wrap itself around their body and squeeze the life out. Today, we know the serpent as the rock python. You might view it during your visit.
Meru Waterfalls -The River Kathita, Mbili, and Ndurumo-ya-irine
Meru has hidden physical features that only a few people recognize. In your Meru town tour, visit the following three waterfalls. It will be easy to do so as these waterfalls are a few meters off the highways. They include:
- The River Kathita Waterfall – The locals at Gitwiki area call this waterfall “Ndurumo ya M’ntanii”. It is a twin waterfall in two local rivers: River Kathita and River Mpuri. The waterfall gets part of its name from the first settler (M’ntanii). His land parcel ends at the twin waterfall. A visit to this area can be one of your daily excursions from a Meru town hotel. It is about one kilometer from the CBD, following Mwendantu Road to Milimani, Giatune, and Kinoru neighborhoods.
- Mbili Waterfall – Mikinduri is home to many things, including Mbili Waterfall. It has formed within River Thanantu. When traveling along Mikinduri-Maua highway, stop at Irindiro Secondary School. Ask around to know the exact position of Mbili Waterfall. Mbili was the first settler on the land where Mbili Waterfall lies. The place has enormous rocks, tall trees, and a beautiful waterfall.
- Ndurumo–ya-irene – In the Meru language, ‘ndurumo’ means a waterfall. Hence, Ndurumo-ya-irene is a waterfall along Meru-Nkubu road near the Ngo’nyii corner. This waterfall is in River Riiji, about three hundred meters from Gikumene Primary School. It splits two villages known as Nchaure and Ngo’nyii. Ndurumo-ya-irene is a big waterfall since water travels three hundred feet before touching the rocks beneath it. On tapping the rocks beneath, the water turns into a mist and flows into a small dam before re-entering its natural path. You can also travel thirty meters from the waterfall to view the ‘uroro-bwa-nkoma’ or the Devil’s Bridge. It is a local name for an enormous rock with a natural path through which the river water flows. Traditionally, the Ameru people collected the Red and white ochre from this part and used it for body art and decoration. The side of the enormous rock closest to the waterfall was a mine for ‘igatii’, a type of traditional salt.
Meru has popular tourist attraction sites and less-known ones. Apart from the above sites, visit The Giant Footprint Laaria(Footprints of Jesus) in Lolera, Tigania West. This place is eight kilometers from Ruiri Market along Ruiri-Isiolo highway. Lastly, get inside the Mucheene Mau Mau cave when you go to Mt. Kenya National Park and forest. It was a hideout for the former Kenyan independence fighters, the Mau Mau.
Are you planning to come to Kenya and specifically to Mt.Kenya region? Are you looking for a good place for your accommodation that is comfortable, affordable and accessible? You can consider the Hotel Ezri Meru. Think about the little known attractions that you can make your day excursions more memorable. To book a room at The Hotel Ezri Meru click here