Meru’s many tracks are all good gravel and most junctions have signposts and numbered cairns. A popular hook for a fairly long drive is the loop down to the grave of Elsa the lioness, on the banks of the Tana. And there are plenty of other enticing areas to investigate without going too far. Driving in through Murera Gate, for example, turn immediately sharp left up to the “Kinna Triangle”, cross the Murera stream at junction #102 and pass a stupendous fig tree on your left. You then enter a beautiful area of thick vegetation, tall trees and high grass.

The Rojewero River

The Rojewero River, the largest of the park’s twelve main streams, is an interesting watercourse: densely overgrown banks flash with birds and monkeys and dark waters ripple with hippos, crocs and freshwater turtles. Large and very visible herds of elephant, buffalo and reticulated giraffe are common, as are, in the more open areas, gerenuk, Grevy’s zebra and ostrich. Predators were once scarce, though numbers seem to be on the up, and lion (which prey mainly on Meru’s big herds of buffalo) and cheetah are increasingly seen, when they are not hidden in the long grass – the smaller grazers must have a nerve-wracking time of it here. Large numbers of leopards captured in the stock-raising lands of Laikipia have been released in the park in recent years, but these cats are wary and you have little chance of seeing them.

Rhino Sanctuary

Meru’s successful rhino sanctuary has been enlarged and is now protected by a fence and numerous rangers. The couple of dozen white rhinos are doing well, though the similar number of black rhinos suffer somewhat from tsetse flies. They’re monitored around the clock and well habituated to visitors, so sightings can be outstanding, with plenty of time to take pictures at close quarters.

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