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Meru National Park

This is a historic journal, from our trip to Kenya and Seychelles in 1986, taken from notes I wrote at the time. Apologies for the poor quality photographs.

View Kenya and Seychelles 1986 on Grete Howard's travel map.

Friday 14th November 1986

An early start this morning, getting up at 05:30 for a game drive before breakfast. We go back to the lions, but all the lionesses have gone, leaving the king with his limp leg.



We see lots more animals as the drive continues: antelopes, elephants, zebra, ostriches, vultures, kingfishers, giraffes and baboons.


Agame Lizard

Olive baboons

Grant's Gazelle

Somali Ostrich

Warthogs, Cooke's Hartebeest, Zebra and Oryx.

A little further along we come across a pair of lions, who after a while start mating. Wonderful.









Time for a siesta and lunch before going out on an afternoon game drive. We go to look for the elephants we'd seen in the distance at lunchtime and find quite a big herd with several babies. We are able to get up quite close to them.




I am amazed at how near they are to our lodge.


Searching for the white rhino, we find the pride of lions again instead, but are having trouble locating the rhino.




As there are only five remaining white rhino in Meru National Park, they are shepherded by two armed rangers, who bring them back to an enclosure each evening. So that is where we head. No sign on any rhino, just the ranger's young son (probably about five or six years old). We try to ask him where his father and the animals are, but the boy is Somali and doesn't understand Swahili. After a bribe of an Opal Fruit and a pen, he points us in the right direction.

Despite heading off in the suggested direction, we can't seem to find the rhino or the rangers. We do, however, endure a puncture, and the driver has to change the wheel in the pouring rain.


Naftari decides to go back to the enclosure and wait for the animals to return for the night. On the way we see them trying to cross the road in front of us. We are ordered to stop, and when they have passed, we carry on, but the guard is none-too-pleased and points his gun at us. After a few tense moments, he reluctantly lets us go.

Eventually we do get to see them at the enclosure. By this time it is really quite dark, and I am struggling to get any decent photos.



One of the young rhinos was born after the rangers started herding them, and is quite used to humans, so we are encouraged (for a bit of backsheesh) to go and 'stroke him'. He may be familiar with people, but he doesn't seem to like being scratched behind his ears and starts to charge. If you have ever tried running backwards, knee deep in mud (yeah right), fighting off an angry baby rhino as you go; you will know it is not easy.

Those shoes never did go back to England with me.

Going to sleep to the sound of crickets, frogs and what I can only assume to be baboons this evening.

Posted by Grete Howard 06:41 Archived in Kenya

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