Very few thing give me the same level of excitement as Photography and Wildlife when you combine the two I could sell my soul. The past month I got a chance to visit Meru National Park for those that know me I am a bit mental about wildlife.
I read and research a lot about Wildlife especialy the ones found within Kenya. I am still a long way off identifying a bird by the sound it makes but I am able to identify at least a dozen bird species by sight. Meru NP is a birding haven and for that reason I still have unfinished business there.
We went for a 4 day camping trip with the #OneTouch crew @Mwarv @JoeMakeni and @Sirnare from the word go I realized it was going to be an awesome trip. We set off from Nairobi at around Noon heading north on the A2. First stop was in Karatina necessitated by the hunger pangs we bought a carload of bananas. Second stop was in Nanyuki for lunch where we made this mistake of ordering Meat…. it was more like rubber I think I made my jaws strong for the whole year.
Next stop was in Timau the wheat fields seemed to be calling out to us to take pictures. We then proceeded to Meru did some shopping then hit the road to Maua by this time it was already dark and the state of the road didn’t help much we reached the Meru NP gates at 9pm. Good thing Mwarv had been in contact with the Rangers at the gate who kinda waited for us to reach.
We set up camp at Bwatherongi Campsite about 18kms from the main gate. Since we had already had our supper we set up tents and slept. 6AM following morning we are woken up by a troop of Baboons (a group of baboons is called a congress fyi) doing what baboons do best.
After breakfast we have our first game drive viewing lots of birds the animals seem to be hiding for some reason. We head outside the park for lunch and to get some network. The afternoon drive didn’t yield much a random Elephant from a distance in a thick bush, Impalas and the ever skittish lesser Kudu after covering 150km all we had were images of birds.
We went back to the camp to find Wambua the camp caretaker had started the fire for us already and had sambazad some mattresses our way no more sleeping on the floor oh what joy…. A rack of ribs purchased earlier in the day and the BBQ was on in the bush.
Breakfast consisted of a portion of ribs, canned beans, bread, juice and apples. The focus for today was to reach the part of the park where Tana River crosses the park on its way to Tana :-) pun intended. it was an eventful drive Generuk, Crocodile, lots of birds (hornbills, buffalo weavers, fiscals you get the point), impalas, giraffes. We reached Tana River across the bridge in the Mwingi National Reserve where we met some these wardens who told us of the presence of lions that roam the area after we had taken a stroll down the river banks for like 3kms. Its said that the bridge that connects the two bank is the longest in any of the national parks or something like that.. From here you can also view the Adamson falls from here its more like rapids than a fall but who am I to judge what a fall is or isn’t?
From Tana River we drove back all the way to Elsa’s Kopje. Now how do you start talking about Elsa’s Kopje??? please google and read the reviews on tripadvisor cause I may not do it justice. There are three rock outcrops (Kopje in dutch) we sort permission from the management to go up one of the Kopje’s to shoot the sunset. Going up was not as easy as we had expected huffing and puffing showed our level of fitness.
When we got on top of the Kopje the sight was to behold you have a 360 view of the park and if lucky sport herds of elephants and buffaloes grazing in the distant.
The sunset was another different spectacle all together making the hike worth every bit of it. as the saying goes what goes up must come down and down we came having decided to be brighter we used a different route coming down at some point it was bottoms on the floor as we dragged ourselves on all fours. We made it all the way down and back in camp where Wambua had started the fire already (bless his soul)
After a good nights sleep we decided it was time to leave the park at 9AM. As we are heading towards the gate we stumble upon a grazing herd of elephants in the open like 20 meters away all you could hear for 10 minutes straight was the click of the shutter.
We made it out of the park at 10AM had lunch in Meru at 11AM bought more bananas in Karatina reached Nairobi at 4PM but managed to reach home at 8PM thanks to the arrival of POTUS.
All in all I still have unfinished business at Meru NP till the Next Trip!!!