Meru National Park

Meru fell out of favour in the 80s and 90s being horribly neglected and with poaching at an all time high - but it seems to be back on the safari radar. Meru offers some beautiful lodges and is very much off the beaten track - perfect for repeat visitors to Kenya.

The semi-arid landscape suffers from irregular rainfall, but it has the Tana river running through it which provides water for the animals most of the year. As well as the river, it also has grasslands, thorn scrub areas and forests of Raffia and Doum palms. The riverine forest is very beautiful and with all the Big Five now back at Meru, safari can be very rewarding. Stumbling upon one of Meru's large buffalo herds can be very exciting while these are prowled by Meru's lion prides.

There is a 80km square rhino sanctuary near to the gate. Here they have around 60 rhino, predominantly white rhino but around 20 black rhino as well.

If the long car journey is too much, there are flights to nearby airstrips and lodge strips. From much of the park there are great views across to Mt. Kenya, the highest peak in Kenya and the second tallest in Africa.

Our favourite lodge in the area is the beautiful Elsa's Kopje (pictured), now part of the Elewana portfolio.

With elephants, cheetah and leopards, there is plenty to see, and with over 427 recorded species of birds it is a twitcher's paradise.