In 1986 when we visited Meru National Park, there were only six white rhino left in the park. These were protected by armed guards and herded into an enclosre each night to save them from poachers. A baby had been born since this protecion had taken place, and as it had been used to humans since birth, it was considered "tame" enough for us to stroke.
Big mistake! He took an instant dislike to me and as I approached he turned around and charged at me. With only a camera tripod for protection, I waves my arms around wildly and ran like hell!
Fortunately it appeared it was only a mock charge and he gave up the chase. In my fright I wasn't looking where I was going, and sank ankle deep in rhino poo. Yuck. Despite leaving the shoes in the bath with the shower head inside it for much of the night, I was unable to get rid of the smell. Not having brought any other shoes, it was sandals foe me for the rest of the trip.
We came across this large herd of elephant not far away from the lodge, on the way back from a morning's safari drive. In fact you can just about make out the lodge in the background. I was totally captivated by the little babies, they are so cute despite being so huge!
For ages afterwards we could follow the movement of these animals from the comfort of the lodge, they stayed in sight for some considerable time.
The baboons would often come quite close to the lodge, especially during meal times. Baboons can be very aggressive and quite dangerous, so we were adviced to avoid encouraging them.
Here they are seen running off and being shooed away by the restaurant staff.
You can often spot where there has been a recent kill, as there will be many vultures gathered in a nearby tree. In Meru we were allowed to leave the tracks (not all national parks alllow this, and I am not sure if the regulation has changed since we were there), so we were able to driver near to where the vultures were, hoping there would be a predator still with its prey on the ground below.
There are many different antelopes found in East Africa, such as this Grant's Gazelle. Although they are very quick on their feet, they often fall prey to lions and other predators.
The rolling grasslands are also home to a host of other plains game, such as zebra and various antelope.
We were not disappointed! Below the tree was a lion and lioness enjoying the remains of what was once a buffalo.
One of seven species of guinea fowl, which also includes a domesticated food bird. They are noisy critters are are said yo be able to keep the ticks at bay that spread Lyme's Disease.
The world's tallest animal, and despite rumours to the contrary, its long neck only has seven vertabrae like everyone else.
Unusually for a bird of prey, the secretary bird has long, thin legs. The name comes from its crest which looks like the old-fashioned quills used for writing in days gone by.
At 9 feet tall and te world's largest living bird, the ostrich is unable to fly, but can reach some amazing speeds when running (up to 70kph).