At the time, I thought this would be a once-in-a-lifetime trip, after all safari is not cheap and it took quite a bit of saving up. But as the aircraft turbines roared over Kilimanjaro on the homeward bound flight, I realised a had left a little of my heart swirling in the red dust of East Africa. I knew, somehow, someday, I would...I must, return.
Fast forwards to now; as a Mountain & Expediton Leader and I have lead several expeditions to east and southern Africa, journeyed through wilderness of jaw dropping beauty, climbed amazing peaks and observed wildlife in many game reserves and national parks.
My passion for these special places still burns just as strong as the first time I stood on the edge of Ngorongoro Crater and saw the vision of a real life Eden before me. Many of my friends know of my enthusiasm for the subject, especially when oiled with a single malt (preferably Talisker).
So, with the imminent danger of boring them with another story, I'll share this one with you from 2008. It is very topical as Lewa featured prominently in BBC documentary 'Africa' (with the wonderful David Attenborough) and also included 'Elvis' the black rhino.
LION TRACKING IN LEWA DOWNS
Footnote: Sadly, since originally writing this piece in 2008; across the continent Rhino are once again under unprecedented threat from poaching, with an average loss of one rhino per day. A statistic which I find utterly shattering. If you are able, please give what support you can, even if it is to spread the word, about the essential work done by Tusk Trust in ensuring that Africa's wildlife is still here for all our tomorrows.