Forgive me. I know we bang the Borana drum almost as often as we do the likes of Omo Valley or the Hadza, but I cut my manager teeth here, know the conservancy’s founders well, and believe its mixed land use conservation model the answer to Africa’s threatened wildernesses.
Abu Camp, based in the Abu Concession in Botswana, has closed its elephant riding activity after twenty years, due to new Government legislation.
On my recent trip to Tanzania, I had a stark reminder of the close proximity in which humans live with wildlife and the potential affects this can have on the lives they lead, when we spotted a leopard heading out of a settlement and into the forest opposite. The main highway that separates Manyara National Park from the neighbouring town showcases an abrupt juxtaposition between human development alongside wilderness. Such a quick sighting and the leopard was gone.
I make no apologies for once again bringing the wonders of the Hadza to your attention. Last time it was via a great piece by Mike Carter in the Financial Times. This time it’s with reference to Christa d’Souza, whose wonderful article in November’s Vanity Fair takes us to the heart of what it is to be Hadza.
I am, once again, sitting in my tent at Kuro. I am writing by lamplight - again. Not only can I hear lions tonight, but I can make one of them out through the side gauze of my tent. Having perked up upon my exit from the shower, he is making his presence felt. Luckily, lions won't attack through the wall of a tent and, indeed, hardly ever attack humans. Even so, since the only thing protecting me is a piece of fabric, can you blame a chap for being a little terrified?
Once again, my apologies. The Guardian was kind enough to publish a piece we wrote on saving the wild elephant, something I should have alerted you to back in October. As I say, my apologies - fortunately, it’s still online , so do have a look when you get a moment.
Zuzana left the office yesterday with a week’s annual leave and no idea where she was going. This afternoon we received a text saying, ‘We’re in Turkey’. This spirit of adventure is one of many reasons that Zuzana, Grant’s right hand woman, completes our team so well.
I am currently sitting in my tent writing by lamplight in the otherwise pitch-dark surroundings listening to the bellow of lions not far off and the suprisingly melodious cries of hyaenas. Today, we left Lake Duluti Lodge, which was comfortable and friendly.
Pictured above: AA Gill, image via Buffalo News
I was extremely sad to learn the weekend before last that AA Gill has died of a cancer he described as a ‘trucker’s gut buster’, a ‘gimpy, malevolent, meaty, malignancy’. Lung cancer had migrated to the pancreas. ‘There is,’ he said, ‘barely a morsel of offal not included.’ He called it the ‘full English’ of cancers.