Aidan Hartley

Aiden Hartley is the Spectator's Wild Life columnist.

‘There is an uneasy feeling in the pit of average stomachs that trouble is coming...’

11 February 2017 9:00 am

 Laikipia plateau, Kenya My great-grandpa Ernest Wise was an engineer who sailed to South Africa towards the end of the…

Living next door to a Kray twin

14 January 2017 9:00 am

We had my parents-in-law Gerry and Jean to stay with us on the farm over Christmas and being in a…

To our new man in Nairobi: white farmers need you

10 December 2016 9:00 am

 Kenya I realised I had fallen from grace when we were dropped from the Queen’s birthday party guest list at…

300 warriors, 10,000 cows: living through a farm invasion

19 November 2016 9:00 am

 Aero Club of East Africa   The world looked so clean and untroubled during the flight in Bob’s light aircraft…

Corrupt politicians won’t drive me off our farm

22 October 2016 9:00 am

Kenya A woman’s bottom cheered me up recently. The lady was walking ahead of me in a Kenya street and…

Fat! Wide! Deep! George Aggett and his amazing Boran bulls

24 September 2016 9:00 am

Laikipia   For a rancher north of Mount Kenya, a man’s best legacy might be a good bloodline of Boran…

'So you're the guy who kills black people.' 'I thought that was you?'

27 August 2016 9:00 am

Kenya When the late Tom Cholmondeley walked into his cell after being accused of murder in Kenya’s Rift Valley, etched…

There’s a buffalo in my herbaceous border

16 July 2016 9:00 am

Gilgil, Kenya   At our Gilgil hut in the Rift Valley I’ve had a new flower garden planted to welcome…

Me, a gun-toting gangster? I take it as a compliment

18 June 2016 9:00 am

Kenya As soon as I pulled out of town, I knew I had made a mistake taking on the new…

How Nairobi gangsters would vote in the EU referendum

21 May 2016 9:00 am

   Nairobi The gangsters hadn’t heard of Brexit. ‘What is this “Breaks it”?’ they asked my friend hours after kidnapping…

How do we save the elephant? It’s simple: eat them

23 April 2016 9:00 am

   Laikipia I sip my Tusker beer on the veranda, staring at the elephant. He’s not the elephant in the…

South Africa’s Heart of Darkness

2 April 2016 9:00 am

Trencherman was first published in Afrikaans in 2006 and translated into English for a South African readership shortly afterwards, but…

I’ve put a fence up around my farm, but it doesn’t keep the wildlife out

26 March 2016 9:00 am

Laikipia ‘Awayoo,’ was how our head stockman Apurra said ‘how are you?’ in his texts from Pokot country, where I…

Aidan Hartley takes aim with a Holland & Holland

Shopping for a gun? Aim high

26 March 2016 9:00 am

On the shooting range, grouse moor or in the African bush, there’s nothing so much fun as a bespoke rifle or shotgun, says Aidan Hartley

At the chalkface: two faces of Michael Schützer-Weissmann, who taught English at Sherborne and Shrewsbury

A tribute to ‘Shutz’, the schoolmaster who made me

12 March 2016 9:00 am

One inspiring teacher can transform the lives of generations of pupils... Aidan Hartley was lucky enough to find his in ‘Schutz’

The marabou defecation was so voluminous that the sapeur was beyond salvation

13 February 2016 9:00 am

Nairobi Nairobi’s old avenues were designed to be wide enough for a wagon and several span of oxen to U-turn…

Red sky of warning: Elephants and Cape buffaloes cross the Luangwa River

The Luangwa is far from being a happy valley

30 January 2016 9:00 am

Simon Barnes opens with a presumably true idea, that we are all in search of our own versions of paradise…

A close encounter with a puff adder

16 January 2016 9:00 am

On New Year’s Day I took the family out for an evening walk on the ranch. Along the verges, lush…

The James Herriot of Africa

12 December 2015 9:00 am

Great Rift Valley The mare hangs her head; her neck is swollen, her eyes bloody red, crammed by flies. She…

How to survive the bush

5 December 2015 9:00 am

In an African bar near my cattle ranch in Kenya there’s a mural of a man struggling up a tree.…

The Kenyan night is like a busy shipping lane, but silent

21 November 2015 9:00 am

Night falls like a fire curtain at seven and I go to bed not long afterwards, serenaded by bullfrogs after…

What Ryszard Kapuscinski airbrushed out of his bestselling book

24 October 2015 9:00 am

I once found myself on a lonely road in southern Ethiopia with the famous Polish author Ryszard Kapuscinski. We were…

I know what the Piers Gaveston Society really did with pig’s heads

26 September 2015 8:00 am

Memories of partying with the notorious Piers Gaveston Society at Oxford

I was petrified of the power of the Great Monition, the most terrifying curse of them all

26 September 2015 8:00 am

   Laikipia A lion has just mauled and partially eaten a warrior who tried to throw a spear in my…

Africa is no longer the land of elephants

29 August 2015 9:00 am

Laikipia An elephant can break through an electric fence by pulling out the posts, pushing younger, more stupid animals into…