Aidan Hartley

Aiden Hartley is the Spectator's Wild Life columnist.

Reggie and Ronnie Kray (Photo: Getty)

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…

(Photo: Getty)

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…

Samburu warriors

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…

Wild life - 23 Sept

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…

Thomas Cholmondeley  (Photo: Getty)

'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…

spy agent

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…

(Photo: Getty)

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…

Wild Life

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’

A member of La Sape,  Societe des Ambianceurs et des Personnes Elegantes  (The Society for the Advancement of Elegant People) (Photo: Getty)

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…

(Photo: Getty)

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.…

Sunset At Masai Mara

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…

Stocking up (Photo: Getty)

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…

(Photo: Getty)

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…


Why I dream of the Great Wall of China

18 July 2015 9:00 am

Laikipia A quarter of a century ago I met two young South African men who had ridden their ponies 1,700…