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Wild life

Wild liferss

A Somali government soldier at the site of car bomb blast in front of the Makka Al Mukarrama Hotel in Mogadishu,  March 15, 2014

Hunted in Mogadishu by the Sick Man and the Jilbab

26 April 2014

From a way off, as he entered the café, he looked young and handsome but when he sat down there was something wrong in that face. He moved like a… Read more

A £50 million search for love

29 March 2014

 Laikipia When I first knew Michael Cunningham-Reid he was such a strict teetotaller that he would not eat trifle for pudding in case there was sherry in it. For years,… Read more

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Jubilant greetings to you, Celestino! How is the atmospheric pressure in your corner? 

15 February 2014

 Laikipia ‘I am old and cannot work again,’ said Celestino. ‘But you are 46 and we have many years to go.’ ‘No. Working for you has made me blind.’ ‘We… Read more

The greater the risk, the greater the reward

I don't love money, but I love the risks it makes me take

18 January 2014

On the flight into Kinshasa, I sat next to an elderly Englishman who was pallid with fear. He revealed that he was a bankrupt who was determined to survive by… Read more

Cattle Rustlers

Aidan Hartley: If Santa Claus tried to make a delivery, he’d be shot before he reached the chimney

14 December 2013

Laikipia In the cattle rustlers’ camp, I know as I write this that the warriors are sharpening their blades, staring down the dirty barrels of their rifles, and loading their… Read more

Laikipia

Aidan Hartley: Kenya is special like no other African nation

16 November 2013

As I write this, my hands are seared and bruised from holding a hot iron after branding our cattle. We have castrated our steers and piled up the testicles on… Read more

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Aidan Hartley: How Muslim militants and Western jihadis wrecked enchanting Somalia

19 October 2013

Wizards inland from the little Somali port of Barawe bewitched a person to come to them by banging a nail into a tree and chanting his name. ‘He comes no… Read more

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Aidan Hartley: I have been shot at and bombed so why do I fear a pyramid?

21 September 2013

It was towards dusk by the time we had given the tourist police the slip and started climbing the pyramid of Mycerinus at Giza. It was Sebastian Barry-Taylor and I… Read more

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Killing in Kenya: Aidan Hartley tracks the last steps of an elephant

24 August 2013

  Laikipia The bull elephant had roamed our northern marches of the Laikipia plateau for decades. I always recognised him when he passed through the farm because his handsome 65-pound… Read more

A Somali shepherd in Kenya

A binge on alcohol and meat, plus hired sex and lodging — all for £1.50

27 July 2013

 Kenya Home is beyond the perimeter of modern Kenya and way off the grid. When the ancient generator goes off in the evening we are left with a sky of… Read more

Wild life: Could I ever revive the Pinguaan Springs?

15 June 2013

Il Pinguaan Springs When I first saw the Pinguaan Springs they were small, fetid bogs set about with papyrus, the haunt of mercury-coloured frogs and dragonflies. I wondered why they… Read more

Kruger National Park

Wild life: Leopard on a hot tin roof

18 May 2013

A leopard has been on the rampage night after night. We know her because she often lurks in the woods behind the farmstead, between the beehives and the old long-drop… Read more

Wild life

20 April 2013

Colobus monkeys in the forest were throat singing like Tibetan monks. Mist rose from the Kericho tea gardens above us in the gloaming. My son Rider gazed longingly at the… Read more

Wild life

23 March 2013

Rift Valley ‘We’re on the frontline,’ I said. ‘And however many guns we had, it wouldn’t be enough against the cattle rustlers.’ ‘Yes,’ replied my friend Jamie, a shareholder in… Read more

Wild life

23 February 2013

Rift Valley I am training for a half-marathon on the slopes of Mount Kenya in June and I must prepare myself for failure. I may not even make it to… Read more

Will I survive my mid-life marathon?

26 January 2013

Rift Valley ‘I’ve got a brilliant idea,’ said Jools on the phone, his voice characteristically rising like a commentator on the Grand National as Red Rum comes in for the… Read more

Wild life

15 December 2012

Gilgil, Kenya Pembroke House, our children’s school, is a little slice of England set in Kenya’s Rift Valley. In the shadow of extinct volcanoes they play cricket on extensive grounds.… Read more

Wild life

17 November 2012

Northern Kenya If I go out in darkness I dread neither the leopard nor the lion but I recoil from the aardvark: for me a terrifying creature. The ant bear,… Read more

Wild life

20 October 2012

Mogadishu I return to Mogadishu to find it’s calm – only a few assassinations, hit-and-run attacks, IEDs or suicide bombs — and at last most Somalis seem ready for peace.… Read more

Wild life

22 September 2012

He was under a tiny patch of shade under a tree in one of the earth’s remotest spots. At Nadapal, the Kenya–South Sudan border, you might expect to meet the… Read more

Wild life

25 August 2012

Kigali Eighteen years after Rwanda’s bloodbath I disembarked from my flight and was surprised to see that mortar craters no longer pitted the airport tarmac. At a city café where… Read more

Wild life

28 July 2012

Kenya coast A loud crash woke us in the middle of our first night at the beach house. ‘Robbers must be trying to break in,’ said Claire, kneeing me in… Read more

Wild life

30 June 2012

Laikipia My new pride and joy is a pedigree Boran bull named Woragus 317. We know him as Ollie. Sired by the famous 956 Segera from the legendary Gianni line,… Read more

Wild life

26 May 2012

Juba After an all-night rainstorm in Juba I woke to see the mosquito that bit me in the dark. Now, several days later, a fever returns to me like an… Read more

Wild life

28 April 2012

Laikipia, Kenya Darkness was closing in and one of the sheep was lost. A search party formed. On my Kenya farm big cats, African wild dogs and hyenas abound. Livestock… Read more