The man-eating leopard of Laikipia

Laikipia Plateau, Kenya Until only a few years ago, the constellations blazed across the sky above the farm at night and there was not a single electric light on any horizon. On many evenings I found myself with my rangers sleeping on the tracks of cattle rustlers heading into Kenya’s wild north with no fences between us and the Ethiopian frontier. Today the wildness is gone, the tarmac almost reaches our farmstead, the phone network reaches everywhere and the good old days of gunfire and adventures and great dances of warriors with their beads and flashing spears will survive only in memory. And so it is quite surprising when even

The perils of being a Kenyan farmer’s wife

Laikipia As the train pulled into Victoria my wife Claire, back home on the farm in Kenya, revealed that a buffalo was charging her. ‘Oh dear!’ she exclaimed as the phone line went dead. She called back minutes later, out of breath, to explain she had been walking our three dogs when the beast came thundering across the savannah and chased her half a mile. It later turned out that lions had injured the buffalo, which put it in a foul mood, gave it a bad limp and — thankfully — slowed it down. That was just the first drama for Claire, when she put on her gumboots and ran