I’m currently in Kenya with my family where I’m planning to stay for the next seven weeks. The official reason is to help my friend Aidan Hartley set up a primary school in Laikipia, but I have another, less pious motive. Last June, Aidan arranged for me to give a speech at Pembroke, his children’s prep school in the Rift Valley, and I was so taken with it I asked the headmistress if my own children could come for half a term. It has such an adventurous, Wild West atmosphere, I thought it would make a good contrast to the CE primary school my children are at in Shepherd’s Bush. The headmistress agreed on condition that I teach a class in English literature. I’m going to start them off on The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber by Ernest Hemingway.
We spent our first four days here at the Karen Blixen safari camp in the Maasai Mara and the variety and abundance of the local wildlife was spellbinding. Even my jaded children were impressed. “This is so epic, dad,” said four-year-old Charlie, staring at a herd of zebra on our first safari drive. “It’s just like Madagascar.” (To read more, click here.)