Aidan Hartley

Aiden Hartley is the Spectator's Wild Life columnist.

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…


The Shrewsbury School Hunt very nearly killed me

20 June 2015 9:00 am

Laikipia, Kenya   Out cross-country running on the farm in Kenya recently, I came face-to-face with a gang of bull…


The Kenya Fly Fishers’ club makes the Bullingdon look rather left-wing

23 May 2015 9:00 am

   Nairobi Trout were first introduced into Kenya’s highland streams in 1905. Men like Ewart Grogan, ‘baddest and boldest of…

Samburu tribesman swapped spears for rocks

I am grateful to my surgeon for saving one of my limbs when a mob of Samburu tribesmen attacked me

25 April 2015 9:00 am

 Laikipia When I was a boy in Devon we had an orchard. On a string of autumns, as the fruit…


The warrior arched his body, readying to sling his spear at my chest

28 March 2015 9:00 am

 Laikipia With a shriek, the warrior arched his body, readying to sling his spear at my chest. The tear-dropped javelin…

Hope springs eternal: a 1954 Morris Minor at a Catholic mission station in Moipo, South Sudan

Having oozed optimism for a decade, I am a bit down about the Hopeful Continent

14 February 2015 9:00 am

Juba I discovered a 1954 Morris Minor parked outside the Catholic mission station in Mopoi, South Sudan. The car had…

Meals on wheels Photo: Getty

I want to do for field rations what Jamie Oliver did for school dinners

17 January 2015 9:00 am

Hell’s Kitchen My ambition to open a fish and chip shop in Mogadishu has not happened yet, though I remain…

The parks are empty and the landscapes are yours

If you want a real safari, head to Botswana

3 January 2015 9:00 am

As a boy camping with my father on safaris deep in the African bush, there were no tents involved; we…


I cannot imagine living in a world without lions

13 December 2014 9:00 am

Laikipia We are privileged to live with lions on the farm. We hear them most nights. We encounter them frequently.…

The people who want me not to believe what I saw in Rwanda

22 November 2014 9:00 am

Kenya It’s a long time since I thought of Thaddee, our Kigali stringer when I was covering Rwanda for Reuters.…

Maasai People Struggle As Kenya Declares Drought Emergency

What happened when I tried to buy back my father's farm

25 October 2014 9:00 am

 Kenya I perused the brochure produced by Tanzania’s state corporation for livestock ranching, aimed at attracting foreign investors. Under ‘beef…

From Burma — or maybe Saigon — to Manchester via Calcutta

27 September 2014 8:00 am

England   We dropped off our daughter Eve at her new school in the Midlands and started the long journey…

A British patrol advancing along the Waw river, Burma Photo: Getty

The forgotten flank of the forgotten corps of the Forgotten Army

6 September 2014 9:00 am

The British who fought in Burma became known as the ‘Forgotten Army’ because this was a neglected theatre of the…


It's time for Kenya to put aside dreams of singing wells and dancing bulls

30 August 2014 9:00 am

Laikipia   ‘Good morning, sir!’ The warrior strides up to me on the high plains and shakes my hand. ‘May…


Climbing Mount Kenya with my 13-year-old daughter

19 July 2014 9:00 am

 Kenya Highlands I’ve just descended Mount Kenya with Eve, my 13-year-old daughter, and her class of school leavers from Pembroke…


Please take your holiday in Kenya this year

21 June 2014 9:00 am

 Rift Valley Many of my British tribe fled Kenya around independence in 1963 because they believed there was no future.…


The books that have kept me alive

24 May 2014 9:00 am

In bed Safety measures — I’ve never been good at them, so inevitably I inhaled and got soaked by the…

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 9:00 am

From a way off, as he entered the café, he looked young and handsome but when he sat down there…


Before you talk about 'Lessons from Rwanda', read this

5 April 2014 9:00 am

Twenty years ago, I was a witness to the Rwandan genocide. Those who speak of lessons from it are deluded

A £50 million search for love

29 March 2014 9:00 am

 Laikipia When I first knew Michael Cunningham-Reid he was such a strict teetotaller that he would not eat trifle for…