THE INCREDIBLE JOURNEY
We are on our way to Africa. Travelling to Africa requires a whole load of vaccinations – for Yellow fever, Typhoid, and Hepatitis. My friends at WildAid assure me that the risks are low where we’ll be going, but to know that all of these diseases that we never worry about at home, are still out there and a daily threat for some people, is an eye opener.
We battle the London traffic to Heathrow and then get to relax in the Virgin Clubhouse. Great atmosphere, really comfortable and I get to shower and eat some delicious English crab. My thanks to Virgin Atlantic as one of the sponsors of the documentary we’re making for a Chinese and international audience.
I’ve worked with Sir Richard Branson on the shark fin campaign in Shanghai and he’s a keen supporter of conservation, as is Virgin Atlantic. It’s my first time with Virgin (there’s probably a joke in there somewhere), but the service is great and the flight goes by pretty quickly.
When we land in Nairobi, we head out-of-town straight away. The traffic here is really bad due to road construction everywhere. In the end, it’s easier to take a shortcut on a dirt road. As we get out into the country, the landscape changes to coffee and maize fields, banana trees and agriculture. Apart from the red earth, which apparently is because of the iron content, it looks a bit like parts of Asia and other places I’ve been.
We head up through the highlands and in the distance we see Mt. Kenya. Suddenly the scenery changes to great grasslands and then we arrive at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy. As we clear the gate and electric fence to keep the poachers out and the wildlife in, I know I have really arrived in Africa. The farms are gone and we are in a great open savannah. The bustle of the city, towns and villages seems far behind us. In the distance, I see a herd of elephants. As I start to walk towards them, I’m told we have to stay with the vehicle because this is “lion country”.
As I head back, a family of warthogs runs by with their tails in the air. We open up the roof and I can stretch out and enjoy the view.