This is where nineteenth century explorers such as Samuel Baker ventured to survey the headwaters of the mysterious Nile; where British royalty travelled for big game hunts in the early safari days of the 1920s and 30s; where Ernest Hemingway famously crashed airplanes; and where the classic movie, The African Queen was filmed. Our days were spent viewing the wildlife, either from the boat or game vehicle. We dined on freshly caught Nile perch in the evenings, and woke to find fresh lion pug marks through camp. We had spent several days previous to this camped in Kidepo National Park, a wilderness on Uganda's northern frontier, with equally enjoyable wildlife viewings, as well as meeting some fascinating individuals and learning about the wild lives they lead in these remote areas. And it dawned on everyone present that the true luxury of this experience, alongside the great comforts of our private camps, was in fact the privileged access we had to some of Africa's jewels; the real power of the inside knowledge that myself and my Ugandan colleagues brought guests who were the first for decades to venture into these beautiful parks. Ending the safari with some wonderful time spent in the lush forests with the Mountain gorillas, my guests really understood why Uganda has long been known as the 'Pearl' of Africa.
My favourite place in the world:
The Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya has been like a home away from home for me. As one of my most regular safari destinations due to the prolific wildlife - especially predators, the Mara delivers what I would rate as the best place to observe animal behaviour anywhere on the planet. For me personally the Mara is even more special as it is where I met my wife, Dr Stephanie Dloniak, during her years living there researching large carnivores. We must have covered every inch of the place over that time and witnessed the most incredible wildlife scenes.