Tag Archives: poaching

Satao – the enigma

  Alive, Satao was almost unknown; dead, he became legend. How did it happen? A year ago, Satao fell to a poacher’s poisoned arrow in a remote corner of Tsavo East National Park. When news of his death became known … Continue reading

Posted in Tsavo | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Satao – one year on

  Recently, I flew to find Satao’s remains. The anniversary of his death was approaching and I felt compelled to visit. Besides, I rationalised, I was curious to see to what extent the nutrient overload had killed the vegetation, and … Continue reading

Posted in Tsavo | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 26 Comments

Satao – the legacy

It’s been months since I was in the ‘hot-box’. The unseasonal rain that scattered Tsavo’s elephants has passed and we have seen the return of the dry season winds. In the past few weeks, they’ve wicked the moisture from the … Continue reading

Posted in Tsavo | Tagged , , , , , , , | 28 Comments

Another place, another bull

    I woke to the sound of heavy breathing – and lay still. Next came grass-ripping, followed by the sound of sliding cloth – first loud and rough, then soft and slick. I knew that the grass-ripping would be … Continue reading

Posted in Tsavo, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

Satao – a legend

When I last wrote about Satao, I felt that I couldn’t use his name. I could refer to him only as a ‘magnificent tusker’ or an ‘iconic Tsavo bull’. I feared that naming him would risk revealing where he lived. … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 177 Comments

Adopted by an elephant

Last evening a lion wandered through camp at dusk – just yards from where we were finishing up work for the day. It skirted the fire, and walked calmly down the path, between the tents and out onto the floodplain … Continue reading

Posted in Tsavo | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

Haunted by a photograph

    I came across a photograph recently that, every time I see it, causes an involuntary intake of breath, followed by a silent ‘wow!’. The first time it happened was twenty five years ago when I came across Peter … Continue reading

Posted in Tsavo | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

Satao: last of the great tuskers

Ever since we started filming in Tsavo we’d looked for a big tusker – but they are elusive. It’s the reason they are still alive. They are also very rare. They are bulls with tusks so large that they can … Continue reading

Posted in Tsavo | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 100 Comments

The sweet smell of petrichor

A week ago in Tsavo, we had an unseasonal storm of rain. We’d been flying, doors off, searching for the matriarch that we’d not seen for a while. As the cloud thickened and lowered, and dark skeins of rain descended … Continue reading

Posted in Tsavo | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 37 Comments

A most beautiful elephant

In a meeting recently in London, I described a particular elephant as, “the most beautiful I’d ever seen” and when questioned further, added that she was “elegant”. I surprised myself. There were a few smiles around the table and the … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments