Epic Safari Marred by Disasters

by: Dominik Kamonde Kitonyi 1967 As I drove the Land Rover through Uganda on the way to Kidepo National Park, I felt a jolt behind me. The trailer tyre hurtled past me and into the grass. I stopped to check the damage. The wheel had sheered off at the axle. I don’t remember any safari with as many disasters as that first big trip with my good friend Kiko (The late Peter Davey was called Kiko because of the pipe he smoked). I had started working for Kiko on September 13, 1953, when he joined Commander Berry on the Kianzabe coffee estate near Thika. I worked for Kiko when he was single and then for his family after he married. I married my wife Loise Ntheke in 1954 after our parents agreed on the marriage and the bride price. I brought her parents a down payment of two goats with the promise of more later and they allowed us to marry. My wife and I had a daughter. Then Kiko and his wife had a baby boy. My second child died, but both Kiko and I had more children. Our children grew up together. In 1967 Kiko decided to leave the coffee plantation. We all moved to Watamu where Kiko set up a safari business called Bateleur Safaris. We did a few hunting trips before our epic first safari with clients from overseas. The clients wanted a photographic safari through Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania. Kiko decided the trip should start in Kidepo National Park in Uganda. He assigned me to drive the Land Rover and a trailer ,while Kiko...