14th, Jan 2014

In Africa, you don’t have to go on safari to see wildlife, you can have a mini-safari in your own backyard – in this case a five-acre piece of land on Watamu beach on Kenya’s Indian ocean coast.

25th, Nov 2013

Our aesthetic choices as writers often happen under the radar; we are only dimly aware we are making them, even as we draw upon their elusive power.

21st, Oct 2013

'Tracking' is a new project about learning to track animals, and more broadly about becoming a Trails guide - someone who takes people on guided nature walks in the African bush. 

28th, Sep 2013

‘Come on, how many Flamingoes do you see?’  The challenge comes from Colin Jackson, the research director at A Rocha Kenya. A group of us stand with our magnifying scopes and binoculars, bristling into the heat.

25th, Aug 2013

A student of mine on the Masters in Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia once summarised her idea for a new novel as ‘A house, a lake, a summer. That’s all I know.’

            A house, a lake, summer. What more could be required for a novel?          

07th, Jul 2013

Alexandria – this must be the most beautiful name for a city. Poised on the northernmost rim of Africa, it is a place I have been to only through literature, and through a literary and family association buried in official secrecy – but that is another story.

04th, Jul 2013

Being a writer is one of those no-guarantee professions: there are no guarantees that you will get published and, if you do, that you will be read and understood.

15th, Jun 2013

An extended version of this article is now published on the literary portal The Writers' Hub; see



05th, May 2013

From the land of lions to the Lion City (all will be illuminated)… wilderness and the future were the perhaps unsurprising themes in a recent working trip to Singapore.

19th, Apr 2013

I have just returned from my third visit to Namibia. What keeps drawing me back to this desert country to the north of South Africa, where I currently live?