I spent my early years in Linbro Park, a suburb of Johannesburg, on a small holding of peach trees, asparagus and rhubarb, exploring the long disused next-door cemetery, avoiding snakes and grandpa's beady eyes. (And they were eyes that missed nothing).
From there the family moved to a farm in Chingola, Northern Rhodesia (later Zambia).
Given the farm was carved out of virgin forest, it was back to avoiding snakes and other inhabitants of the thick bush – I often look back and wonder how I survived all my carefree cavorting in the bush and forests and encounters with some of Africa’s most poisonous snakes.
From Zambia we moved to Rhodesia (later Zimbabwe) where I finished my schooling and then attended university in South Africa.
After completing my degree, I spent the best part of the following five years in the Rhodesian border war, eventually leaving Rhodesia when the war ended and moved back to South Africa.
Somehow all my school years were spent at isolated boarding schools, buried deep in the bush in both Northern Rhodesia and Rhodesia learning a deep and abiding love for Africa and wild life.