Summer expeditions

Well it’s been one hell of a summer with Kenya in July and Namibia in late August producing two adventures that could go in the history books. 

Kenya saw us in the bush tagging rhino and a lion all in aid of trying to keep track of where the animals go and are the cats taking cattle as easy prey.  Important stuff for conservation and critical to the survival of the rhino who’s horn has reached obscene value on the black market.  Bowmore does its bit keeping a careful eye on what’s happening in the outdoor scene, promoting responsible travel (and drinking). We toasted our successful operations with some of Islay’s finest and half a goat to aid digestion.  Our group (all coverts now to Bowmore) had a lucky sighting of a leopard in daylight just before we left – we shared some magical moments on our 2 week journey.

Ken Camp Fire

Namibia saw us on the Angolan border and while we nearly turned our land rover over a cliff I (and my American friend Alex) was more concerned about our whisky than imminent death.  We survived that bit (and had a dram to compensate) and made our way on foot into one of the most spectacular wildernesses on earth.  We were trying to make contact with a lost sect of a tribe called the Himba.  These guys are some of the last true hunter gatherers on earth and it was with some surprise that we met a couple carrying a goat that had been severely mauled by a crocodile by the banks of the Kunene River that separates Namibia from Angola. 


It was hot as hell and we suffered with the heat as we tried to make it back up into the mountains to cross them to our meeting point.  As in all good adventures we ran out of water and it was fortuitous that we had Pete a long-time friend and Himba guide with us who after two nail biting hours managed to get some decent water to drink.

All in all it was one of the most difficult trips I have ever been on and we knew that we had been on an adventure!!  When back at camp and after a good braii (Afrikaans for b-b-que!) we savoured the last of our precious Bowmore –it certainly was a reward for a job well done and more than one close shave with disaster.

Lesson learnt:

  • If you can’t find water don’t panic but have enough to return to where you last could get it.
  • Acclimatization is really important in hot temperatures.
  • Don’t carry anything you don’t need.
  • Make sure your footwear works.
  • All kit will get tested to the limit – make sure it can hack extreme conditions.
  • Put your whisky in a heavy gauge plastic or metal bottle!!! 

Ken Fin

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