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LUXURY TRAVEL: Kenya, Africa

A pair of huge green eyes bore into mine and a prickle of shock runs down my spine. I cannot move. White knuckled and barely drawing breath I am mesmerised by the intensity of his gaze. He moves again, his muscular shoulders rippling with intensity. With a jolt my brain kicks into gear and I duck my head back through the roof of the truck. My heart booms so loud I wonder if he can hear it. The lion stares at me through the glass window for a few seconds more before giving a lazy yawn and rolling over. I'm a visitor in his kingdom, and I've just been warned not to forget it.

lion
lion
cubs
leleshwa
cheetah
breakfast on the plain
zebras
I didn't plan to visit Kenya, it just kind of happened. My friend Fran, who I met in Spain, grew up there, and when she suggested that I visit her and her parents in Nairobi, I jumped at the chance. What better way to see a country than in the company of locals?

Although they're originally from England, Fran's family have lived in Kenya for more than 30 years and they seem to know just about everyone worth knowing in Nairobi, including the owners of Leleshwa, a luxury safari camp on the edge of the Masai Mara National Reserve.

Located on the Siana Conservancy overlooking rolling African plains, the tented camp has a distinctly colonial atmosphere. The staff greet us with a smile and a freshly made gin and tonic, and I half expect Karen Blixen and Denys Finch-Hutton to be sitting in the tented lounge listening to Mozart on the gramophone. The tragic lovers a