Report from the Indian Ocean

Ollie reeled in his first sailfish!

Following the big run (UltraMARAthon), we were all ready for our sore feet to be soothed in the sand and sea, so I flew the family to Watamu the next week. We had plenty of time to soak up the Indian Ocean vistas from our sundowner deck and enjoy a few fun activities. A sunset cruise with friends aboard the tradition Swahili “Monangu” dhow offered fun for kids and adults alike. I joined Ollie on the good ship Alleycat for some deep sea fishing one day, and the joy of Ollie’s success pulling in his first 50-pound sailfish was matched only by the exhaustion after the half-hour battle to reel it in. And while the great blue marlin eluded us that day, we also caught a giant trevally, and I am sure we’ll be back for another round soon!

I also had the excitement of taking Ollie for his first scuba dive. It was action packed with green turtles, octopus, and thousands of stunningly colored fish all around. Ollie took to it like, well, a fish to water, and I’m looking forward to our next diving adventure.

Ollie’s first scuba dive in the Indian Ocean.
We predict Ollie will end up working in the ocean one day….
Ollie with his first giant trevally.
The kids spent plenty of time searching the tidal pools for cool creatures.
A well-camouflaged crab.
Tiny starfish.
A speckled moray eel.
It is always fun to try to catch these crabs with their bright red eyes!
Enjoying the warm waters of Watamu.
Jumping off the dhow during a sunset cruise along Mida Creek.

The inaugural UltraMARAthon – 50km through the Mara conservancies

Perhaps once in a lifetime – or possibly once a year – it feels right to push some boundaries. This can be at different levels, whether emotional, spiritual, or physical. For a year like 2020, I chose physical, and went all out to launch and participate in a wild run across 50km of spectacular Mara savannah. Read my account of this “ultra” marathon race across the great plains of the Maasai Mara that benefitted the rangers of the conservancies here in Wilder magazine ( It was brutally hot and the final 10km was much more challenging than I expected, but I managed to complete the full 50km…and I am already thinking about how to train better for the next one!

Running up to the finish line!

Learn more about our partner charity, For Rangers, on their website (, and here is a fantastic highlights video from race day:

Sam Taylor and me, enjoying some Kenyan beer after the race. Sam runs For Rangers and was the co-organizer of the UltraMARAthon.

A new film about The Original Ker & Downey Safaris

Enjoy our new short video on the essence of the private guided safari experience in Africa. The Original Ker & Downey Safaris has been in operation for more than 70 years, and I am so proud to be a partner and director of the company that outfits my safaris.