The wonderful Andrew Danckwerts. I was lucky enough to meet him for coffee as he bought the special Mulberry Mongoose Guinea Fowl Choker for his stunning girlfriend Alice Peretie. We are so excited to feature him today. Not only does he rock our Mulberry Mongoose Pangolin Snare Bracelet but he exemplifies that love of the bush, conservation and passion for adventure and Africa that we connect with. Scroll below to read Andrew's story: it's funny, real and so true of the strange and magic tales that come out of the bush.
Andrew Danckwerts - A Bush Story
I was born in London, thanks to my parents wanting me to get a British passport. They flew us over; I'm one of three boys, had us born and flew us back to the farm in Zambia. That's where home was and where we all nurtured a great appreciation for wild places.
After leaving school, I became a nature guide. I started my career in the industry where we used to go as a kid, the Kafue National Park. From here, I worked all over Africa as a guide, conducting walking, canoeing, photographic, and vehicle bound safaris in all sorts of environments.
My scariest moment was a toss-up between having hippo bump my canoe whilst doing canoeing safaris or a particular elephant that almost ran me down. Both while on safari in Zambia.
Elephants were particularly aggressive in that area. I was tracking down a wounded one that we had been informed and authorized to put down. It had been shot in the shoulder by poachers and was dying a miserable and slow death. I found a track of what I thought was the same animal. A lesson quickly learnt on tracking animals, I found out shortly after starting, is not to do so with your head down. Only looking at the tracks is a bad idea as I promptly walked up the bum of a very healthy bull, now a very angry bull. Knowing the elephants in that area, I used the few seconds of surprise to get some distance between the animal and me. I took off, as fast as my feet could carry me, towards a termite mound and safety.
Turning into a full gallop, I notice Crispin, a staff hand who had joined the operation and was quietly following along about 20 meters behind, had frozen in his tracks. In my best Chinyanja, I screamed: "run for your f***ing life!" At which point, Crispin's body went horizontal without losing any altitude, hitting the floor with a thud. Something I found out later was believed in the Ila Tribe to be your best defence against an attacking elephant. It's really a bad idea.
Passing Crispin lying flat on the ground with an enraged elephant hot on my heels, I was sure the man was about to meet a gruesome end. Hence, I grasped a passing tree to help spin myself around to face the elephant and try my best to settle a staff member's imminent injury and possible death. However, at that time, Crispin had realized his fatal error. He injected some sort of godly strength and speed into his limbs. He had managed to not only get back in his feet - pretty much from under the elephant's tusks - but had also overtaken me by a substantial amount.
The elephant hesitated at the circus of bodies running in every direction in front of him. Which gave me just enough time to fall into a drainage line and climb the other bank into relative safety. Nonetheless, Crispin never joined me on my excursions again. Unforgivably, we never did catch up with the wounded elephant before it succumbed to its agonizing and undignified end.
About Andrew Danckwerts
Andrew Danckwerts describes himself as a safari guide, photographic guide, expedition leader, conservationist, story teller and tree shaker.
In his words:
"Let the Wild God in. Born in and addicted to Africa's beauty and wildness. An insatiable need to explore and experience led me into a decade of work as a guide and expedition leader in some of Africa's most remote camps to some of the most luxurious and prestigious lodges and hotels.
I got into private guiding to take others on these unforgettable adventures. My goal was not to simply connect the dots of destination and route but to connect you to Africa's limitless space and stretch the aperture of your mind and soul with her internal mystery and wildness."
Here below are some of his incredible images.