The year was 2001, and I was deep in the heart of Thailand’s rich rainforests. The air hung thick and heavy, while the sun scorched the earth. I bumped and crashed through the rich rainforest on the back of an elephant. I should have been ecstatic. I loved elephants and it was my dream to…

This is a place of spectacular contrasts. Where water meets fire, light meets dark, life meets death. Where the Okavango river, swollen with the winter rains of Angola’s highlands, flows down into Botswana, releasing water into a vast inland oasis. This is the Okavango Delta, a mosaic of papyrus, lagoons, grasslands and marsh; a magnet…

The first lightning strike rips the sky in half and sends me running, shouting for my father. Fat tears drop down my eight-year old self’s face. I am frightened. Not for myself but for the rabbit and guinea pig I have at the bottom of the garden. “They must be so scared,” I wail at…