The great thing about writing a book about Africa is you have to go there. I went to Zambia and Zimbabwe last summer, for the most exciting hiking/canoeing safari you could imagine. Well, that’s not true. Stanley and Alice actually have a more sensational trip in my new private eye novel, Safari, but that’s fiction. Even without murder and mayhem, the trip was something special.

Ever been charged by an elephant? I was actually overcharged by an elephant, but there was no harm done, except to my pride. (Slipping, dropping the movie camera, winding up sitting on a termite mound.)

You’re not in a jeep. You’re just following the trail, minding your own business, and suddenly you walk right by a lion. What is the proper etiquette in that situation? I know screaming and running is frowned on. Or insisting on being introduced. But what would put the lion at his ease?

I’m going to Botswana next month, and hope to shoot better footage. But here’s some short video clips from last year’s trip: lion cubs playing, hippos yawning, and the elephant charging.