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Dr Richard Leakey has kindly written the Introduction to Lady Lori’s new book ‘Africa By Air’:

Getting ‘off the beaten track’ has always been a major part of the allure of Kenya and Eastern Africa and countless numbers of people from all over the world have come to our country over the years to experience first hand the natural beauty, the wonderful people, and the wildlife spectacle preserved in our national parks and sanctuaries. Indeed, it is because so many have and continue to come that it is becoming ever more difficult to really get away. Today, the safari, whilst still a fabulous experience that few regret, is not of course what it was just a decade or two ago, in terms of adventure or being really immersed in untouched Africa.

Camps, lodges, and safari off-road vehicles, are now easily experienced by all visitors to this wonderful country and are no longer the top-tier experience demanded by the most discerning travellers. So, what to do? What makes for the truly unforgettable Africa experience today?

The answer of course is the helicopter. Safe, versatile, flown by pilots of great experience and knowledge; this is the way forward for sure. In such a flying machine, you can see and experience things way beyond your wildest imagination.

Over the years, I have seen and visited many remote and beautiful places in East Africa, especially Kenya, but whenever I am lucky enough to ride in an helicopter, I realise just how much more there is to see and to visit. Whether this be otherwise inaccessible magnificent waterfalls, remote isolated patches of forest, mountain tops unimaginable from the ground, isolated and still altogether traditional villages, extraordinary geological structures and, sometimes when I am lucky, new fossil sites.

It is impossible to adequately describe the excitement and pleasure of flying over Kenya and Eastern Africa in a helicopter and I can easily guarantee that even for the most experienced traveller, the impact would be nothing less than sensational.

So if your desire is to plan the safari to beat all others, if your wish is for a trip that will forever have a special place in your recall of really great moments, plan on a combination of helicopter travel, fixed wing, off road game viewing and some walking or hiking with a really experienced guide who may at times be armed for your safety. This really is the best investment towards a quality of pleasure that few others will experience.

My own commitment to and love for Kenya is evident, and I am more than happy to congratulate those who have put this book together. Moreover, I am honoured to share the sincere commendation offered by our current Prime Minister, Hon. Raila Odinga. We are serious about this wonderful country and we hope you are too when making plans for your next great adventure.

Dr Richard Leakey, Nairobi, Kenya

Continuing in his father Louis Leakey’s famous footsteps, Richard participated in his parents’ field expeditions from an early age and was therefore well-placed to inherit their legacy. His efforts with paleoanthropology involved not only field research and discoveries but also many years serving as the director of the National Museums of Kenya (NMK). Between 1968 and 1989 he coordinated the NMK field expeditions to the eastern and western shores of Lake Turkana, during which many important finds were made – most notably a Homo erectus youth. Dr. Leakey was appointed the head of the Kenya Wildlife Services (KWS) in 1989, successfully combating elephant and rhino poaching and overseeing a reorganization of Kenya’s troubled national park system. After leaving this position in 1994, Richard became more politically active, serving as Secretary General of Kenyan opposition party Safina. In December 1997, he was elected to an opposition seat in the Kenyan parliament. Dr. Richard Leakey continues to lecture on environmental themes and is currently involved in grassroots wildlife conservation projects. In his spare time he enjoys growing grapes and producing wine on his farm near Nairobi.

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