Excerpts from 950-word article

CLOSE UP AND PERSONAL AT KENYA'S ARK

A young buffalo comes out of the forest and walks menacingly towards another. With a distance of about a metre between them they stand and glare, face to face, for what seems like an eternity. Just as it appears that a fight is imminent one relaxes enough to urinate while the other snorts, rudely shaking tick birds and a cloud of mud from his back. Then, their grievances apparently forgotten, they plod side by side to the water hole. I pour a fresh cup of tea, add an eclair to my plate of tiny sandwiches and settle back to wait for a new drama to unfold....

We are in Kenya's Aberdare National Park at The Ark Hotel which, as the name implies, is built to resemble a boat. Guest accommodation is in cabins on floors known as decks, stewards direct us along narrow corridors, and we boarded via a gangplank which is raised at night to keep visitors in and wildlife out....

Around 6.30 p.m. a buzzer in my cabin alerts me to the arrival of an animal. Through the open window I see first the heads of our group members popping out of the ark like cuckoos from some giant black forest clock, and then an elephant sways past. He is very tall, with enormous tusks practically sweeping the ground. Having seen hundreds of elephants this past week, we return to our books.......