Tristan Voorspuy was a larger-than-life character. His obituary in the Daily Telegraph talked of:
Tristan had settled in Kenya in 1983 after riding a motorcycle from London to Cape Town. (Later he flew a light aircraft out from Britain, spare fuel piled in cans on the seats.) His adventurous spirit soon found a berth with Tony Church, who was pioneering safaris on horseback rather than in vehicles. Voorspuy felt the added vulnerability gave a better sense of man’s place in the order of things.
In 1990, he and his wife Cindy set up their own company, Offbeat Safaris. Soon after, they moved into Deloraine, built in 1920 by Lord Francis Scott and one of Kenya’s great houses. They rented it from the Rift Valley Development Trust, Voorspuy keeping it going by combining farming with making it the base for his safaris. Exciting and unpredictable as these were, much of their appeal lay in Voorspuy’s charisma. He was bold and utterly fearless, never carrying a rifle when out riding, only a hunting whip or sjambok. Though he hated displays of swagger, stories of his close shaves were legion and not always legendary. He would think nothing of swimming a pony across the Mara river as crocodiles sunned themselves on the banks. At least once he charged a lion that strayed too close to an elderly guest who had paused to admire a flower. His manner was often abrupt, and he would not hesitate to tick off clients who talked too much or asked silly questions. Yet he was generous, and his knowledge of African wildlife was almost unrivalled.
The obit continues:
Life on the Edge, Tristan Voorspuy’s Fatal Love of Africa, published by Quiller, is written by his friend Adrian Dangar. Adrian has travelled extensively throughout Africa, South America and Asia on numerous writing and travel assignments, and is a regular contributor to Country Life, The Field Magazine and Horse & Hound. Adrian’s book covers Tristan’s colourful life in a series of tales which are eventually cut dead by Tristan’s murder.
This book is well worth a read.
Life on the Edge, Tristan Voorspuy’s Fatal Love of Africa, published by Quiller, can be purchased here.