Near misses with princes

In 2008, I jumped at the opportunity to do a charity based enduro motorbike ride in South Africa.

My brother and I rode about 2,000 kilometres though some amazing terrain on the Eastern Cape from Port Elizabeth to Durban. 

Even before we arrived, there were rumours flying that Prince William and Prince Harry would be on the same trip with us; what a blast it would be.

Unfortunately, they were on a return journey with the next group from Durban back to Port Elizabeth.

The trip was gruelling. Big climbs in the Drakensberg Mountains, big canyon descents and multiple river crossings every day.

The good news was that the princes would have to ride the same motorbikes back.

With that being the case, I wanted to make sure if a prince rode my bike, he would know that it was well used. I spent the next few weeks completely thrashing it, and had a blast.

While our trip was absolutely memorable and exhausting, the media completely gobbled up the return trip with occasional glimpses of the princes in South Africa.

A few years later, my wife and I were working in the Samburu in Kenya for our charity. We were staying at an amazing place called the Lewa Conservancy on the banks of the Samburu River, one of the most incredible big game safari regions in the world. 

Our hosts asked us if we would like to see their luxurious game lodges (as compared to our tents). We were driven up to one lodge and shown around.

At $750US per night per person, it was very impressive. 

At the second lodge, we were suddenly told that the party had not yet had breakfast and had requested some privacy. Of course, we had seen all we needed to, but wondered who was staying at the lodge.

Later in the week on the journey home we heard that Prince William had proposed to Kate MIddleton in Kenya. It made us wonder if we were there at the same time. 

A few years later, we returned and asked the question: were they here? We received a positive reply.

Given that we have been hanging around inadvertently with princes for so long, we are just a little miffed that we were not on the invite list this weekend.

Nonetheless, our very best to Prince Harry and Meghan.


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About the Author

Mark has been an entrepreneur for over forty years. His experience spans many commercial sectors and aspects of business. He was one of the youngest people to be appointed as a Fellow of the prestigious Institute of Sales and Marketing Management before he left the UK in 1988.

His column focuses on ways we can improve on success in our lives. Whether it is business, relationships, or health, Mark has a well-rounded perspective on how to stay focused for growth and development.

His influences come from the various travels he undertakes as an adventurer, philanthropist and keynote speaker. More information can be found on Mark at his website www.markjenningsbates.com

He is a Venture Partner with www.DutchOracle.com a global Alternative Investment company.

Mark Jennings-Bates:
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Photo credit: www.SteveAustin.ca 

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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