Ranulph Fiennes and an antelope in South AfricaLIZSCARFF/

Explorer Ranulph Fiennes would definitely like to revisit South Africa

WHAT IS YOUR MOST MEMORABLE HOLIDAY? 

Antigua – my grandad was Governor General there back in the 1920s. 

During one visit, we met some old folk who remembered him and the work he did. 

He had ignored orders and overspent the budget by building a water reservoir and a hospital for the homeless. 

The Fiennes Institute for the Elderly was set up in 1929 and I am delighted to be their patron and I try to support them when I can with my fundraising. 

Antigua’s a beautiful country – beautiful landscape, climate’s lovely and the people are great. 

AND YOUR WORST? 

My late wife Ginny and I just loved going in little rubber boats out to the islands off the north west coast of Scotland. 

On one occasion we didn’t understand the local weather forecast. 

It looked clear but we were near a whirlpool called Corryvreckan, which lies between the islands of Jura and Scarba. 

The weather turned nasty and a bad storm hit us. 

We were incredibly lucky to survive and make it back to Oban in one piece. 

And I wouldn’t really want to go back to the Splits on Nahanni River in Northern Canada – the world’s most dense mosquito population. 

The Eiger mountain

Sir Ranulph Fiennes’ favourite souvenir is a piece of rock from the Eiger mountain, which he climbed

WHICH SOUVENIR DO YOU CHERISH MOST? 

A bit of rock no bigger than your hand, which came back with me from the Eiger climb.

I was with two experienced climbing guides who endangered themselves to help me up there. 

It was a nightmarish experience and far tougher than I expected. 

BEST BOOK? 

Arabian Sands written in 1959 by explorer and travel writer Wilfred Thesiger. 

It’s about his travels across the Arabian Peninsula and is a travel classic. 

A giraffe and a zebra in South Africa

Sir Ranulph Fiennes said that South Africa is the most beautiful country in the entire world

HOW DO YOU SPEND YOUR TIME ON HOLIDAY? 

It’s been a long time since I really went on holiday, probably 12 years or so, but when we did Ginny and I always made time to hire local horses and go trekking along the beaches in Spain. 

Or we used to go walking, take picnics and enjoy the local scenery and wildlife. 

WHERE WOULD YOU REVISIT? 

I spent the first 12 years of my life growing up near Cape Town so I would definitely like to revisit South Africa. We lived 15 miles from the foothills of Table Mountain, between Tokai and Constantia. 

It’s the most beautiful country in the entire world. 

I sometimes get to travel there for one of my lectures and I recently attended an old school centenary. 

But I’ve never been back to where I lived with my mother and sisters and I remember the baboons in the garden that we used to go and talk to but weren’t allowed to feed. 

WHERE NEXT? 

Maybe Mongolia but I haven’t really got the first idea where next beyond expeditions that the team and I are organising. 

And I definitely can’t talk about those – in case we alert the rivals. 

Sir Ranulph Fiennes has been working with Scenic Eclipse (0808 231 2861/ scenic.co.uk) – The World’s First Discovery Yacht – which sets sail in August 2018 on its maiden voyage from Athens to Venice before sailing to the Americas; Antarctica; Europe and the Mediterranean; and the Arctic and Norwegian fjords. 

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