I go on a hunting safari at least once a year to Botswana, which is fantastic because we have a huge area of wilderness entirely to ourselves. My island covers roughly 55 acres, which again I have to myself, with nearly half a kilometre of private beach with my own jetties and boats.
There is no quick way of making money. People come to you with tips for the races or offer the latest Ponzi scheme, but I can see them coming a mile off. I just go with the adage that if it sounds too good to be true it probably is.
My family wasn't terribly affluent and looked upon money very carefully as something that had to be saved, not spent. My father built the ducting that took air into the copper mines and made about 6 d a yard in the Thirties, which was good money back then.
At the age of 12 I won the school prize for Best English Essay. The prize was a copy of Somerset Maugham's 'Introduction To Modern English And American Literature.' To this day I keep it on the shelf between my collection of Forester's works and the little urn that contains my mother's ashes.
The whole structure of African government, as far back as we know, was based on tyranny. One guy ran the show. Chiefs like Chaka and Mzilikazi committed terrible atrocities. That is the tradition from which modern African rulers spring. It won't change easily overnight.
This first print run of the first edition of my first novel, 'When The Lion Feeds.' back in 1964, is so rare it can fetch several thousand pounds at auction. I always wanted to be an author, and I decided to write about what I knew.
I'm not a prophet; I can only use historical reality to come to a view of the future, and my view is that Africa will return to being African and not European. The advent of colonialism was foreign to the country itself, but it will return to what it was before the Europeans arrived.
You don't turn out as many books as I did then by sitting around, being cozy with the family.
I've eaten lion, leopard, crocodile, python. I don't recommend lion. It tastes exactly like when a tomcat comes into your house and sprays. Snake and crocodile are great - a cross between lobster and chicken.
The really disturbing thing about Somalia is that in a country where there are few economic opportunities, pirates are perceived as glamorous and are held in awe by young boys who aspire to their lifestyle.
I'm not a good father and they're not children any more; the eldest is in his fifties. My relationship with their mothers broke down and, because of what the law was, they went with their mothers and were imbued with their mothers' morality in life and they were not my people any more.
I don't know how many lions and leopards I've shot. I've shot two elephants, which was enough - never again. It's a melancholy and moving thing to hunt an elephant. It's like shooting an old man.
I have done everything I have ever wanted to do. I have swum with tiger sharks, been charged by lions and elephants. I have been shot three times, chased by crocodiles and, God be praised, I've made enough money that I can continue to do all the things I want to for as long as I am able.
My first novel was rejected by some of the most eminent publishers in the world. Starting again was a real wrench.
You know that feeling when you finish a final exam and you think, 'I never want to do that again'? Well I have the same feeling when I finish a novel. Each time I say, 'I think I may retire now' and then after six months the ideas start to churn again. I could never stop.
I'm not perfect and I know it. I've done all sorts of things that are frowned upon these days - big-game hunting, fishing. I still enjoy fishing but I don't kill warm-blooded animals any more - I make an exception with birds sometimes.
What I like about writing is the sense of godlike power it gives you.
Cape Town's beaches are superb and while the water on the Atlantic side is damn cold, it's very pleasant on the other side. Bring your golf clubs if you play - Cape Town has some fabulous golf courses.
Write for yourself, not for a perceived audience. If you do, you'll mostly fall flat on your face, because it's impossible to judge what people want. And you have to read. That's how you learn what is good writing and what is bad. Then the main thing is application. It's hard work.
Many people have compared me to the Victorian adventure writer, Rider Haggard. I accept that as a compliment. As a boy growing up in Central Africa I read all Haggard's African novels.