`I went to conserve wildlife and ended up eating most of it'
They started in Johannesburg where they bought a four wheel drive truck and went on to visit some 20 game reserves in Botswana, Swaziland, Zimbabwe, Namibia and Zambia. They spent their nights under canvas and cooked meals on an open fire. The pair discovered bread-making, and made cheese and onion, garlic, herb and even fruit bread in an old cast iron pot. The campers had trouble with hyenas, who chewed their cooking pans, and they had to defend themselves against baboons raiding their supplies. A homemade catapult made from a forked stick and the inner tube of a bicycle wheel soon saw them off.
According to Hugh, one of the ironies of the trip was at the same time that they were making their study of conservation, they were slowly eating their way through Africa's wildlife. Hugh tried ostrich biltong and roasted impala liver, and has to say both were delicious.
In 1989 Hugh gave up cooking at the River Cafe and turned his hand to journalism. He began to go on press trips abroad. His passport shows that in 1991 he visited Nairobi, to write about marlin fishing. He didn't catch a marlin, but a huge and hideous hammerhead shark weighing 120lb.
A year later he went on to press trip to the wine country of Chile. At the end of the trip he headed down south to do some trout fishing in Patagonia. The weather was dreadful, but the fishing sensational, and Hugh happily recalls the one afternoon when the sun came out and he made a little fire and cooked trout by the side of the river.
Along with fishing, diving is another of Hugh's passions. He learned to dive in London and then made two trips to Egypt in 1990 and 1991. Hugh says that after Swiss Cottage swimming pool - where the most exciting thing you saw was somebody's corn plaster - the Red Sea was massively exciting. In 1994 he went diving in the Seychelles where he saw three huge stingrays in a coral cave. Apparently if each one had been a table top you could have sat six for dinner round them. While Hugh was in the Seychelles he made a fruitless search for a local delicacy - curried bat. In a couple of weeks he's going back to the Seychelles for more diving, and he's determined to track down that bat.
The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations
Video: The official full-length trailer for the Jurassic Park sequel has dropped – two days early
- 1 Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
- 2 To help fuel their propaganda machine against the poor, our government has now decided to redefine the word 'welfare'
- 3 Black Friday 2014: Opening hours for John Lewis, Asda, PC World, GAME and Argos
- 4 Woman opens professional cuddling shop – gets 10,000 customers in first week
- 5 Girl, 7, gets Tesco to remove 'stupid' sign suggesting superheroes are 'for boys'
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
Rochester by-election: Labour MP Emily Thornberry resigns after posting white van and England flags tweet
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
Revealed: How the world gets rich – from privatising British public services
£40000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits : Investigo: One of the fastest growing g...
25,000: Sphere Digital Recruitment: CRM Executive – Global Travel Brand – Luto...
£50000 - £55000 per annum: Investigo: A growing group of top end restaurants l...
£8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Excellent opportunities are available for par...