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No one told me it was sniper season. Six of them, one of me, and I was already injured from my headlong slide down the rocky slope. A crazy move, sure, but with two rifles chewing up the turf around me topside, it was my only out.

The guidebooks will tell you hiking in the highlands of Borunda is at the safe end of the adventure tourism scale. Normally that’s true. Borunda is a prosperous country on the west coast of Africa with a stable democratic government, good relations with its neighbors, no serious ethnic conflicts, and a reputation for hospitality. Bandits were uncommon, even in the interior. You might stumble across a gang of poachers, but President Ogambo’s government had pretty well suppressed the illegal ivory trade. For unwary trekkers, the wildlife was the biggest danger—leopard, elephant, poisonous snakes.

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