Vanessa Henman, a plucky but accident-prone white writer, flies out to Uganda for an African writers' conference.
She also means to visit her former cleaner, Ugandan Mary Tendo, now the successful Executive Housekeeper of Kampala's Sheraton Hotel.
But Mary has her own agenda: her son Jamil is missing, and she has secretly summoned Vanessa's beloved ex-husband Trevor, a plumber, to her village to help build a new well.
Vanessa sets off alone on safari to distant Bwindi Impenetrable Forest to see the mountain gorillas.
But then Vanessa quarrels with her driver and a bloody war closes in on Bwindi from Congo.
Can anyone save her? Will Mary Tendo find her son?