One night a Swede named Emmanuelson appears on the farm. Emmanuelson used to work in a hotel restaurant in Nairobi. The narrator has not always liked him, although she once helped him years before by lending him money.
Emmanuelson needs to escape from Nairobi for a reason that is not stated. He is planning to walk through the Masai Reserve to Tanganyika, despite the dangers of such a trip: lions, no water, and possibly unfriendly Masai. He stays to dine with the narrator. Over dinner, they share a rare bottle of burgundy that Emmanuelson recognizes upon taste. He used to be an actor in a Paris and they discuss theater and life over dinner.
Emmanuelson leaves the following morning with food and a bottle of burgundy that the narrator supplied. Six months later, she receives a letter from him saying that he made it to Tanganyika after befriending the Masai. He is now works in a different city and returns the money she lent him. The narrator feels amused picturing Emmanuelson using his acting skills silently to befriend the Masai.
The visits of friends to the farm please the narrator and everyone on the farm knows it. When Denys Finch-Hatton is on his way back to the farm, the natives alert her and sometimes help her catch special game for dinner. Denys and her friend, Berkeley Cole, often stay at the farm when she is away. Berkeley calls it their "sylvan retreat." Other friends include some other nearby Scandinavian farmers, and some British aristocrats who live in Nairobi. These many visitors keep the farm's spirit alive.
Berkeley Cole and Denys Finch-Hatton are the narrator's closest friends. They act like the farm is their own, by filling it with wine, books, and gramophone records. Berkeley uses fine glasses to drink champagne in the forest each morning, even though the narrator fears they will be broken.
Both Berkeley and Denys have lived in Africa for many years and plan to remain. They both are the sons of British lords. Berkeley is a buffoon type, always playing the jester, but has a very good heart. Denys is a well-rounded aristocrat, good at sports, music, and sportsmanship. Both men are close to the natives and the narrator believes this is because they possess such nobility, like many natives, that all cultural differences are set aside.