In September, 2001, I travelled to East Africa with some friends to climb 3 of the 4 highest mountains in Africa: Mt. Kenya, just north of Nairobi, and Mts. Meru and Kilimanjaro in northern Tanzania. 

Our guides and porters called us "The Five Babus" (an endearing term for "grand-fathers", or "venerable old men", in Swahili).  All of us, except one, were in our 60's.  Langley, our leader, did all the planning from Ottawa, our home town, finding guides, accommodation, and transportation via the Internet.  These arrangements proved to be excellent in every way, and much more reasonably-priced than if we had signed-on with one of the more-popular touring companies.   This way we also had the privilege of setting our own timetable.

A few months before leaving, we all embarked on a vigorous physical training campaign of home exercises, running, and hiking.   John was fortunate in being able to take part in a high-altitude scientific expedition to Mt. Logan in Yukon Territory, northern Canada, for a few months prior to leaving.  Morris and I, being fully-retired, hiked a number of the high peaks in the nearby Adirondak mountains in upper New York State, USA, and in the Gatineau Hills north of Ottawa.

We stayed for 2 or 3 days in Nairobi at "Oakwood", an inexpensive, but comfortable and safe hotel right downtown.  The most memorable experience for me in Nairobi, apart from having some cash grabbed from my pocket by a street pickpocket, was a visit to the natural history museum, less than an hour's walk from downtown.  On display are many artefacts from the early-mankind excavations in northern Tanzania, as well as displays of various species of birds and other wildlife.  Also on display were numerous paintings and drawings by Joy Adamson of "Born Free" fame.

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This page was last updated on:  20-Feb-2009
Al Robinson, 2007, all rights reserved