Thursday, May 26, 2005

Fever of Kilimanjaro

You all know "the Snows of Kilimanjaro" written by Ernest Hemmingway. Have you ever seen Mount Kilimanjaro? Let me see the hands up. Just a few. Anyhow I am one of those happy few.

How about perils of that mission?? What does it cost to me to see Mount Kilimanjaro? AIDS, Ebola, SARS, any other?. This is the story of that explains the cost of that travel to me.

In year late 70s, I was chosen to participate to an UNIDO United Nations International Development Organisation in-pant training seminar in one of developing countries. The chosen developing country was Tanzania. We were approximately 50 engineers who were selected from various counties, to come together to see the country and make necessary brain storming for future developments.

I had plane change in Roma, and AdisAbaba and arrived to Arusha Tanzania. Arusha is the second biggest city of Tanzania in Highlands. It was close to famous safari sites, Ngorongoro and Serengeti natural parks, Manyara lake. Meetings were held as usual. We gave speeches as usual. The most important parts were safaris in the natural parks.

These two parks are shared by neighbouring Kenya and Tanzania. You can visit the parks from both countries. You spend almost a fortune in Kenya in 5-star hotels, whereby to can have the same service in mountain cottages with full luxury, same wild animals maybe even more in Tanzania but spend an increment of the fortune you will be spending in Kenya.

We had our ammunitions, which were Kodak film negatives and our photo cameras. Our 4-wheel drive LandRovers took us to the centre of the wild animal show in Ngorongoro crater. Many lion families, elephants, rhinos, monkeys, all wild and misterious African world.

We spent the night in nearby park hotel in cottages. Outside they were cottages, inside it was one luxury hotel room with shower, TV, phone and all others.

In the park hotel bar, there were professional African women of all types, at all ages. African and Asian members of our group had immediate communications with them. Me? No.

In the evening, a big buffalo landed on my door, and left a huge natural fertiliser. I could not sleep due to that natural fertiliser smell. That was nothing.

On our way home, we had a round trip on Kilimanjaro crater by regular passenger plane, viewed the trackers at peak. We had a long flight on a huge desert and then River Nile.

Within one week upon my return home, I got high fever. Almost 39-40 degree Celsius, or 102-104 degrees Fahrenheit. Our family physician gave me standard antibiotics. I didn't work. I spent one week in hospital. I explained my physicians my last two weeks in Africa. Africa?? After many blood and other tests, it was found that my high fever had nothing to do with Africa but due to local infection, Simple Salmonella-B, which was cured with simple one bottle of antibiotic, Bacterim in 1-week dose.

Be sure that there is not much more extraordinary journey to the expedition to Kilimanjaro, the beauty of the mount will pay all your money, time, effort, post-travel costs to reach the crater.

Ernest Hamingway was right to be there. This is the best place to read his books, especially "the Snows of Kilimanjaro". I wish to return to Kilimanjaro once again for 1-week tracking. Who would organise??

No comments: