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Hemingway Adventure

Mount Kilimanjaro, Kenya

Michael Palin - Hemingway AdventureBack on the ground he’s rewarded with the news that the two Masai children are safe. Their goats did a runner in the night and they went after them. But there are other headaches for the Honorary Game Warden. Cattle poachers are laying traps in the hills and he will have to take a group of rangers to investigate.

When Hemingway first came to Africa in 1933, the idea of him becoming a game warden was faintly ludicrous. His wife Pauline’s diary of that trip hardly reveals a conservationist at work: ‘They killed four Thompson gazelle, eight Grant, seven wildebeest, seven impala, two klipspringers, four roan, two bushbucks, three reedbucks, two oryx, four topi, two waterbuck, one eland and three kudu. Of dangerous game, they killed their licensed limit: four lions, three cheetahs, four buffalo, two leopards and two rhinos. They also killed one serval cat, two warthogs, thirteen zebra and one cobra. For amusement forty-one hyenas were also killed.’

Twenty years later Hemingway, though famous enough to be gratefully offered the title of Game Warden, was less desperate for trophies. And there were other diversions. He became infatuated with a girl called Debba, from the Wakamba tribe. She and he canoodled and at one time broke Mary’s bed when she was away. There are rumours, only partly cleared up by True at First Light, that they may even have undergone a sort of marriage ceremony.
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PALIN'S GUIDES

  • Series: Hemingway Adventure
  • Chapter: Mount Kilimanjaro, Kenya
  • Country/sea: Kenya
  • Place: Mount Kilimanjaro
  • Book page no: 175

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