Roger J. Wendell
Defending 3.8 Billion Years of Organic EvolutionSM


Southern Africa
April 11 to April 28, 2012
Botswana, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe

Tami and I thoroughly enjoyed our trip through southern Africa! Not only were the people friendly and helpful, but we were especially impressed with everyone's desire to preserve and protect the huge array of wildlife both in and outside their parks and preserves. Thankfully, despite recent economic conditions, political problems, and a difficult history, the parts of Africa we visited were at peace, feeding their people, and actually gaining economically. Hopefully the trend will continue for the benefit of all. And, we would highly recommend a trip to Africa for anyone thinking about it - visitors, Africans, and their wildlife will all benefit!


Under Construction
Under Construction
Under Construction


"It is sometimes said that the worst thing to happen to Africa was the arrival of the white man. And the second worst was his departure. Colonialism lasted just long enough to destroy much of Africa's indigenous cultures and traditions, but not long enough to leave behind a durable replacement."

"There is a paradox at the heart of Africa: it is mankind's crucible, the motherland, the place where early hominids evolved and, presumably therefore, the environment originally most hospitable to man, yet Africa is now the economic laggard, the Cinderella continent, a byword for poverty, disease, and underdevelopment; the Third World's Third World. In 1963, Zimbabwe had the same gross domestic product as South Korea. Now South Korea's economy is a hundred and twenty times the size of Zimbabwe's. Africa accounts for more than 11 percent of the world's population and less than 2 percent of its trade."

- Peter Godwin in his book, When A Crocodile Eats the Sun
   (A Memoir of Africa) Chapter Thirteen, February 2002, p. 155


An extinct volcano, Kilimanjaro is 19,340ft (5,895m) high
and is located in the eastern Africa country of Tanzania.
Spacer Mt. Keyna
Mt. Kenya is also an extinct volcano
and is 17,058 ft (5,199m) high, located
in the eastern Africa country of Kenya.
It's the continent's second highest peak.



Arrow Pointing Right Click Here for my page on East Africa...


The BBC sells a DVD called "Wild Africa" with a description stating, in part, the following:

"Africa is the mother continent - the core from which all the other continents were torn away 270 million years ago. Since then, three factors have had profound consequences on its wildlife. This mighty block of land has stayed in much the same place, it stands alone and it straddles the equator. It's also been protected from crippling ice ages and destructive invasions as well as nurtured by gentle changes in climate and geology."

"As a result, animals and plants have flourished here more successfully than on any other continent. This is Africa - rich, diverse and fascinating - and the heart of the world."

I'll have to say that my own experience in Africa left me with the same impressions. I truly felt as though I were on the "Mother Continent," the place where it all, including us, began! The few weeks I spent in Africa revealed how rich and diverse a place it really is. That, too, includes its people - despite my inability to "blend in" the Africans I met treated me warmly wherever I ventured - I felt lucky to have visited their continent and their countries!

Unfortunately, on the downside, I was also overwhelmed by the poverty and disease that I encountered at times - so much suffering by people not too unrelated to the rest of us. A few years later I ran into the PBS series, by Professor Jared Diamond, called, "Guns, Germs, and Steel" and it reminded me all too much of what Europeans had attempted across the African continent...

Another disturbing encounter was the diminishing "snows" of Kilimanjaro. At the time of my travel, the likes of Rush Limbaugh and other American blowhards were insisting that Global Warming and climate change were a myth (I heard Limbaugh, with my own ears, babble as such...). Anyway, it was obvious to me that the snows of Kilimanjaro are melting - I saw it with my own eyes! And, sadly, it's estimated that all of Mt. Kenya and Kilimanjaro's glaciers will be completely gone by 2030.* Sure, climates do change over time but it's never occurred this quickly, and, it's irresponsible for the likes of Limbaugh to suggest that nothing be done about it - visit Kilimanjaro and you'll feel as strongly about this issue as I do!!

- Roger J. Wendell

*Glaciers disappearing from Kilimanjaro
  by Azadeh Ansari, CNN, 11-02-2009



Serengeti Masai Woman by Roger J. Wendell - 01-08-2003
Serengeti Masai woman

I am not a photographer. Most of these shots were taken with $4.99 recyclable cameras I purchased from our local grocery store. The poor quality is due to my scanner - the glossies look pretty good in person...

(Click on any of this page's "Thumbnails" for a larger view)

Roger on Kilimanjaro
1 Me on Kili
Spacer Masai Boys
2 Young Masai boys
Spacer Kili Glaciers
3 Melting glaciers
Point Lenana
4 Point Lenana, Mt Kenya
Spacer Carrying a Load
5 Regular carry method
Spacer Typical Toilet
6 Typical toilet*
Paulo Our Driver
7 Paulo - one of our drivers
Spacer Cheetah
8 Cheetah next to our car!
Spacer 14,000 Foot Toilet
9 14,100 Foot toilets!
All 14 of Us
10 All 14 of us
Spacer Grant's Gazelle
11 Grant's Gazelle
Spacer Clutch Cable Repairs
12 Clutch cable repairs
Serengeti Breakfast
13 Serengeti breakfast
Spacer Olduvai Gorge
14 Olduvai Gorge
Spacer Advertising signs
15 Advertising signs
Porter Weigh In
16 Porter weigh-in
Spacer Beautiful Children
17 Beautiful children
Spacer Roadside Stand
18 Roadside stand
Porter Payday
19 Porter payday
Spacer Hard Working Porters
20 Hard working porters
Spacer Sharing the Road
21 Sharing the road

*Most of the world has us beat when it comes to toilets. I've always been impressed with, and prefer to use, the Squatty Potty, a name introduced to me by my American friends in Urumqi, Xinjiang, China. The squatty is quicker, cleaner, and much more natural than sitting on a huge porcelain insulator. Squatties also use a lot less resources and are much easier to maintain. Anyway, that's my opinion and you know what they say about opinions! (Click Here for more on toilet matters...)


Miscellaneous Africa:

Rock Hyrax on Mt. Kenya by Roger J. Wendell - January 2003
Rock Hyrax
Although I saw plenty of Rock Hyrax (the elephant's closest living relative) I didn't get a really good photo of one. Nevertheless, the photo at left didn't come out too badly with my simple camera. Here's what Wikipedia has to say about 'em:
Elephant and Acacia Trees in the Serengeti by Roger J. Wendell - January 2003
Elephant & Acacia
I also saw, and photographed, "tons" of that popular African highland tree that always has a giraffe standing next to it. That popular image is usually of a Acacia Tree. My photo, at left, is of an elephant that I photographed near a species of Acacia. From what I understand there are about 1,300 species of Acacia around the world - mostly in tropical regionsss.




Mount Kilimanjaro Summit Certificate, Roger J. Wendell - 01-05-2003 Travelogue:

and People!

Colorado Mountain Club (CMC) leader Steve Bonowski led 13 of us on a climb to Kilimanjaro and Mt. Kenya's Point Lenana. In-between the two mountain climbs we also participated in a Safari (the Swahili word for travel) at Lake Manyara, the Ngorongoro Crater and Conservation Area, and the Serengeti Plains.

Although I enjoyed the Kilimanjaro climb I felt even the "Trekkers Summit" (16,355 foot Point Lenana) of Mt. Kenya was a better mountaineering experience. There were less crowds, better views, and more contact with snow and ice. For Kilimanjaro we took the Machame or "Whiskey" route as opposed to the regular tourist or "Coca Cola" route from Marangu. The difference being our travel was a day or two longer and probably a bit more difficult since we lost nearly 3,000 feet of elevation throughout various parts of the climb. This, however, is a good thing since it helps one better acclimatize to the altitude.

I also believe IMAX did its audience a great disservice by not emphasizing the intimate relationship everyone develops with their porters and guides - these were hard working young men who, if asked, would cater to any whim or need - a bit embarrassing to anyone desiring to carry all of their own food and equipment but an integral part of the Tanzanian economy. On average, porters probably earn about $30 (USD) for the four to six days they spend with clients. This equates to nearly three months' wages in their economy.

What does a three week trip like this to Africa cost? Depending on vendors, lodging, souvenirs and the number of photos you take it can be anywhere from about $4,000 to $10,000 (USD 2003). For most of us the cost was about $5,000 which included tips to porters, cooks, and guides. Also, unimanagable amounts of travel via bus, van, and airplane were part of the price as well. The $5k also covered tons of food since the Africans believe Americans need a minimum of 3 full meals per day and ensured that we each received the maximum calories consumable (Me and one other vegetarian were specially catered to throughout the entire trip). Other expenses, included in that $5k figure, were a few hotel rooms that we all shared at strategic points throughout the trip, VISAs and other travel processing fees.

The "washout" rate, on Kilimanjaro, averages nearly 50% out of the approximately 25,000 summit attempts each year. Like other big, popular mountains, Kilimanjaro's trails and camps are strewn with ample evidence of human intestinal distress and other discomforts. This is not an indictment against Africa - anyone not accustomed to the food, water, and altitude in the Rocky Mountains of my own home state will experience similar maladies as well. My own health was pretty good throughout the entire trip except for our return from Amsterdam. It was there, in Holland, that I experimented with a pound of chips (french fries) drenched in mayonaise - the next day (mostly in flight) was spent in considerable GI discomfort...

Roger J. Wendell - Happy Trails!



Quandary Peak, Roger Wendell, Tom and Linda Jagger, Steve Gladbach and Anna Pegler - November 17, 2002
Quandry Pk Training Climb 11-17-02
My Kilimanjaro Teammates:

Steve Bonowski - CMC International Trip Leader
Larry Withman - CMC Leader-in-Training
Donna Brockman, Bill Hamann, Steve Helle, Jill Yarger,
Jeff Kunkle, Terry McDaneld, Susyn Plushner,
Aaron Publiese, Jerry Roehm, Linda and Tom Jagger



My GPS Waypoints:
Beware! My GPS was nearly 4 years old by the time I took these measurements!

Marangu Hotel       S 03° 17'48.8" E 037° 31'27.9" 4,500 feet 1,372 meters
Barranco Hut S 03° 05'43.3" E 037° 19'49.3" 12,950 feet 3,947 meters
Barafu Hut S 03° 05'56.4" E 037° 22'41.0" 15,100 feet 4,600 meters
Uhuru Peak S 03° 04'36.6" E 037° 21'16.0" 19,340 feet 5,895 meters
Mweka Hut S 03° 09'24.6" E 037° 22'01.6" 9,850 feet 3,000 meters


Old Moses Camp S 00° 02'56.1" E 037° 17'13.5" 11,155 feet 3,400 meters
Shipton's Camp S 00° 08'29.1" E 037° 18'53.4" 13,780 feet 4,200 meters
Point Lenana S 00° 09'18.2" E 037° 19'05.2" 16,355 feet 4,985 meters
Mackinder's Camp S 00° 10'03.1" E 037° 17'36.2" 13,645 feet 4,159meters
Met Station S 00° 10'14.1" E 037° 12'49.6" 9,850 feet 3,002 meters


Yellow Arrow Pointing Right Click Here for more waypoints...




  1. 12ers
  2. 13ers
  3. 14ers
  4. Aconcagua
  5. Africa - by teammate Jeff Kunkle
  6. Africa - by teammate Steve Helle
  7. Africa (Eastern) - Kenya, Tanzania, and my Kilimanjaro climb
  8. Amazonia
  9. Antarctica
  10. Argentina and Brazil
  11. Australia Main Page
  12. Australia Two Page
  13. China
  14. CIA World Factbook on Kenya
  15. CIA World Factbook on Tanzania
  16. Climbing
  17. Climbing Photos
  1. CMC by me
  2. CMC home page
  3. Ecuador
  4. France
  5. Gear - Stuff for the Backcountry...
  6. High Altitude Medicine Guide
  7. Hiking
  8. India
  9. Japan
  10. Russia
  11. Serengeti National Park official site
  12. Silk Road
  13. Tibet
  14. Travel and Travel Two
  15. United Kingdom - England
  16. United Kingdom - Wales and Scotland
  17. Waypoints



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