African Travel Review


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Editor 's note:
Welcome to the latest edition of our Bush Telegraph. To launch the New Year we have chosen snippets of
3 legendary adventures from 2003 that highlight the limitless possibilities within East Africa. Warren
Macdonald (a double leg amputee) and Hamisi (born with no arms) chose to summit Kilimanjaro, whilst
Eve Jackson took to the skies (flying a micro-light from the U.K to Mkomazi, Tanzania) to raise funds
for wildlife conservation - and the East African Safari Rally made a come back after 35 years, with 53
vintage cars participating in a battle of wits and determination across our roughest bush roads. Bitten
by East Africa's intoxicating challenge their horizons had no limits.  Your horizon awaits you!

Inside this Issue


Terms of Endurance

East African
Safari Rally

Wild Flight

Horse Back
on Kilimanjaro

Ruaha Nt Park
and its friends

our Latest News

on readjusting my
prosthetic legs and
setting off again,
taking one step
at a time. It was impossible to think
beyond the moment".

on Kilimanjaro,
a natural monument
of rock frozen and
heated over thousands
of years,
has cracked
into a tapestry of weird looking building blocks
- a challenge even to
the most agile climber!"

They say he is half animal half machine, like some character out of a comic strip.  Warren Macdonald is however a man who has stared adversity in the face and come out the victor.  He reached for Africa's highest peak but he conquered a far higher summit.

A mid thigh, double leg amputee after a freak accident whilst climbing in Northern Australia, no one would have blamed Warren  for giving up after losing his legs.  Not Warren! After a succession of successful climbs Warren set his sights on Kilimanjaro; and whilst planning the 'Kili' expedition he learnt about Hamisi, a Tanzanian youth from Nzega born without arms. Together they joined forces in the challenge, raising funds and awareness for Tanzanians physically handicapped.

Late January they set off up Kilimanjaro's Umbwe route under a canopy of trees as rain showered down on them.  The mood was light and full of hope and expectancy - any thought of the trials ahead far from their minds. Most days involved six hours trekking (up to eleven) for Warren. Being a high leg amputee dictated that his specially designed prosthetic legs be short rather than long metal extensions. Attached to these were pivoting soles like those on hiking boots.  Consequently, Warren was low to the ground, his face often brushing against vegetation, sharp rock and later ice!  With assistance, Hamisi used his body weight and nifty footwork to balance and he developed it into a fine art.

Despite the complications and restraints they kept going and as they broke through the forest, things took an upward beat.  Hereafter lay a huge talus block at the point where all the glacier streams converge at 'Lava Tower,' followed by the 'Western Breach' and 'Arrow Glacier' - a formidable wall of vertical ice wrapped protectively around the dome of Kilimanjaro. Sheer rocky sections that could not be successfully navigated in one go offered little or no shelter.  Loose rocks the size of footballs narrowly missed them and Warren decided that  the ice was the safer option. Fatigue from hauling his body up the wild terrain dictated two forced days of rest at 'Lava Glade', whilst Hamisi maintained a steady pace continuing ahead with his team. Meanwhile Warren sheltered behind a thick piece of nylon sheet, listening to the eerie sounds of rock cracking through the night as tempretures plummeted dramatically. Lactic acid affected Warren (and his team) rested muscles causing excruciating pain and hindering further progress.  It was imperative that the small group got moving once more, working their aching joints and muscles.They had now been on the mountain for 16 days

Arrow Glacier, a natural monument of rock frozen and heated over thousands of years, has cracked into a tapestry of weird looking building blocks - a challenge even to the most agile climber! A mass of ice fingers frozen in time meant that the steep incline was almost impenetrable. Said Warren," I concentrated on readjusting my prosthetic legs and setting off again, taking one step at a time," adding that it was impossible to think beyond the moment. It was a lonely section, cocooned in his own effort and physical discomfort even though his accompanying companions remained silently nearby.

Over her rim, Kilimanjaro teased Warren with a clear view of Uhuru Peak in the distance. Hamisi and his team of men had waited at the crater, so together they all headed for the summit.  Other hikers stopped dead in their tracks, staring at Warren and Hamisi in stunned silence (no doubt their sense of accomplishment somewhat withered!) Warren (now full of renewed energy) stripped down to his birthday suit and did a handstand in conditions 20 degrees below freezing!  It was the tradition of a close climbing companion who was unable to join this expedition.

Warren and Hamisi are living proof that anything is possible if you set your mind to it. Both men turned a dream into a reality and paid Tanzania the greatest compliment by accepting Kilimanjaro's challenge. A feature documentary will be produced from footage of the climb and no doubt a book will follow.  For more information on Warren's extraordinary adventures visit his website at:

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