Chicago & MichiganItaly ParisSpainKey West CubaAmerican West

Palin flies over Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa at 19,340 feet.

Rooftop of Africa

Mount Kilimanjaro is famous for the cloud cover that shrouds it from eager tourists hoping for a look at Africa's tallest peak. Hemingway complained that on his second trip the mountain didn't show itself for three weeks and I become despondent, but by the time I've dressed and walked up the hill to the spreading timbered and thatch-roofed space where we eat breakfast, the cloud has rolled back to reveal the whole long crest of the mountain,

Palin tries again to summon up his killer instinct with a group of Masai warriors, but ends up making them laugh.

"as wide as all the world," as Hemingway described it in "The Snows of Kilimanjaro." It is an unbelievably powerful sight. On the eastern tip of this great ridge a glacier catches the sun. Hemingway would probably have been out by now and bagged a gazelle or two, but things have changed. Most people who come to Africa nowadays shoot the animals with Leica and Pentax rather than Mannlicher and Browning. National Parks have been created to protect the animals (Amboseli opened soon after Hemingway's last visit) and white hunters have largely been superseded by black rangers and game wardens.


Photo credit: © Basil Pao, 1999. Text excerpt: Michael Palin's Hemingway Adventure by Michael Palin © Michael Palin, 1999 Used with permission of Cassell & Company. Buy the book in the Palin Store.