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The Shadow of Kilimanjaro by Rick Ridgeway

The Shadow of Kilimanjaro

by Rick Ridgeway

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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0805053905, Paperback)

Known for such feats as being the first climber to reach the summit of K2 without bottled oxygen, climbing Antarctica's highest mountain, and leading a team to the top of a formidable 2,000-foot granite tower in the most remote corner of the Amazon's Orinoco jungle, Rick Ridgeway, in his latest book, takes a walk. Of course, it's no ordinary stroll. Accompanied by park officers, Ridgeway treks unprotected among lions and elephants, rhinos and oryxes.

The Shadow of Kilimanjaro is as much a search for answers to an adventurer's most soul-searching questions as an account of a thrilling journey. In the introduction Ridgeway writes,

Henry David Thoreau did not write that in wilderness is the preservation of the world, as he is oft misquoted, but that "In wildness is the preservation of the world." There is a difference, and it is significant. A wildness is intact. In wildness, all the original pieces are there. My own backyard mountains in California, from the Coastal Range through the Sierras, are in many places wilderness, but none of it is wildness because the grizzly is gone. We may have the grizzly on the state flag; having it there, however, is not a celebration of our heritage but a burlesque of what we have done to the most noble patriarch ever to walk the land.
Starting at the top of Mount Kilimanjaro and ending at the Indian Ocean, Ridgeway's aim during this adventure is less to get there and more to be there. During his weeks on foot, he thoughtfully considers the effects of colonial expansion on Africa's indigenous peoples, its landscape, and its awe-inspiring animals--all the while contemplating with a conservationist's heart Africa's uncertain future. --Kathryn True

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:06:57 -0400)

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Renowned explorer and adventurer Rick Ridgeway takes us on a walk, a five-hundred-kilometer trek from the icy summit of Mr. Kilimanjaro across the famed Tsavo parks of Kenya to the shores of the Indian Ocean. Here is a rare and thrilling view, as Ridgeway and his party find themselves eyeball to eyeball with lion and buffalo, elephant and crocodile. But Ridgeway has more in mind than sheer adventure. The Tsavo has, in recent years, become a critical focal point of environmental concern and political activity. To whom shall the future of this land and its inhabitants be entrusted?Accompanying Ridgeway on his trek is a cast of characters memorable not just for the strength of their personalities but for the history and culture of the Tsavo that each represents. Led by Iain Allan, considered by many the most experienced mountaineer and guide in East Africa, the team includes the sons of the legendary Tsavo warden Bill Woodley, now park wardens themselves. Though these men may unwittingly represent the heritage of the "white hunter," their presence on the journey is balanced by Mohamed and Lokiyor, each from a separate Kenyan tribe. The sense of history that infuses this journey is reflected by others encountered along the way, either in person or in stories told: the remnant members of the Waliangulu tribe, the legendary elephant-hunting "People of the Long Bow," and numerous figures in African life past and present, from J. H. Patterson and Denys Finch Hatton to David Western, Richard Leakey, and Joyce Poole.… (more)

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