I had a great Christmas with my daughter Olivia and her fiancé Sam who have come to stay for six weeks. This world of nomad working is fantastic for families like mine where we are spread out all over the world. Olivia is working a few days via the internet and then relaxing for a few days what an awesome way to live your life.

African Jinn, the next in the Brody series, has had to take a bit of a back seat during 2022, as Pauline and I managed to land a few big consultancy contracts. They are great for the bank balance but do take up a lot of time. They all came to fruition on December the 31st, so I am hoping that I will get more free time to spend on completing African Jinn, getting it edited and up on Amazon. But I will keep you informed of my progress. I actually spent a few days reading what I had written and enjoyed the recap so I am hoping it will keep you guys interested.

Last month my daughter, her fiancé and I decided to climb a beautiful mountain in Kenya called Mount Longonot. We are blessed in Kenya with so many different geological features it’s difficult to decide what to look at. We even have a place where an optical illusion makes it seem that water flows uphill! Here is a link if you are interested.

But we decided that a stratovolcano that last erupted in 1860 would be a great thing to go and have a look at; Mount Longonot is situated southeast of Lake Naivasha in the Great Rift Valley. The mountain was named by the Maasai as Oloonong’ot meaning the mountains of many spurs and ridges, but the English as always had to come in and make it sound more like their mother tongue! So, Mount Longonot was born. The rugged mountain with its jagged edges is very impressive from a distance. Surprisingly, the walk to the base of the volcano is not so bad. We followed a meandering trail across open bush. I expected to see more game wandering around but all we saw was a lone giraffe eating an acacia tree.

At the gate to the park, we were 2150m above sea level and the peak is at 2776m.

Then the climb began, the ascent was very steep with gullies and large platform steps. But it was well marked, the people manning the gate advised a guide, which we took and paid for, but it was not necessary as all the path was easy to follow. It was quite a climb which took us about an hour as it was very steep in certain areas.

At the summit there was a gorgeous view awaiting us of the rim of the now, we hope, extinct volcano. The explosion when the top was blown off must have been enormous. I am sure it would have covered the Rift Valley in a thick layer of dust for many years.

Once we had recovered from the ascent then we had to walk the rim of the crater. This was great fun but there were lots of ups and downs which murdered my calves and shins. The walk around the top is 7.2km, about 4 miles, but it feels like double that with the ridges we had to climb.

Once the circuit is completed which took us about four hours we then trudged back down the side of the mountain and headed for the Olkaria geothermal hot springs. The hot springs are the largest natural geothermal spa in Africa and was re-opened to the public in September of 2021. The blue waters are wonderfully relaxing after a tough trek up a mountain or around Hells Gate National Park. The blue waters smell a bit of sulphur, and some sections are very hot almost too hot to stand in, it can reach between 30-40 degrees centigrade. It is a wonderful experience and just goes to show how Kenya is developing. The water is part of the geothermal power solution Kenya is developing and hopes to power our homes with over the coming years. Here’s a link for further reading.

If any of you guys are coming over to Kenya in 2023, please send me an email. I would be delighted to help you sort out your itinerary and make sure your safari is one in a lifetime.

Well, that’s about it for this month. I will be back next month with some more info on Kenya and East Africa. I received a lot of emails about my First World War series of newsletters, if you liked them and would like me to continue with a few more interesting stories about that period then drop me a line at [email protected] and I will dig up some more stuff.

Once again have a great start to 2023 and see you all soon.