teen books
Kili Climb
by Hilary Williamson
(page 3)

'Was your mom on the mountain on her own?' asked someone in the back.

'No, there was a group of people from around the world and they had guides and porters from a local tribe. The Wachagga grow coffee and bananas but some of them work on the mountain as well.'

'It usually takes six days to go up to the top and down again on the Marangu route. Trekkers  stay in sleeping bags in mountain huts at night. The first two days are uphill through rain forest, and then across meadows on the slopes of Mawenzi.'

'Are there any animals?'

interrupted Lizzie. She loves her pet bunny.

'Kenya and Tanzania have all kinds of wildlife, like elephants, lions, zebras and rhinos. There aren't many animals to see on the mountain,' I answered 'but if you're lucky and look closely at rock piles you might spot these cute little guys. They're called hyrax and they're the size of a large rabbit. But the special thing about them is their nearest animal relative.  Bet you can't guess what it is.'

They tried.  They came up with all kinds of creatures from aardvarks to warthogs, but no-one got it.  So I had fun telling them that the small hyrax is cousin to ... the elephant.  Would you believe they have the same kind of feet with nails, and their brain is like an elephant's too?  Wonder if that means they never forget?

'Do they live in those rocks?' asked Lizzie.

'This kind does.  They hang around clumps of rocks and you have to look hard to see them. There's another nocturnal type that live in trees, called tree hyrax. They croak like frogs and scream a lot.'

    What do you get when you put a boy hyrax and a girl hyrax together?
'Amir, we don't want to know!'
    Tree (3) hyrax
It was the end of class but the teacher asked me to continue in the next geography period.

Pages:    1   2   3   4   5   6   7