Kenya’s first post-independence Attorney General Charles Njonjo Mugane celebrated his 100th birthday in style. He has gone on an epic gorilla safari in Uganda’s Mgahinga Gorilla National Park and he has become the eldest trekker ever.
This renowned mzee went gorilla tracking on 23rd January 2020 in the less known Mgahinga national park. He was born in 1920 and worked with the Kenyan government for 16 years as the post-independence Attorney General who served his regime diligently since 1963 to 1979.
Who is Charles?
Njonjo Charles was not only the former post- independence Attorney General but also the minister of constitutional Affairs. Mugane attained his education at the University of Fort Hare, Lincoln’s Inn in Eastern Cape of South Africa where he adopted the lifestyle of the English elite people.
Mugane Charles was one of Kenya’s most influential, wealthiest citizens and the British trained barrister. He is known to have secretly held talks with the government Israeli during the 1976 hostage crisis at Entebbe that allowed the Israeli Commandos to land in Kenya.
Due to his popularity, Njonjo Charles was referred to as “The Duke of Kabeteshire”.
He is married to Margaret Bryson and together, they have four successful professional children.
Celebrating His Birthday
In order to have a memorable birthday, Charles Njonjo Mugane travelled with his family to celebrate his birthday in the jungle with the mountain gorillas. Njonjo flown in Uganda by helicopter together with his family which is a short time route to access the park in time. Mgahinga national park is located in south western part of Uganda covering 33.9km2 in kisoro district with an attitude from 2,227m to 4,127 m.
Due to Mugane Charles’s old age, rules and regulations of gorilla tracking encourage elderly age to use stretchers with the help of porters which Mugane followed during the trekking.
During the hiking through the jungle, Mugane Charles was carried on sedan chair which costs 300 US dollars. His chair contained two comfortable sits with belts and was carried by a team of eight to twelve porters who keep exchanging until they reached the destination of endangered mountain gorillas.
After reaching the destination, Njonjo mugane was so excited after seeing two young ones and two male gorillas which made his day memorable on his special 100th birthday. Since the rules and regulations say one hour visit of gorillas, Njonjo and his team decided to return to the starting point where all trackers were given certificates for being successful in tracking mountain gorillas.
As soon as Njonjo was given his certificate, he said that he was at king’s College Budo and went there with King Freddie (Kabaka Edward Mutesa II of Buganda kingdom). He went ahead and said that his very fond of Uganda and what he got from us was lucky seeing gorillas, two young ones and two big males which surely made his birthday the special one.