|Class of 1974|
The 72-mile long Rwenzores mountains, the natural border between Uganda and the Congo, is a completely unique biosphere with primates, spectacular endemic birds and alien-like giant groundsels and lobelias. Boulderous and boggy, covered in mist and clouds, it remains challenging to access, and tough to climb.
Bob Baigrie and three friends took on the challenge in July 2023 - an eight-day ascent to one of the world’s least commonly climbed summits, Margherita Peak with Africa’s largest remaining glaciers.
There followed a pilgrimage to find the sources of the White Nile, the remote location of Ernest Hemingway’s disastrous plane crash at Murchison falls and finally, a gorilla, chimp, and birding odyssey through Uganda, justifiably named The pearl of Africa.
He was fascinated by the history of what is referred to as The Mountains of the Moon.
Claudius Ptolemy of ancient Alexandria produced a world map in AD150, which would remain the world authority for thousands of years. His map is centred on the river Nile and its source, the Fons Nilus, which he described as a great lake on the equator fed by Lunae Montes, The Mountains of the Moon.
The quest to find these mountains is a tale of centuries of exploration including the 19thC intrigue and flawed heroism of Burton, Speke, Livingstone and Stanley. But the real hero was an Italian, the extraordinary Count Luigi Amedeo of Savoy, Duke of Abruzzi, who conquered Mt Stanley (5109m), the summit of the Lunae montes, in 1906.
On 20 September Bob will be sharing his story live here at the Mitre. CLICK HERE to book your spot.
More about Bob
He retired in 2022 having returned to Cape Town from the UK and Australia in 1996. His academic career in abdominal surgery spanned the dramatic transition from open to laparoscopic/keyhole surgery.
He had this to say about himself:
Although deeply grateful for a wonderful career, I am delighted with retirement and the chance to take up fresh challenges, all of which are great fun…. except golf!