KAMPALA – Kenya’s first Attorney General Charles Njonjo was in Mgahinga national park to track gorillas as one of the activities leading to the celebration of his 100th birthday on January 23, 2020.
The 99-year-old senior citizen of Kenya spent the better part of the cool morning of Sunday in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park tracking the gentle giants. He was flown in a chopper to Mgahinga a southwestern park in Uganda.
Njonjo was born Jan 23, 1920, and served Kenya as Attorney General from 1963 to 1979. He was also Minister of constitutional Affairs from 1980 to 1983. Mr Njonjo spent a large part of his life in the United Kingdom, where he studied law before returning to Kenya and serving as the country’s first AG for 17 years.
Njonjo revealed that he is fond of Uganda because of the experience he had at Kings College Buddo, a secondary school in central Uganda. “I was very lucky to see the gorillas — two babies and two big bulls, (silverbacks)” Mr Njonjo confessed.
After successfully tracking the rare mountain gorillas, he was awarded the tracking certificate to confirm the successful gorilla tracking exercise accomplished. The Chief Warden BMCA Pontious Ezuma thanked Njonjo for tracking in Uganda. “Thank you Mr Njonjo for loving Uganda and visiting Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. The memory of hosting you will live forever,” he said.
Kenyans, Ugandans and the global community alike took to social media to applaud Mr Njonjo for the great accomplishment to mark the centenary of life and share the delight. “Great to know that a 100-year-old can do gorilla tracking. Happy birthday Attorney General Charles Njonjo,” Dennis Mugarra wrote on Facebook. Nangayi Peter wrote “Happy birthday Attorney, you and others laid the foundation for legal practice. Enjoy it mzee!”
The Chairman of Uganda Tourism Board Hon. Daudi Mugereko described the visit by Sir Njonjo as a vote of confidence in Uganda as a tourism destination and it shows that the East African region can be marketed as a circuit. “Gorilla tracking in Bwindi by Hon Sir Charles Njonjo former AG of Kenya is good news for our tourism industry. Getting leading personalities in East Africa taking interest in the various unique tourist attractions in the region does not happen every other day. On the other hand, it underscores the viability of marketing the region as a circuit”, he said.
Uganda is a yearned for tourism destination with our parks having been voted among the must-see before one dies.
In 2019, CNN voted Bwindi impenetrable forest (Home of the largest number of Gorillas) as the best place to be in the World. Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is one of the world’s spectacular places, full of hidden and overt beauty in every corner that shouldn’t miss on a bucket list of one looking for an outstanding adventure on a Uganda Safari. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park are sister parks that makeup Bwindi – Mgahinga Conservation Area. With a total population of 1,063 Gorillas in the wild of which 459 are in Bwindi and 604 in the Virunga massif, (shared between Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo), Uganda is home to over 50% of the global population of mountain gorillas.