The Kirinyaga safari camp was a temporary settlement located on a rocky hilltop in the Kirinyaga district of British East Africa, not far from Mount Kenya. The camp, housing Teddy Roosevelt's 1909 expedition to collect animal samples for Smithsonian Institution, had many tents and several open air thatched roof structures. While the hunters and their guests stayed in tents with mosquito netting, dining was held under a thatched roof. Other structures were used for kitchens, and for preparing hunted animals for transport back to the United States, either in cages, or as salted hides for taxidermy.
Inhabitants of the camp included:
- Theodore Roosevelt, expedition leader
- Kermit Roosevelt, photographer
- Frederick Selous, hunter and guide
- Heller, large mammal taxidermist
- Loring, small mammal taxidermist
- Askari guards
- Porters, cooks, horse and donkey tenders, and servants
In September 1909, Richard Medlicot brought his guests, the Jones family (Henry Jones, Sr., Anna Jones, and son Henry, Jr., and tutor Helen Seymour) to stay for a few days at the camp, where they met Roosevelt and the other members of the expedition. During that time, young Henry learned about wildlife conservation and helped solve Roosevelt's mystery of where the Fringe-Eared Oryx had disappeared to. One evening, a lion was shot outside the camp.
Indiana Jones made a drawing of the camp and some notations about wildlife in his journal.
In the 1990s, Jones noted to some dinner companions at a charity dinner that years later, the site of the camp was later named Champagne Ridge, not after the Roosevelt safari, but after the thousands that came after him.
Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]
Champagne Ridge is located north of Mount Kenya, and parts of it are found within Shaba National Preserve, Samburu and Buffalo Springs National Preserves.