Charles Dundas

Name ID 1002

See also

1924 Publishes: Dundas, Charles Kilimanjaro and its People

Extract ID: 2973

See also

Stedman, Henry Kilimanjaro - A Trekking Guide to Africa's Highest Mountain; Includes City Guides to Arusha, Moshi, Marangu, Nairobi and Dar Es Salaam
Page Number: intro 04


It is this �inclusivity� that undoubtedly goes some way to explaining Kilimanjaro�s popularity, a popularity that saw 20,351 foreign tourists and 674 local trekkers visit in 2000, thereby confirming Kili�s status as the most popular of the so-called �Big Seven�, the highest peaks on each of the seven continents. The sheer size of it must be another factor behind its appeal. This is the Roof of Africa, a massive massif 60km long by 80km wide with an altitude that reaches to a fraction under 6km above sea level. The renowned anthropologist, Charles Dundas, writing in 1924 claimed that he once saw Kilimanjaro from a point over 120 miles away. It is even big enough to have its own weather systems (note the plural) and, furthermore, to influence the climates of the countries that surround it.

"The aspect presented by this prodigious mountain is one of unparalleled grandeur, sublimity, majesty, and glory. It is doubtful if there be another such sight in this wide world. "

Charles New, the first European to reach the snow-line on Kilimanjaro, from his book Life, Wanderings, and Labours in Eastern Africa

But size, as they say, isn�t everything, and by themselves these bald figures fail to fully explain the allure of Kilimanjaro. So instead we must look to attributes that cannot be measured by theodolites or yardsticks if we are to understand the appeal of Kilimanjaro.

Extract ID: 5588

See also

Sadleir, Randal Tanzania, Journey to Republic
Page Number: 200a
Extract Date: 1957

Public Relations

It was thrilling to be sent to such a wonderful place with rather vague instructions to do all I could to improve relations between government and people. I was under the general supervision of the provincial commissioner Mike Molohan, a former Irish rugby international, and his deputy, my old friend Robert Robertson with whom we had stayed at Tabora in 1948.

During the ten or so months I was in the province, I was able to try out my pet ideas for bringing government closer to the people, ideas the government later adopted for the whole territory on my return to Dar es Salaam in 1958.

Moshi was the obvious area on which to concentrate. It was densely populated with a million people living in banana groves (migombani) and coffee small-holdings (vihamba) on the fertile slopes of the mountain. This was where they cultivated the excellent Arabica coffee the Catholic missionaries introduced at the end of the last century. Thanks to the government, local authorities and Catholic and Lutheran missions, Moshi had universal primary education and the highest literacy rate in the territory. The Kilimanjaro Native Cooperative Union (KNCU) was probably the most efficient and progressive cooperative organization in Africa. A district commissioner called Sir Charles Dundas, a Scots baronet, started it in the 1920s to enable Chagga coffee growers to compete on equal terms on world markets with the European growers.

Extract ID: 4381

See also

Sadleir, Randal Tanzania, Journey to Republic
Page Number: 201
Extract Date: 1957


A First World War fighter pilot Mr A. L. B. (Ben) Bennett DFC, who was general manager for years and later adviser to the KNCU, carried the task on splendidly. Such was the devotion of the Chagga to these two men and their gratitude for their services that they bestowed unique Chagga titles on them both.

Dundas was given the title Wasaoye-o-Wachagga (Elder of the Chagga) and Bennett that of Mbuya-o-Wachagga (Friend of the Chagga). Indeed, so greatly loved and admired was Sir Charles Dundas that when he left Moshi for the last time by train to Tanga and ship to Dar es Salaam, the Chagga reputedly hired a band to accompany him on board ship and serenade him on his journey. As the boat sailed into Dar es Salaam harbour a day or two later, the band apparently struck up God Save the King. History relates that the Governor was not amused.

Bennett was at the peak of his career when I arrived and always gave me his help and support. His pride and joy was the recently opened building in Moshi that housed the KNCU headquarters. Not only did it accommodate all the cooperative headquarters' staff in splendidly equipped modern offices, but it also housed a fully residential KNCU commercial college. There was also an excellent multiracial hotel, the KNCU Hostel. It had beautifully furnished bed-sitting rooms with bathrooms attached and a top-floor scenic restaurant with wonderful views of the mountain.

Extract ID: 4395