Author: Felice Benuzzi
Summary: When the clouds covering Mount Kenya part one morning to reveal its towering peaks for the first time, prisoner of war Felice Benuzzi is transfixed. The tedium of camp life is broken by the beginnings of a sudden idea – an outrageous, dangerous, brilliant idea. There are not many people who would break out of a P.O.W. camp, trek for days across perilous terrain before climbing the north face of Mount Kenya with improvised equipment, meagre rations, and with a picture of the mountain on a tin of beef among their more accurate guides. There are probably fewer still who would break back in to the camp on their return.
But this is the remarkable story of three such men. NO PICNIC ON MOUNT KENYA is a powerful testament to the human spirit of revolt and adventure in even the darkest of places.
- Comment from Paola: ”
‘No picnic on Mount Kenya’ by Felice Benuzzi (1948). It’s the story of Felice and two of his prisoner-of-war companions who were interned in Kenya during the Second World War. Felice was bored with life in the camp and arranged with two friends to break out of the prison camp, climb Mount Kenya, and break back in! I read it because I recently heard the story from my sister: the daughter of one of Felice’s companions on the climb was at school with us in Kenya. I mention the story briefly in this blog post: https://storiesbypaola.com/2021/09/09/the-secret/ . The writing is a bit ‘clunky’…it doesn’t always y and the descriptions of the flora and fauna, the detail of the preparations for the escape, the emotions and camaraderie, are so vivid.”