XOA crew spends time on Mount Kenya
Michelle Morgan (co-host), Esah Panyako (producer, camera) and Ernest Rwigi (camera), spoke of their experiences this week on Africa’s second highest mountain, while shooting a segment of XOA.
We’d asked them if the sudden shift from the “big smoke” (as Nairobi is affectionately called by some who live nearby) to breathing the rarefied air of Mount Kenya had had a big effect on them. We didn’t expect the answers that either Panyako or Rwigi offered in return.
“Even though we didn’t reach the peak, I was full of energy, so the ascent was pretty easy for me,” said Esah, who is an extreme outdoors fan and happiest filming while hanging off a rope. “No matter how much you sweat, you are not allowed to chuck your jacket, lest you freeze to death. The whole experience felt like I was in Lord of The Rings,” said Rwigi of his first trip up Kenya’s highest mountain, the second highest in Africa, at 5199 meters. While Mt Kilimanjaro tops Mt Kenya by almost 700 meters to claim the title of Africa’s highest mountain - and the world’s tallest freestanding mountain - Mt Kenya, with its ever-changing scenery, is a paradise for TV and film production, with loads of fabulous locations and it also has many serious climbing routes (not to mention loads of other Outdoor activities) on offer. “From mountain climbing in a storm, a rope assault course 20 feet up in the trees, zip-lining to horse riding with zebras, the Mt. Kenya hike was epic, exhilarating and exhausting, which is typically XOA,” said Michelle, whose adventure with Xtreme Outdoors Africa is her first foray into presenting after quitting live television news at Kenyan station, K24. Judging from the photos, 27-year-old Michelle, who describes herself a “something of an adrenaline junkie” in the XOA promo, seems very relaxed in her new role. Comment during the descent, while getting thoroughly soaked by a rainstorm: “I’d rather be here, getting rained on, than sitting in a newsroom.” The segment filmed on Mount Kenya will be available to African audiences soon, in Season 1 of Xtreme Outdoors Africa, a 13-part series being produced by Kenya content house, Africa inSight (www.africainsight.co.ke). Meanwhile, follow the adventures of Michelle and South African co-host, Benni Langa, on the Xtreme Outdoors Facebook page. To find out what else to do on Mt Kenya, see www.extremeoutdoorsafrica.com and read more about Michelle’s experiences on her blog