Chamberlain left London on 11 December 1929 for a three-month tour of East Africa intended both as a holiday and a preparation for a possible future term as Colonial Secretary. Accompanied by his wife and daughter, Chamberlain crossed by land to Marseilles where they boarded the ship which carried them via Genoa, Port Said and Aden to Mombasa by 30 December. Travelling first to Nairobi, Chamberlain inspected schools, hospitals and research laboratories, met governors, coffee planters and local chiefs and fished for rainbow trout in Nyeri. From there he moved on to the Rift Valley to meet the pioneering Lord Delamere where he thrilled at the abundant wildlife and marvelled at the spectacle of vast flocks of flamingos on Lake Naivasha ‘like a snow storm of pink snowflakes’. From Kenya the family travelled to Uganda to visit the source of the Nile, the Victoria Falls and on from Lake Albert to the Murchison Falls, although floods prevented the continuation of the tour through Tanganyika. Embarking at Zanzibar on 16 February, Chamberlain arrived back in England on 8 March 1930.1
17 January 1930 Kapsilial, P.O. Sergoil, Kenya
My dear Hilda, I must apologise for the length of time that has elapsed since I wrote last but
literally every minute of our time has been filled up and only by taking very firm measures with … our hosts, have we got a few minutes this morning to write letters.