Climb Kilimanjaro and help save the rhino!

Are you the type of person that is always looking for the next adventure? Do challenges that test the limits of your endurance excite you? In this article, Mark Whitman of Climb Kilimanjaro Guide, sets out his experience of climbing Kilimanjaro and why he chose this challenge to raise money for Save the Rhino.

Mark WhitmanAs a South African and environmentalist I have for many years been very concerned about the plight of the Rhino. Yet living in London I have felt rather powerless in terms of helping to protect this great animal.

This all changed a couple of years ago when I returned home and had the chance to visit a few game reserves that were doing great things in terms of rhino conservation. I saw first-hand the impact that funding from donors like Save the Rhino can have in supporting this critically endangered animal.  

When I decided I was going to climb Kilimanjaro I knew exactly which charity and cause I would raise money for. What I didn’t know is the impact climbing Kilimanjaro would have on my life.

Here are five reasons why I think climbing Kilimanjaro is challenge worth considering.

1. Get legitimate boasting rights by climbing the highest mountain in Africa

Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa and the highest free-standing mountain in the world. Reaching the 5,895 metre (19,340 foot) summit gives you the right to boast. Although climbing Kilimanjaro is non-technical (i.e. a very long hike), the altitude is extreme. This makes reaching Uhuru Peak no easy feat and an achievement of note – one that you will be proud of for the rest of your life

View from Kili (C) Mark Whitman 2. Experience five distinct zones in six days 

When you climb Kilimanjaro you will trek through five distinct climatic, fauna and flora zones. At the start of your climb you will be presented with a rich tropical rainforest. At around 3,000 meters the tropical zone ends abruptly and is replaced by a soft shrub-land setting. On day three you begin your trek through a harsh alpine lunar landscape that gradually merges into glacial desert silt. The contrast between each climatic zone is striking. The final and most inspiring zone is revealed as you near the summit during the early hours of summit morning. Darkness gives way to the Tanzanian sunrise that immediately starts glistening off the massive glaciers that surround you. Simply awe-inspiring!

3. Open the door to your full potential

Trekking Kilimanjaro is tough enough to make reaching the summit something that is unique and admirable, but not so tough that chances of success are low, or worse, life-threatening. When you conquer Kilimanjaro, you will experience a rush of pleasure that if channelled correctly can be a catalyst for you to continue to tackle other ‘summits’ in your life, be they professional or personal

4. Visit Tanzania, a country of endless beauty

Tanzania is undoubtedly one of the most interesting and diverse countries that I have been fortunate enough to travel to. Not only does Tanzania have the highest free-standing mountain in the world, but it is also home to the beautiful Lake Victoria, majestic Serengeti plains and the marine paradise of Zanzibar. In addition to climbing Kilimanjaro I highly recommend a Serengeti safari, a visit to the Maasai Mara and diving expedition in Zanzibar. Let Tanzania saturate your senses!

5. Raise money for a worthy cause

Climbing Kilimanjaro is a real test of endurance and with most extreme challenges come large fundraising opportunities. Friends, family and acquaintances will recognise the extent of the challenge and will often give generously to the charity you support. I personally know fellow Kilimanjaro trekkers who have received over £5000 in support for their chosen charity. If you want to tackle something that will have an impact in your life as well as others, trekking Kilimanjaro is right up there 

If you would like to find out how you can raise money for Save the Rhino by Climb Kilimanjaro see our challenge page or email laura@savetherhino.org. To find out more information about preparing for Kilimanjaro see Mark’s website.

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