We love hearing about people who undertake Kilimanjaro climbs for charity or otherwise, especially if that individual has gone through some hard times themselves and is looking for a way to give back.

Jonny Stamford, 25, is a paramedic from Sheffield and was recently diagnosed with a brain tumour, which he thankfully survived, according to the Sheffield Telegraph. However, the tumour returned six months later and Jonny had to undergo another operation.

He contracted bacterial meningitis and had to have further treatment, but now Jonny – who works for East Midlands Ambulance Service – is back on his feet and ready to trek up to the summit of Kilimanjaro to raise money for The Brain Injury Charity.

“I have volunteered with several charities over the years, and since my diagnosis I have always hoped to get involved with a charity who works directly in the fight against brain tumours. After much research I discovered the excellent work that The Brain Tumour Charity do, and also the extent of the problem which they are leading the fight against,” he said.

If you’re inspired by Jonny’s story and want to organise your own Kilimanjaro trek, make sure you have a good read of our blog to find out lots of helpful information to help you get started. You might be particularly interested in reading our blog posts about altitude sickness and how to handle it, as well as the best types of walking shoes and hiking boots to help you scale the peak. Have a read – and then give us a call!

We’ve blogged about 88 year olds and military veteran amputees completing Kilimanjaro charity climbs, but we’ve yet to blog about a child doing so – until now, that is!

We’ve just come across this Get West London news story about ten-year-old Lydia Louw from Uxbridge who was inspired to reach the summit by her mother, who works with people with spinal injuries at a local hospital.

Lydia decided to raise cash for Stoke Mandeville Spinal Research by climbing Mount Kilimanjaro so that the organisation would be able to invest in a Toyra, which uses an Xbox Kinect to improve arm function in people who’ve suffered a tetraplegic spinal cord injury, meaning that home rehabilitation is possible.

“I felt really proud when I reached the top, proud of myself and proud because I wanted to help people with spinal cord injury. I really want to raise all of the money so I am going to do as much as I can to keep going so the charity can buy the Toyra,” she said.

If you’re tempted to complete the Kilimanjaro challenge like Lydia, you’ve got plenty of time to organise a trip since it’s only the start of the year. Why not work out what kind of charity you’d like to support and then get in touch with us here at Kilimanjaro Tours to see how we can help you organise your first trek.

We promise that you’ll soon get bitten by the mountaineering bug and will be booking trek after trek once you’ve completed your first Kilimanjaro climb!

A week-long trek up one of the biggest mountains in the world means that you’ll need to have the right kind of footwear with you – or you simply won’t make it to the summit. For those of you contemplating Kilimanjaro climbs this year, here are some of the best shoes to help you complete the challenge.

Hi-Tec Altitude IV

These are some of the best hiking boots on the market so if you want to be confident in your choice of footwear, opt for these. They’re comfortable, durable and very lightweight so perfect for long and intense hikes. The outside of the shoe is waterproof leather as well and they come in a variety of prices so you’re sure to find one you can afford.

Timberland Chocura

Another option would be these from Timberland, which many people have gone for when planning hikes up Kilimanjaro. They won’t perhaps last as long as the Hi-Tec Altitudes but they should be good for a couple of years at least. They’re heavier than the IVs but come with a GoreTex membrane so are waterproof and will allow your feet to breathe.

Asolo TPS 520 GV

These are a more expensive option for climbing Kilimanjaro but your feet will certainly thank you for spending the money. They’re strong and will last you years if looked after properly. Just make sure you wear them in so you don’t have any blisters on your climb.

Other gear to remember to pack includes gaiters, thermal socks and trekking socks so you can climb in as much comfort as possible.

When you embark on a Kilimanjaro trek, the last thing on your mind when you reach the top is whether or not your other half will pop the question – but that’s exactly what has just happened, which may well be the most romantic thing ever!

Expedition leader Russ Holland got down on one knee when he and his partner Kirsten Howton reached the summit after a seven-day climb to raise money for the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter, the Coffs Coast Advocate reports.

Noting that the head guide had climbed the mountain for 20 years and never seen anyone propose at the top before, Mr Holland said: “Kirsten had a couple of days where she was quite unwell and I was starting to make a plan b in case she didn’t make it to the summit, but she came good at the right time and powered through. Luckily she said yes so we avoided an awkward walk back down the mountain.”

While the head guide may not have seen a proposal at the summit before, they’ve certainly happened in the past. In June 2014, Craig Hanley popped the question to Kirsten Hussey seconds after reaching the top, while that same year James Noyes proposed to Joanne Auton at the summit – so it certainly seems to be a popular way of asking someone to marry you.

That said, just be aware that you’re all going to be a bit tired once you get to the top so if you’re going for an extreme reaction from your other half, you may well be disappointed!

A 35-year-old Tanzanian has done what many would most likely consider impossible – completed a Kilimanjaro trek more than 250 times!

Justaz Leonidas first climbed the summit aged just 17 years old and has since gone on to hike the mountain time and time again, according to the Daily Mail.

Speaking to the news source, Mr Leonidas – who acts as a travel guide – said that he was born at the bottom of the mountain and always knew that he wanted to help others reach the top.

“The first time I successfully climbed the peak I was 17 years old, and I remember reaching the top and thinking that it was amazing – like my own little world. I enjoy the environment in general and when I was a child I used to look at the mountain and I always wanted to climb it,” he said.

He went on to say that he has seen some wonderful things during his time as a guide, including nine marriage proposals and even a wedding at the very top of the mountain.

If you’re tempted to try and climb Mount Kilimanjaro, you need to make sure you’re prepared. Do your research properly, talk to others who have succeeded and ensure you know all there is to know about altitude sickness.

Should you decide that you want to make the ascent this year or next, get in touch with us at Kilimanjaro Tours to find out how we can help you plan the trip of a lifetime. We’re looking forward to hearing from you.

Before you head off on your Kilimanjaro hike, you need to know what you’re letting yourself in for so there are no nasty surprises. We hope you’ve done adequate preparation so you can make it to the summit. Here are five facts about the mountain to help you on your way.

19,341 feet

That’s how high Mount Kilimanjaro is, with the summit – Uhuru Peak – stretching up to 19,341 feet. This makes it the tallest mountain in Africa, as well as the world’s tallest freestanding mountain. If you’re still mulling over whether or not to climb, this may or may not help you make up your mind!

Kibo, Mawenzi and Shira

You may not know this but Mount Kilimanjaro is actually made up of three dormant volcanos – Shira, Mawenzi and Kibo. The peak, Uhuru, can be found on Kibo.

1889

The first climb to the summit was recorded in 1889 by German explorer Hans Meyer, who was led to the top by guide Yohana Lauwo.

Climate change

No, not global warming but something you should definitely know about before you climb Kilimanjaro. There are actually five separate climate zones you’ll face as you climb, so be prepared for hot and humid conditions, as well as colder ones.

Routes

There are six different routes you can take to reach the top. Three approach from the south, two from the west and one from the north-east. Which one will you take, do you think?

To find out more about climbing this impressive mountain, get in touch with us here at Kilimanjaro Tours today.

The capital and charitable officer for Pennine Acute Hospitals Charity has pledged to climb Kilimanjaro for charity in a bid to raise money for North Manchester General Hospital’s Children’s Unit.

Misba Khan, who has worked for the Trust for more than 11 years, intends to reach the summit of the dormant volcano on Christmas Eve and has just set up a JustGiving page to allow people to donate to the cause. Thus far, she has had 12 donations and reached £498 of her £4,698 target.

Any money that she succeeds in raising will be used to buy portable sensory equipment for the patients at the trust. The technology enables children who are unable to make their way to sensory rooms access to the same kind of equipment. If, for example, someone is immobile in bed, they can still enjoy the same resources that others in the hospital can through the use of portable equipment.

“This sensory studio would be a tremendous asset to the Children’s Unit as many children with long term life limiting conditions are admitted to the unit for treatment throughout the year. This equipment will not only relax them during their admission but would make their stay in hospital amore memorable experience,” divisional nurse director of women and children Yvonne Tunstall said.

If you want to do a similar Kilimanjaro hike for charity, get in touch with us here at Kilimanjaro Tours to find out how we can help turn your dreams into a reality in no time at all.

Army veteran Phillip Gillespie – also known as Barney – is set to complete a Kilimanjaro charity climb for the ABF – The Soldier’s Charity in July next year.

Speaking to the Ballymena Times, Mr Gillespie explained that the charity in question did a lot for him when he was injured after stepping on an IED in Afghanistan in January 2011, an incident that saw him lose his lower right leg and sustain numerous fractures to his left leg.

He was recently fitted with a new prosthetic and, along with a team of people, completed the five peaks challenge over five days, raising £2,500 for the charity – a feat that will certainly stand him in good stead for his Kilimanjaro hike.

Mr Gillespie said: “I have always wanted to climb Kilimanjaro and now my mate and I are attempting this challenge and raise money for a charity that is very important to me. The Kilimanjaro climb is a bigger distance than the other five peaks put together so it is going to be a lot tougher.”

If like Mr Gillespie you’re tempted to complete a climb up Kilimanjaro, you need to make sure you’re fully prepared for the endeavour as it’s by no means an easy task. You should make sure you complete several longer hikes so you can really feel what it’s like to be walking for five hours a day for a week. Don’t be fooled into thinking that it’ll be an easy ride – you’re sure to face a lot of struggles as you may your way to the top.

There’s no doubt that a Kilimanjaro tour is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, but if you fail to prepare you prepare to fail – so you need to know all there is to know about altitude sickness before you go.

This can actually occur in some people as low as 8,000 feet so you do need to bear this in mind – and remember that it is more common in fitter people because they’re more likely to want to race to the top. However, you need to make sure you give your body time to acclimatise to the changes in altitude so planning a longer ascent is always advisable.

Symptoms of altitude sickness include headaches, nausea and dizziness, fatigue, shortness of breath, loss of appetite and disturbed sleep.

You can help prevent the problem if you plan your Kilimanjaro trek carefully. For example, if you climb above 3,000 metres you should only increase your altitude by 300 metres a day and include rest days to allow yourself to acclimatise properly.

Make sure that you drink plenty of fluids as you climb and don’t overexert yourself as you go. Keep in close contact with the others in your party as people acclimatise differently and you don’t want someone in your camp to suffer, even if you’re doing fine.

Training for the hike is also essential so make sure you’ve put in a few practice walks to really ready yourself for the challenges you’re going to face. Get in touch with us here at Kilimanjaro Tours to find out more.

One of the most important parts of planning a Kilimanjaro hike is to make sure you’re adequately prepared, both physically and mentally, for the task ahead. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that it’ll be easy – you do need to do some training before you head up the mountain.

You’ll be walking between five and ten miles a day to complete the tour of Kilimanjaro, so it’s important that you go on a few hikes first before you attempt to reach the summit. Plan to do at least two long distance hikes, as this will help you to get a feel for what it’s like to walk five hours a day. Plus you’ll be able to wear in your hiking boots – whatever you do, don’t try to climb Kili in a pair of new never-worn boots.

Kilimanjaro Hike Training

Aerobic training is another important part of preparing for your climb. You need to have a strong cardiovascular system as the higher you climb the mountain, the thinner the air will become – so you’ll have less oxygen to process. Make sure you do lots of walking. Cycling, swimming and jogging to help prepare.

Mental stamina is just as important as being in peak physical condition as well, as there are sure to be times when you want to give up and turn back. Long distance running is great for training your mind and helping you to work out how to push past your limits so you can complete the climb. To find out more, get in touch with us here at Kilimanjaro Tours.