In October 2022 a group of past volunteers, friends and supporters took on a challenge of a lifetime. Our mission reach the top of the highest mountain in Africa and raise as much as we can for the ongoing running of Akwaaba Volunteers.
In high spirits we left Heathrow and embarked on a journey across the African continent until we touched down in Tanzania. After a quick transfer to our hotel we got down to business, starting with a kit check and a briefing about what to expect. The next morning we would start our climb. But first we would meet our crew. For 11 amateur climbers there was a dedicated team of 44 guys to take care of us, from porters to (unbelievable) chefs, guides and other helpers. We would be climbing the 7 day Machame route so after signing in we started our slow and steady (pole pole) climb to the summit.
Each day presented us with different challenges from walking through forests, rocky terrain, scaling rock faces or crossing the desert. There was wildlife, waterfalls and a lot of dust. Each day we felt incredible supported by the team. We had a 3 course breakfast, lunch and dinner prepared fresh for us at each stop. Our camp was set up and beds made by the time we reached the camp site. The crew always met us half way through our day with ginger tea and cake to boost our mood. The day always ended with Bunny rabbit hot water bottles and medical checks every day before bed. On day 5 we reached the summit with the full team still in tact and went for an early night sleep before we would start our ascent at midnight.
By far the hardest thing we have ever done is climbing up the steepest part of the mountain at altitude, on little to no sleep, in the pitch black but the crew were determined that we would make it to the top – they would drag us up if they had to! We reached the summit just after sunrise on Day 6. We laughed, we cried, we danced, we joked, we stumbled but we made it and what an incredible experience surrounded by incredible people.
As a team we raised £10,000 for Akwaaba Volunteers, every penny going directly to the projects in Ghana. It was an incredible experience and we would highly recommend taking on the challenge or why not take on our next challenge with us!