Tag Archive for kilimanjaro

Christmas is over; its time to get back into shape!

Christmas is over, it’s January, I’m back at work after a long break, the weather’s cold and miserable and I feel like I’m about to explode! Every Xmas I get a bit carried away and stuff my face with pretty much anything edible, do no form of exercise and basically become a couch potato, and now I’m regretting it!

If you are like me and have indulged a bit too much this Xmas, then here are my top five tips to get you (and me) back into shape and feel much better:

1.    New Year’s Resolution – Make your New Year’s Resolution to get fit and lose weight. Most people at this point would join a gym and then find that at the end of January the frequent visits to the gym are no longer happening. Instead of joining the gym you might want to consider doing a charity challenge. Booking on a charity challenge means that you have something to focus on as you have an end goal . Climbing the highest mountain in Africa; Mt Kilimanjaro or trekking to the lost city of Machu Picchu, cycling from Vietnam to Cambodia for example. It also means that you get fit while you try to achieve this goal and you end up losing weight because you’re getting fit. So it’s a triple whammy! Actually, at the same time of achieving all of this, you’ll be raising money for charity, so really it’s a quadruple whammy! Click here to start your New Year’s Resolution and a challenge of a lifetime!

2.    Take up an active hobby or join a sports club – one of the best ways to lose weight  and get into shape without realising that you’re doing it, is to play a sport you love or do a physical activity. If you love playing football, then join your local football club or arrange a time and place on a regular basis with your friends and play some football! If dancing is more your style, then there are so many classes which you can join, there really isn’t an excuse. I personally enjoy running, so I think I’m going to make more of an effort to run.

3.    Don’t diet,  just eat healthy and in smaller proportions – I’ve personally tried this and can 100% say this works. Changing your diet, even  slightly, and eating smaller proportions will help you lose weight. Remember, you still need to exercise at the same time to get the best results!

4.    Positive thinking!  Well I’m not a psychologist ,  Indian Yogi or self help Guru but it’s amazing how easy it is to forget to be positive. Positivity is not only a way to describe an electric charge, it is a skill that you can teach yourself.  Try this little exercise that my colleague Chad recommends, repeat to yourself 3 times: ‘Negativity is a luxury I can’t afford and I’m challenging myself to make a positive difference today!’.  Once you’ve done that 3 times (don’t cheat), feel proud and  allow yourself a big hearty smile 🙂

5.    Have a massive clear out – Now this won’t help you get fit or  lose weight, but it will definitely make you feel better. Get rid of those items you have because you thought you might need them (and that was 5 years ago!), give those unwanted clothes to the charity shop and shred the household bills and junk mail that you no longer need. It’s time for a spring clean!

Well that’s it from me today. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading my blog, it’s my first one and I hope to write many more. Please feel free to comment on this blog, I would love to read your thoughts!

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Firdous Mulla

Difference between the Rongai and Lemosho routes to Mt Kilimanjaro

There are several routes that you can take to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro each offering different views, experiences and challenges to overcome. Charity Challenge has selected two of these routes:- Lemosho from the West side and Rongai from the East.

These are two of the less frequently used routes. They each offer some stunning views of the mountain and surrounding countryside. This article will help you to decide which one is correct for you when signing up to your Kilimanjaro summit climb.

Rongai Route

Our trek up this route gives 7 days and 6 nights on the mountain. You will take 5 ½ days to go up and only 1 ½ to come down! The route comes in from the East and follows the Rongai route via the Mawenzi Tarn, which is located in the foothills of the majestic Mawenzi – a secondary peak on Kilimanjaro. Here you spend a day acclimatising before continuing on to the summit. The extra day at Mawenzi includes trekking around an area of awe-inspiring scenery; and this day really helps to increase success rates on the route. On summit night you join the famous Kilimanjaro crater rim at a point known as Gilmans Point (5685m) before setting off

for the 2 ½ to 3 hour return trip to the summit, Uhuru Peak.

On the descent from the mountain you will pick up the busy Marangu route back down the mountain and experience the different terrain that this trek offers.

Rongai is a trekking route and there will be no areas where you will be required to use your hands to ascend.

Lemosho Route

This trek comes in from the West and you spend 8 days and 7 nights on the mountain. This will involve 6 ½ days of ascent and 1 ½ of descent. The route is more undulating that Rongai and more time is spent acclimatising as you cross the impressive Shira Plateau. The extra day means that Lemosho8 has a slightly higher summit success rate than Rongai7. This is the route that was chosen by the celebrity Comic Relief trek that we ran for Chris Moyles, Cheryl Cole and Gary Barlow. It passes through a real mix of terrain from rainforest to desert to glacier. There is one section of the route which may require you to use your hands to ascend – the Barranco Wall. This is not a technical climb but is t

he only slightly steeper ground on the trek. Those with a real fear of heights may prefer Rongai. However it is only short, not severe, and the guide will be there to assist you all the way. We have never had a trekker fail on the Barranco Wall.

After Barranco the trail heads up Barafu Ridge and then reaches the crater rim at Stella Point (5750m) before you trek around to the summit. Coming down you pick up the Mweka route which allows you to see an alternative side of the mountain, with a very rich rain forest belt.

Below is a map of the two routes. The Blue on the West side of the mountain is Lemosho. The red on the East side is Rongai.

Happy 40th Birthday to Charity Challenge Director Simon Albert!

Happy Birthday to Charity Challenge Director Simon Albert, who is celebrating turning 40 today. In his honour, we have decided to take some time out to look back on some of his amazing achievements both in business and in life;

Few people have experienced the world as much as Simon has, not only has he summited Mt Kilimanjaro, Trekked in the Himalayas and scuba dived with sharks in Fiji, he has also  journeyed throughout the Far East, Australasia and Pacific Islands, motor-biked through Vietnam (before Ewan Mcgregor and Charley Boorman made it cool!), helped to build a youth hostel in Thailand,  went white water rafting on the Kali Gandaki in Nepal and helped build a road on Mana Island (which was and still is hereafter known as ‘Simon Avenue’).

In October 1998, Inspired by all his adventures, Simon decided to set up his own company that helps people have their very own adventures of a life-time, whilst raising money for charity. SmallWorld Adventures Ltd (soon to be known as Charity Challenge) started making waves and Simon quickly became known in the industry for his infectious energy and enthusiasm and his strict uniform of checked shirts, jeans and trainers.

In February 2009 Simon played an instrumental part in organising the Comic Relief Celebrity Kilimanjaro Climb, which saw several well-known faces such as Gary Barlow,  Cheryl  Cole and Chris Moyles summit Mt Kilimanjaro and raise over a whopping  £3.35million for comic relief! This was a massive game changer for Charity Challenge and since then it has gone from strength to strength! Charity Challenge has now helped thousands of people to raise over £30m for over 1200 different charities and our portfolio currently includes treks, bike rides, mountain climbs, rafting, sky diving, dog sledding, skiing and community challenges in more than 30 countries worldwide as well as two ground-breaking treks to geographic North and South Poles.

One thing that hasn’t changed is Simon’s vibrant enigmatic personality, drive to push the company forward and his passion for travel. Simon’s 40th Birthday has coincided with a very exciting and busy time for Charity Challenge, as (after a lot of hard work!) Charity Challenge has now launched a new operation out of Toronto, Canada for the North American market! Which we have very high hopes for!

So after 40 years of life and  12 years of Charity Challenge, Simon has become a recognised and respected face in the Adventure Charity Travel industry, his contribution to which was even honoured by her majesty the Queen herself last year at the Royal Celebration of British Adventure, but to all of us in the office, we’re always know him best for his infamous collection of checked shirts, bad taste in music and strange preference teas which are milky beyond belief!

Top 5 Romantic Challenges of 2012!

Happy Valentines Day everybody! In honour of St Valentine, we’ve put together a list of our top 5 most romantic challenges…

5) Etna Volcanic Adventure – coming in at number 5 is the Etna Volcanic Adventure, a challenge so hot that it’s literally bursting at the seams! (The last eruption was literally last week). With breath-taking scenery, real Italian Spaghetti, isolated shepherd huts in the wilderness and the chance to sleep under the stars, there was no way this challenge was not going to make the list! This long weekend challenge might not be as gruelling as some of our other challenges, but the fact that you need to carry sizeable rucksacks whilst trekking adds a whole new dimension to the trek (in fact, this is a perfect challenge to take your other half on, as you could do with someone to help you carry your bags!) Also this challenge is currently on special £75 promotion!

4) Great Wall Discovery – Anyone who’s seen the sun setting over the Great Wall will know why this challenge makes the list. It’s a truly unforgettable sight, especially if you have somebody to share it with. China is also the country steeped in myths and legends where beautiful Chinese lanterns light the sky. This challenge also has a £100 off offer running on it, and what makes a more romantic valentines gift than a discounted trek across one of the wonders of the world!

3) Kilimanjaro Summit Climb – On the surface this challenge may not seem as romantic as the previous two, but this is the challenge that has brought together the most couples out of our entire challenge catalogue! A few years back we even had a proposal at the summit of Kilimanjaro. And standing in footprints of past celebrities (Gary Barlow, Cheryl Cole and Chris Moyles to name but a few!), with the backdrop of a stunning African landscape and an inescapable long walk back down, you’re really not going to say no! Kilimanjaro is our most favoured challenge and we have various expedition dates throughout the year, click here to see them (note: all challenges with the red stars by them are currently on special promotion!)

2) Escambray Encounter – this is on the list for all the singletons out there, who are currently ripping petals of roses and ceremonially burning their ex’s stuff. We have it on good authority that our Escambray Encounter Trek is the ultimate challenge for people looking to have a fun trek. The city of Havana is alive at any time of day or night with music and street parties, the locals are friendly and there is even rumoured to be a free bar on offer to challengers once they’ve completed the gruelling trek! It’s not too late to sign up to our three current departure dates in November of this year and in 2013

1) Dog Sledding Challenge – This challenge had to be number one for so many reasons. As our Sweden Ground handler Jordana put it “What could be more romantic than cuddling together on reindeer pelts by open fire whilst hearing the sleddogs howl to the northern lights and full moon!” We simply couldn’t think of anything, which is why this challenge tops the list and gains the title of Valentines Challenge of 2012! So for the ultimate Valentines gesture, click here to view and book onto one of our upcoming Dog Sledding Challenges!

New Kilimanjaro Sign versus Old Kilimanjaro Sign, which is better…?

Big news from atop one of the world’s largest and most iconic volcanoes! The old rustic sign that sits at Kilimanjaro’s Uhuru peak has now been replaced with a shiny new green one! Compare the two signs below and let us know which one you think is better!

New Kilimanjaro Sign

Old Kilimanjaro Sign