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Put your best foot forward for wildlife

Join an international wildlife charity in one of the most biodiverse locations in Africa, trekking a mountain that gave the country its name, Mount Kenya

The Born Free Foundation is stepping up for wildlife! Our unique nine-day Climb for Conservation 2020 expedition to hike Mount Kenya, will take intrepid adventurers through the beautiful wilderness of lakes, tarns, forests and bare mountain scree, to the snows of the second highest mountain in Africa. In addition, guests will visit some of Kenya’s most important conservation and community projects in partnership with our friends at the Mount Kenya Trust.

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This fundraising challenge offers you the chance to enjoy a unique tailored trip which will raise vital funds for Born Free’s wildlife conservation work in Kenya and around the world.

Located 150 miles by road northeast of the capital Nairobi, Mount Kenya is a UNESCO World Heritage Site world-famous as being a striking location for adventurers, wildlife fanatics and photographers alike, with jagged peaks radiating from the centre of an extinct volcano.

shutterstock 55556464The summit of Mount Kenya, the highest mountain in Kenya and the second highest in Africa

The five-day trek follows the northwesterly Sirimon route through five different ecological zones. From the lowlands, made up of fertile farming settlement and scrubland, through the montane forest belt. The montane belt is arguably one of the most interesting ecosystems, sustaining hundreds of species, including elephant, buffalo and colobus monkeys, not to mention countless bird species. Next, is heathland, a semi-alpine landscape, rich in wild flowers, small mammals and birds of prey. Above that lies the alpine zone, filled with giant lobelias and thistles where temperatures fall well below zero at night and where the determination of the group will be tested as it contemplates the final stage ahead. Beyond 4,500m is the nival zone. Oxygen levels fall as we approach the 4,985m summit, characterised by ice, shards of rock and striking snowy peaks.

shutterstock 448403806Forest elephants roam Mount Kenya’s slopes

Trekking for up to eight hours a day and camping overnight will demand good levels of fitness with the added challenge of lower levels of oxygen at the approach to the summit.

If clear skies prevail, the team should have breath-taking views across the African plains far below – stretching as far as Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania – over 300km to the south. Even the trek down shouldn’t be underestimated and it could take more than 12 hours to return to base camp.

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Following the climb, the team will spend a few days learning about some of the conservation and community projects it has fundraised for. Joining the anti-poaching units of the Mount Kenya Trust, it will hear and see first-hand what working on the frontline of wildlife conservation is like from the people who do it on a daily basis. The team will also visit a 14km elephant corridor and its unique ‘underpass’; a protected channel that allows elephants to migrate between Mount Kenya and the Ngare Ndare forest to Samburu in the north.

Elephant-human conflict is a key threat for elephants across much of Africa, especially those living in close proximity to people and using shared resources. Since the construction of the corridor, conflict has been dramatically reduced and connectivity improved not only for elephants but also a number of other species.

shutterstock 1104789581Giant lobelia line the scenic peaks of Mount Kenya

Wildlife desperately needs our help; there are 400,000 African elephants left, 20,000 lions, 7,000 cheetah and 500 Ethiopian wolves. Join Born Free to be the one that makes a difference.

The deadline to sign up is the beginning of January 2020, so there is still time to join the Climb for Conservation. Head to Born Free’s website to found out more about this life-saving challenge.

Throughout the year, Born Free will be hosting a number of other fundraising challenges, including a summit of a UK-based mountain and the London Marathon. If you have your own challenge, or an idea that will help Born Free that you need assistance with, head to the website to join the Challenge Team.

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