British fundraisers conquer Kilimanjaro for conservation charity

Kilimanjaro climbers
The charity Kilimanjaro climbers from East Anglia. Photo: Twitter/MikeBrownMBP

A team of 12 intrepid Brits have reached the summit of Tanzania’s Mount Kilimanjaro, completing their fundraising effort for the Zoological Society of East Anglia.

The Zoological Society of East Anglia (ZSEA), is a charitable trust which runs Banham Zoo and Africa Alive, while also working in partnership with conservation bodies and breeding programmes around the world, many of which are in Africa.

The brave Brits who successfully completed the climb are:

  • Frankie Bleasdale, 28-year-old animal keeper at Africa Alive
  • Vikki Middleton, 66-year-old retired hairstylist
  • Joel Bessey
  • Hannah Neale, 29-year-old training advisor
  • Dave Farmer
  • Valerie Watson Brown, director of Norwich-based marketing agency The Lively Crew
  • Julie Davies
  • David Blood, a 35-year-old engineering manager
  • Hayley Talbot
  • Pete Sheedy, 54-year-old fireman
  • Chris Hill, Eastern Daily Press Journalist

The task facing them was a daunting one. At 5,895m (19,341ft), Kilimanjaro is the world’s tallest free-standing mountain and also a dormant volcano.

During an ascent of the mountain, temperatures can drop from an equatorial 20 degrees at the base of the mountain to below -20 at the summit, meaning the climbers need to have clothing for both temperatures.

The 35-mile trek from entry gate to the mountain summit took take five lung-bursting days to complete, climbing for up to 14 hours per day.

But yesterday, at 8.30am the team reached Uhuru peak on Kilimanjaro, despite 30mph winds and freezing rain hitting them at 4.30am, 12 hours into their final ascent.

If you would like to support this fundraising effort, you can do so via the team’s Virgin Money Giving page.