Scaling the heights for a good cause

PUBLISHED: 09:59 25 March 2009 | UPDATED: 14:56 04 May 2010

CLIMBING Kilimanjaro does not present any serious technical difficulties should you use the Marangu route on the Tanzania side. In 1984 this was the only option available to our team as the Kenya side was not open for political reasons. At Marangu we wer

CLIMBING Kilimanjaro does not present any serious technical difficulties should you use the Marangu route on the Tanzania side.

In 1984 this was the only option available to our team as the Kenya side was not open for political reasons.

At Marangu we were told that to climb Kilimanjaro, in Julius Nyere's Tanzania, we would have to hire a guide and porter.

I believe Kilimajaro has the greatest elevation of any mountain in the world.

The final day from the Kibo is the most problematic as you ascend the scree to the lip of the crater (Gillman's Point) and then trudge, subject to the effects of altitude, on a ridge resembling a Scottish Munro to Uhuru peak (5896 metres or 19,800 feet).

Having stood there I salute the efforts of Cheryl Cole, Fearne Cotton, Denise van Outen, Chris Moyles, Ben Shepherd, Gary Barlow, Ronan Keating, and the others. Travelling in Africa is a chastening experience and can be disconcerting due to the deprivation of many of the people.

Many African countries have a candlestick demography so that 50 per cent of the population are under the age of 15. When you reach the age of 16 in such countries you realise that you could soon die, a considerable incentive to move elsewhere.

The purpose of overseas aid and Comic Relief is to enhance such communities to give them more opportunities in their own country, reducing the incentive to emigrate.

I am presenting a slide show of my 1984 trip with a video presentation at 7.30pm today (Thursday) at the Market Hill Rooms, Fish Hill, Royston. Entrance is £4, with all proceeds to Comic Relief.

Carlo Zambonini

Gresley Lodge

Old North Road, Royston

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