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Adventure Philanthropy: Climbing Kilimanjaro with Roadmonkey

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Kilimanjaro-1-500 Text by New York Times reporter and Iraq war correspondent Paul von Zielbauer, who started Roadmonkey as a way to combine adventure travel and giving back and engaging with local communities. He is currently taking guests up Kilimanjaro, followed by volunteering at a school in Dar es Salaam, Tanzanina. Paul will be checking with us along the way.

Day 1: We’ve arrived in Tanzania and are ready to go…unlike the weather.

As I write this note, from the desk of my not-so-well-lighted hotel room in Moshi, Tanzania, our very eager ten-member Roadmonkey expedition team is just 90 minutes from launching its six-day trek up 19,345-foot Mt. Kilimanjaro, the tallest peak in Africa.

It’s 6:30 in the morning; it’s dark out, and Moshi is thrumming rain.

The kind of African rain that would be great to wake up, listen, and drink coffee to. But not the kind of rain in which one wants to begin a multi-hour uphill hike. I just moved all my clothes into a giant Zip-Loc dry bag (who knew they made 10-gallon Zip-Locs?) and have flipped the mental switch from expecting a pleasant day hike to enduring a bone-soaking slog.

It’s okay. This is Africa. We’re Roadmonkeys. What doesn’t kill us make us…walk faster.

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