Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro is an amazing experience that deserves to be on the “life list” for any adventure traveler. Standing 19,340 feet in height, Kili is the tallest mountain in Africa and the highest free standing volcano in the world. Located just a few degrees off the equator, its snow capped summit is the stuff of legends, even inspiring Ernest Hemingway to write about it. Now, you can combine your desire for a great adventure with the opportunity to have a positive impact on the place you visit.
In 2011, the American Foundation for Children with AIDS is sponsoring four charity climbs up Kilimanjaro, delivering an unprecedented opportunity for travelers to experience that adventure while helping young people in Africa as well. The AFCA is a non-profit organization that raises awareness and fund for children affected by AIDS on that continent, and in recent years they’ve made an annual climb up the mountain as one of their primary fundraisers. Participants on those climbs are expected to raise a minimum of $8000 to take part in the expedition. That money is used to pay for transportation and lodging while on the trip, food while climbing the mountain, including water and snacks and hiring guides. Additionally a $5000 donation is made to the AFCA’s to help fund their work in sub-Saharan Africa.
The dates for next year’s climb are as follows;
February 28 – March 10, 2011
August 6- 17, 2011
September 11-20, 2011
Women’s Only Climb: October 1 – 12, 2011
Each of the expeditions can accept up to 14 travelers and with several options available, there is some flexibility for when participants can take part in the adventure. With dates as far out as October of next year, there is still plenty of time to get signed up and start the fund raising process.
For more information on the organization and these great charitable climbs, click here.
The popular magazine Condé Nast Traveler hosts the annual World Savers Awards to recognize the efforts of hotels, airlines, tour and cruise companies that give something back through their environmental or social programs. But one recipient of the 2010 award is attracting controversy over its actions.
Wilderness Safaris won this year’s award in the Health Initiatives category for its HIV/AIDS program, which includes the construction of clinics in South Africa, Zambia, and Malawi. Now Survival International, which supports the rights of indigenous peoples, says Wilderness Safaris falls short of its image as positive force in the community.
It points to its new luxury lodge, the Kalahari Plains Camp, set on the traditional lands of the Bushmen in Botswana. The lodge boasts a bar and swimming pool while the Bushmen have to walk for miles to get water. The local people used to have a well, but the government capped it when it kicked the Bushmen off the land in 2002. Survival International and the Bushmen went to court and won the right for the Bushmen to return to their lands, but the government still won’t allow them to reopen the well.
Wilderness Safaris says providing water isn’t their responsibility, but Survival International points out that they constructed a well near one of their resorts in Zimbabwe in order to attract more wildlife.
How much responsibility does a resort have to the local community? Tell us what you think in the comments section.
[Photo courtesy Ian Beatty]
I’m not sure if everybody wants to live in Norway, but it’s certainly at the top of the global list. The United Nations Development Program determined this based on data GDP, education and life expectancy – among other metrics – to find the best of the best, as well as the other end of the spectrum. The data’s from 2007, though, so it doesn’t reflect a post-financial crisis world.
Joining Norway are Australia and Iceland, the latter of which was a hot location until a year ago, when the entire country got an International Monetary Fund package normally reserved for the third-est of third-world countries. Yet, even with the recession in mind, Iceland (a favorite destination of mine) is still far better than Niger, Afghanistan and Sierra Leone, which sit at the bottom of the list. Several other sub-Saharan African states also ranked toward the bottom because of ongoing war and the proliferation of HIV/AIDS.
The spread is most evident in life expectancy, where a mailing address in Norway would add 30 years relative to Niger. In Niger, the current average life expectancy is 50. And, for every dollar that someone earns in Niger, the same person would pick up $85 in Norway. In Afghanistan, one can expect to live only 43.6 years.
Money matters, still. Lichtenstein continues to boast the world’s highest GDP per capital at $85,383. The 35,000 people who live there share the small principality with 15 banks and more than 100 wealth management companies. The Democratic Republic of Congo has the lowest income in the world: $298 per person per year.
The top climbers on the list for 2007 were China, Iran and Nepal.