Mountain 1: MT. Nyiragongo (DRC)
The Cause: Rangers – the unsung heroes
At least 8 rangers have been killed in the Virunga National Park this year alone, bringing the total number of rangers dying to save the park’s animals to more than 158 in the past decade (the exact number is unknown, as some rangers are reported missing and never found). The park is home to some of the last remaining 900 wild mountain gorillas in the world. These brave men and women fight off poachers and anti-government militia attacks in the under-resourced park on an almost daily basis. It’s a mammoth and often-deadly task, and they need more support.
How you can help:
- Share our stories as we climb for the unsung heroes. Follow the #7SummitsAfrica Challenge, presented by Great Migration Camps: www.7summitsafrica.com
- Support The Fallen Rangers Fund
The Fallen Rangers Fund was launched to provide a financial safety net for widows and children of Virunga rangers killed in the line of duty. A ranger’s greatest fear is not losing his/her life, but the impact their death will have on family members left behind. Until the creation of the Fallen Rangers Fund, widows received little to no financial support and their families invariably became severely impoverished and destitute. These unsung heroes deserve more after giving their lives to protect the Virunga National Park.
For more info, visit: https://virunga.org/
Donate now: https://virunga.org/donate/
Mountain 2: Mt. Karisimbi (Rwanda)
The Cause: Save the Black rhino
There are thought to be fewer than 5,000 black rhino in the wild globally. In the 1970s there were around 50 black rhinos in Rwanda’s Akagera National Park, but wide-scale poaching wiped them out. That was until May this year, when an African Parks project relocated 18 black rhinos from South Africa to Akagera. With poachers still on the hunt for the rhino’s valuable horns (worth more than gold on the black market), the park is under pressure to protect its new crash of rhino. They are using helicopters for air surveillance, a rhino tracking team and an anti-poaching dog unit on the ground. It’s an intensive operation.
How you can help:
- Share our stories as we climb for rhino conservation. Follow the #7SummitsAfrica Challenge, presented by Great Migration Camps: www.7summitsafrica.com
- Support African Parks
The iconic Eastern black rhino has returned to Rwanda. The last rhino was seen in Rwanda in Akagera National Park in 2007 after decades of poaching. In an historic move, 18 Eastern black rhinos were reintroduced from South Africa to Akagera National Park in May 2017 bringing this endangered species back to the country for the first time in over a decade. This translocation was undertaken by African Parks in collaboration with the Akagera Management Company (AMC), the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) and with the generous support from the Howard G. Buffett Foundation. The People’s Postcode Lottery and the Dutch Government also provided additional support. It was confirmed in September that a calf had been born to one of the translocated females, increasing the population to 19. Help African Parks continue to protect the park and all the wildlife who call Akagera home.
For more info, visit: https://www.african-parks.org
Donate now: https://www.african-parks.org/donate
Mountain 3: Mt. Kenya (Kenya)
The Cause: Stop elephant poaching
The slaughter of African elephants for their ivory after WWII was so brutal and widespread that it was dubbed the “Elephant Holocaust”: numbers fell from one million to 400,000 during the 1980s. The international ban on ivory trade in 1989 led to a recovery in elephant numbers. Sadly, that changed around 2008 when an infiltration of well-funded ivory trade gangs – fuelled by rising Asian demand and high levels of corruption – led to a resurgence in elephant poaching. Kenya was particularly hard hit. In two years alone (2012 and 2013) the country lost more elephant to poaching than it had in the past two decades. Now, Kenyans are fighting back to save the country’s last remaining 32,000 elephants. A key part of the elephant conservation strategy is to work with communities to address the conflicts that arise from growing human populations alongside wildlife areas, with leading conservationists focusing on creating safe spaces for these African giants.
How you can help:
- Share our stories as we climb to protect these African giants. Follow the #7SummitsAfrica Challenge, presented by Great Migration Camps: www.7summitsafrica.com
- Support Space for Giants
Space for Giants protects Africa’s elephants from immediate threats, like poaching, while working to secure their habitats forever in landscapes facing greatly increasing pressures. The non-profit organisation uses innovative, proven interventions to confront acute issues like the ivory trade and long-term challenges such as balancing the needs of wildlife and growing human populations. Space for Giants seeks solutions rooted in the wisdom of the people who understand wildlife best, because they study it or live alongside it, or both. And they understand long-term success depends on creating economic and social benefits for the people who share their environment with wildlife.
For more info, visit: https://spaceforgiants.org/
Donate now: https://spaceforgiants.org/support-us/
Mountain 4: Mt. Speke (Uganda)
The Cause: Protect the mountain gorilla
Chased out of their territories by human encroachment and civil war, hunted for bushmeat, their body parts sold to collectors and their babies sold as pets. This is the tragic story of Uganda’s critically endangered mountain gorillas. Around 900 mountain gorillas remain in the wild and the habitat of these shy creatures has shrunk to three national parks: the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda, Volcanoes NP in Rwanda and Virunga NP in DRC.
How you can help:
- Share our stories as we climb to protect Africa’s endangered mountain gorillas. Follow the #7SummitsAfrica Challenge, presented by Great Migration Camps: www.7summitsafrica.com
- The Gorilla Organization
The Gorilla Organization works at the very forefront of gorilla conservation with innovative and award-winning projects in Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Its field staff in Africa, supported by a fundraising and communications team in London, oversee a range of grassroots conservation projects, all of them aimed at addressing the key threats facing gorillas today.
For more info, visit: http://www.gorillas.org/
Donate now: http://www.gorillas.org/Donate
Mountain 5: Mt. Stanley (Uganda)
The Cause: Uganda’s disappearing glaciers
Studies show Uganda’s ancient glaciers are melting at an accelerated pace – no matter what Donald Trump and his clan of climate change denialists say. Ice loss on the Rwenzori Mountain range’s Mt. Baker is at a massive 96%, followed by Mt. Speke at 91%. Mt. Stanley has the lowest percentage of ice loss, but it’s still at a whopping 69%. While this is a problem only global action can ultimately fix, many Ugandans are doing their bit and the race is on to reforest the areas on the slopes of these mountains, and to save the animal species used to the mountains’ cool climate from extinction.
How you can help:
- Share our stories as we climb to raise awareness of climate change. Follow the #7SummitsAfrica Challenge, presented by Great Migration Camps: www.7summitsafrica.com
- Support Carbon Tanzania
For Carbon Tanzania, conserving forests is about more than simply protecting habitats and wildlife – it is about taking a stand against global climate change. Deforestation currently accounts for approximately 10-15% of the world’s carbon emissions – this means if deforestation in Tanzania can be stopped, the organisation can help slow down the rate of global climate change. The social enterprise uses an innovative approach to habitat conservation: selling carbon offsets that result from keeping carbon locked up in forest ecosystems. These forests are owned by indigenous communities who earn an income from the sale of these offsets – funds that are then used for community development needs.
For more info, visit: http://www.carbontanzania.com/
Donate now: www.carbontanzania.com/buy-carbon-offsets/buy-offsets-2/
Mountain 6. Mt. Meru (Tanzania)
The Cause: Stop wildlife trafficking
With more than four million wild animals, Tanzania has the largest concentration of animals per square kilometre in the world. Sadly, this high density of wildlife makes it a magnet for wildlife traffickers. Tanzania is home to 1,077 threatened species – the sixth highest number of any country in the world and the highest in Africa. Tanzanian government departments and NGOs are working together to ward off the highly organised networks of wildlife traffickers targeting their animals. But they can’t do it alone.
How you can help:
- Share our stories as we climb to preserve Tanzania’s wildlife. Follow the #7SummitsAfrica Challenge, presented by Great Migration Camps: www.7summitsafrica.com
- Support The Honeyguide Foundation
Honeyguide Foundation is a grassroots non-profit based in Tanzania that works to ensure communities are actively involved in wildlife conservation. Honeyguide has a core team of more than 50 committed individuals (all Tanzanians) and supports and guides more than 100 rangers and officers in six wilderness areas covering 1.3 million acres. Their team ranges from veteran anti-poaching commanders to tech-savvy recent university graduates, and from female leaders and entrepreneurs to Maasai elders and warriors.
For more info, visit: http://www.honeyguide.org/
Donate now: http://www.honeyguide.org/how-to-help/
Mountain 7: Mt. Kilimanjaro (Tanzania)
The Cause: Africa’s greatest climbers
Every year mountaineers from around the world tick Africa’s highest peak, Mt. Kilimanjaro, off their bucket lists. What’s not as widely celebrated is that the porters, carrying all the food and gear to support the climb, make this trek many times a year to support themselves and their families. Alongside the movement for responsible tourism in Tanzania, there’s a growing movement to give greater recognition to Africa’s greatest climbers. We’re behind it 100%.
How you can help:
- Share our stories as climb Kili alongside Africa’s greatest climbers. Follow the #7SummitsAfrica Challenge, presented by Great Migration Camps: www.7summitsafrica.com
- Support the Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project (KPAP)
KPAP is an initiative of the International Mountain Explorers Connection and was established to improve the working conditions of the porters on Kilimanjaro.
For more info, visit: https://kiliporters.org/
Donate now: https://kiliporters.org/donate-now/
Special thanks to title sponsor Great Migration Camps and all other partners and sponsors for making it possible for the #7SummitsAfrica team to climb for these causes. For a full sponsor/partner list: www.7summitsafrica.com/suppliers-partners/